A man was found dead after he was struck by a car in Van Nuys, California, on Monday night. The incident occurred before 11pm, when a female driver struck the man and reported the incident to the police. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, prior to colliding with the man, the woman said she thought it was only a pile of clothes on the street.
At this point, it is unclear if the man was already deceased on the streets of Van Nuys, on 6800 Haskell Avenue, when he was hit by the car, or if the impact from the car killed the man. This Van Nuys car accident will have to be investigated fully to determine the cause and time of death. If the time of death proves to be earlier than the impact, then it would appear that the body was probably moved to the scene by someone else, or the man may have been struck and killed by another car that fled the scene after the impact.
This is a sad and complicated possible wrongful death. Investigators will also have to determine if the woman who struck the man had any reasonable opportunity to move out of the way of the body. If she could have moved out of the way, but decided not to because she thought the body was just a pile of clothes, she may face some liability. The fact that the incident happened at night will show that the woman had less time to move out of the way.
Also, sometimes taking evasive maneuvers can be more dangerous than striking something. For example, if there is a squirrel in the road, no matter how much someone loves animals, it would not be ok to swerve into oncoming traffic and cause another collision, to avoid hitting a squirrel. These types of things are subjective and need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, as a person needs to do what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances.