People often find it difficult to cope with an unexpected, preventable death. In the aftermath of many fatal car accidents, for example, many are left wondering what caused such a tragedy and what could have prevented it. Unfortunately, the unexpected death of a judge in California have left many in mourning.

Many of the details of the accident that allegedly caused his death are unclear at this time. However, police reports indicate that the 64-year-old judge, who was also a professor and former adviser to two chairmen of the Federal Communication Commission, was attempting to cross the street near his California home one evening in mid-February. As he crossed, he was allegedly struck by a car driven by a 38-year-old man.

Although he was transported to a nearby hospital, the judge passed away from the injuries he suffered in the collision. Reports indicate that the driver of the car stayed at the scene of the accident and answered questions. It is unclear if criminal charges are expected to be filed; however, the accident remains under investigation.

While the emotional ramifications of an unexpected loss such as this are fairly clear, many people may be unaware of the financial ramifications that a victim’s loved ones may experience as a result of a fatal accident. Families who lose a family member in such a manner are often left struggling as a result of medical bills, funeral expenses and lost wages. Fortunately, victims of car accidents — including surviving family members in the event of a fatality — have legal options, including seeking recompense in civil court. If negligence is proven, the court could require a driver to pay damages to cover the costs stemming from an accident.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Superior Court Judge Killed While Crossing Street“, Feb. 17, 2016