A driver was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with a pedestrian collision that killed a jogger, identified as 59-year-old Chi Shao, in Walnut. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the incident occurred early morning on February 15, 2015 in the 20200 block of Barnard Avenue in Walnut. Police say the driver, 36-year-old Haissan Massalkhy, was driving east on La Puente Road when he struck a man jogging in the bike lane.
The driver carried the jogger on the hood of his 1989 Toyota Camry for several yards before crashing into a brick wall. He was questioned at the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. Officials believe that Massalkhy deliberately struck and killed the pedestrian, but don’t have a motive yet.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Chi Shao for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Murder versus Wrongful Death
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver in this case deliberate struck and killed the pedestrian. While police are still investigating the case and the driver is facing murder charges, often, the question arises as to what legal recourse family members of a decedent in such cases actually have. There’s no question that the criminal justice system will take over here. The driver will likely be prosecuted.
However, even if he is found guilty, the family of the deceased victim in this case might not get much in terms of monetary compensation other than the restitution or fines imposed by the criminal court. Families that have lost loved ones due to someone else’s wrongdoing can file a wrongful death claim in a civil court seeking compensation for their significant losses.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death claims are usually brought by surviving family members and seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney will be able to fight for the rights of victims’ families and help ensure that they receive maximum compensation for their tremendous losses, during a particularly challenging time in their lives.