We Don't Win, You Don't Pay

Fatal Hit & Run Incident Ruled a Homicide in San Jose

Pedestrian Accident, San Jose, CA

First Homicide of the Year in San Jose after a Pedestrian is Killed in a Hit & Run Incident

San Jose, CA -In the heart of San Jose, a chilling incident unfolded on a seemingly ordinary Wednesday evening. A pedestrian, struck in a hit-and-run collision, became the city’s first homicide victim of 2024. This tragic event not only raises questions about road safety but also about the legal repercussions of such reckless actions.

The Incident

On the evening of January 11, 2024, a grave incident occurred in North San Jose, marking a somber start to the year. At approximately 5:47 p.m., San Jose Police were called to the scene at Descanso Drive and North First Street, an area known for its luxury apartment complexes. There, they discovered a distressing scene: a man had been struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run collision.

The victim, later identified as 25-year-old Erik Duran of San Jose, suffered life-threatening injuries. Despite the immediate and urgent efforts of the responding officers, Duran’s injuries proved fatal, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. This tragic event not only shook the community but also raised immediate concerns about pedestrian safety and driver responsibility in urban areas.

Preliminary investigations by the San Jose Police Department suggested that the collision was an intentional act by the driver, who fled the scene before authorities arrived. This critical detail shifted the nature of the case, classifying it as the city’s first homicide of 2024. The suspect and the vehicle remain unidentified, and the police continue to seek information from the public to aid in their ongoing investigation.

Legal Implications 

The tragic hit-and-run in San Jose transcends a mere traffic incident, entering the realm of criminal homicide. This classification significantly alters the legal landscape, introducing severe consequences for the perpetrator once apprehended. In California, a hit-and-run involving a fatality can lead to charges of vehicular manslaughter or even second-degree murder, especially when intentional harm is evident. The perpetrator, upon conviction, faces substantial prison time, reflecting the seriousness of the crime.

Statistically, hit-and-run accidents are alarmingly common, yet often underreported. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred annually over the last decade in the United States. In California alone, these incidents have been on a steady rise, with the state recording one of the highest rates of hit-and-run fatalities in the country. This disturbing trend underscores the need for more stringent enforcement and public awareness campaigns to deter such reckless behavior.

The legal implications extend beyond criminal charges. For the victim’s family, civil litigation offers a pathway to seek justice and compensation. In wrongful death cases, families can pursue damages for loss of companionship, emotional distress, and financial support, especially if the deceased was a primary breadwinner. The complexity of these cases necessitates skilled legal representation to navigate the intricate interplay of criminal and civil law, ensuring that the victim’s rights and the family’s needs are adequately addressed.

In the wake of such a devastating incident, the importance of experienced legal representation cannot be overstated. For those affected by the San Jose hit-and-run, or similar tragedies, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney becomes an invaluable ally. In cases of wrongful death, like this tragic event, a skilled wrongful death lawyer can navigate the complexities of both criminal and civil aspects, ensuring that justice is served and the victim’s family receives the compensation they deserve.

The role of a personal injury attorney in these situations is multifaceted. They provide not only legal expertise but also emotional support during a time of overwhelming grief and confusion. An attorney can handle the intricate details of the case, from investigating the incident to negotiating with insurance companies, allowing the family to focus on healing. Moreover, a lawyer’s involvement often leads to more substantial settlements, addressing the financial impact of the loss.

At Scranton Law Firm, we combine empathy with over 50 years of legal expertise, having recovered over $1 billion for our clients. Our commitment to our clients goes beyond the courtroom; we strive to provide support and guidance every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been affected by a hit-and-run or any personal injury incident, do not hesitate to reach out. Our experienced team is ready to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.


1. What legal actions can be taken in a hit-and-run case like the San Jose incident?
In such cases, criminal charges can range from vehicular manslaughter to second-degree murder, especially if intentional harm is involved. Additionally, the victim’s family can pursue a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, seeking compensation for emotional and financial losses.

2. How common are hit-and-run accidents, and what are the consequences?
Hit-and-run accidents are alarmingly frequent, with an average of 682,000 incidents annually in the U.S. The consequences for perpetrators can include severe criminal charges, and for victims, significant physical, emotional, and financial distress.

3. What compensation can families seek in wrongful death cases?
Families can seek damages for loss of companionship, emotional distress, and financial support, particularly if the deceased was a primary provider. This compensation helps address the profound impact of their loss.

4. Why is legal representation crucial in hit-and-run cases?
Experienced legal representation is vital for navigating the complexities of criminal and civil law, ensuring justice for the victim, and securing appropriate compensation for the family. Lawyers also provide essential emotional support and handle legal proceedings, allowing families to focus on healing.

5. How does Scranton Law Firm support victims of personal injury incidents?
Scranton Law Firm offers over 50 years of legal expertise, with a track record of recovering over $1 billion for clients. We provide empathetic, comprehensive legal support, ensuring our clients’ rights are protected and their needs are met throughout the legal process.


Free Case Review

Visit Our Main Office

Don’t navigate the aftermath of a pedestrian accident alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a San Jose pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.