I recently read an OUTRAGEOUS story on Slate.com about the growing concern over “double hit” wrongful death car crashes in China. The article was written by Geoffrey Sant (@Geoffrey Sant), who formerly lived and taught in China. I really had trouble believing what I was reading. I highly recommend the article.
“Double hit” crashes often occur when a Chinese driver hits and injured someone – usually a pedestrian. Apparently, under Chinese law, sizable compensation can be ordered to be paid to someone in China who has been seriously injured by negligence. At the same time, Chinese laws apparently provide for very little compensation to the family of someone who is killed in an accident. This inequity and unfairness in Chinese law is apparently well-known to many drivers.
As Mr. Sant explains, in very simple economic terms, Chinese law makes it much cheaper for drivers to kill someone that they’ve hit, rather than allowing the person to live with an injury. In his article, Mr. Sant references many infamous stories from China where drivers have been witnessed hitting pedestrians, stopping, putting their cars in reverse, and hitting or driving over the injured person repeatedly until the victim is rendered dead – thus the moniker “double hit.” Apparently, Chinese criminal courts often let these drivers go when the drivers testify that they thought they had hit or driven over an inanimate object. Thus, they generally face little responsibility civilly or criminally.
Obviously, the system in China needs to change. Obviously, a legal system should never encourage reckless (or criminal) behavior.
At the same time, as a Winter Park personal injury attorney, I am so thankful that we have a legal system that at least gives accident victims a fighting chance to receive just compensation. Certainly people who are seriously injured as the result of negligence in Florida often receive significant compensation, if their injuries are severe enough. They should, after all.
Thankfully, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act provides for just compensation to the families and dependents of people killed in accidents by wrongful death drivers. These damages include loss of support, loss of services, and emotional and mental pain and suffering in many instances. If the deceased person was a high wage-earner, even more compensation can be collected.
At Cullen & Hemphill, PLC, Winter Park wrongful death attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill truly believe that the United States justice and jury systems are the best in the world. If you have any questions regarding a Florida car accident or a Florida wrongful death accident, please call Kim and Bob at 407-644-4444.