Police in Myrtle Beach claim that a 46-year-old Loris man was in part responsible for the death of a 75-year-old bicyclist. According to police, the man from Loris drove away from the scene after the older man fell over his bike's handlebars. The driver's car and the bicycle never collided, but police say the driver pulled out in front of the rider and caused the accident.
Now the driver is facing a hit-and-run charge in connection with the July 10 incident. The bicyclist suffered injuries and died a couple of days later at a local hospital.
Police eventually found the Loris man, who reportedly left the accident scene because he had a suspended driver's license. He was also aware of the incident with the bicyclist, according to police.
While it remains to be seen whether or not the driver will be convicted of hit and run, the family of the deceased cyclist may have grounds for a civil claim of negligence. If a person's reckless or negligent actions cause the death of another party, then the deceased person's family may seek some measure of compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The criminal conviction of a driver isn't necessary for the family of a deceased victim to file a civil lawsuit, though a conviction may bolster such a claim. In this case, a careful accident reconstruction may be important in determining liability.
In South Carolina, wrongful death lawsuits should be brought by the person placed in charge of the deceased party's estate, or by a representative of the estate. These lawsuits are meant to provide at least some measure of compensation for an incalculable loss.
Source: wmbfnews.com, "Driver charged with hit and run for fatal accident," July 10, 2013