Tragedy struck outside R.G. Jones School in Cleveland, when a young boy was hit by a motor vehicle while crossing the street. The driver fled the scene of the accident and is being sought by local authorities.
According to Fox 8, the child was crossing the street in an area usually protected by a crossing guard. The crossing guard had been fired a whole month earlier and was not replaced until a day after the accident. Sadly, it took the injury of a young child to finally fill the vacancy. According to the local school, it was the police department’s responsibility to fill the crossing guard position but they failed to do so expediently.
The police have very little to go on in order to find the hit and run driver and currently his or her whereabouts remain unknown.
Penalties for a Hit and Run that Injures Someone in Ohio
Usually a hit and run in Ohio is considered a first degree misdemeanor if there is no one injured and only property damage is incurred. But in the case detailed above, not just a person, but a child, was injured and still the perpetrator fled the scene.
Because of the circumstances regarding this crime, the driver, if caught, would likely be charged with a fifth degree felony. This means that he or she would face at least six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, and also have his or her license suspended for at least six months. This does not include the likely civil suit filed from the victim’s family.
Potential Legal Recourses of the Victim’s Family
Two parties can possibly be considered responsible for the boy’s accident. Obviously the driver in the hit and run accident, but also the city for failing to replace the crossing guard at a crossing so close to a school.
The family can sue the driver for the usual damages. These include medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional stress, etc. They could also file a claim with the driver’s insurance seeking damages. These are common legal recourses in any car accident where a driver is at fault.
The case gets interesting, however, when considering the culpability due to negligence of the City of Cleveland. It was the police department’s responsibility to immediately fill the crossing guard position after they fired the old attendant, but they did not for a whole three weeks. The department may have delayed longer if not for the boy getting seriously injured.
It is difficult to determine whether or not the family of the injured boy would win a case against the city but these types of claims have been filed in the past. In New York City, the family of a boy killed at a crossing where the crossing guard was absent sued the city for $50 million. The results of the case are unknown.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a hit and run accident in Columbus, Ohio, do not hesitate to contact a Car Accident Lawyer at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers . Our experienced attorneys will help guide you through this incredibly difficult situation and ensure you receive proper damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.