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Wrongful death claim could follow criminal trial

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

One Pennsylvania family may be feeling a sense of relief following news that the driver who struck and killed a little girl will stand trial in the matter. The incident took place the night before Thanksgiving 2012 in suburban portion of Philadelphia. A Bucks County judge recently ordered that the case against the driver be moved to county court. It is possible that a wrongful death claim could follow the criminal trial.

The 38-year-old man was driving a modified vehicle on the night of the crash. Evidence shows that he was travelling at a high rate of speed when he collided with an SUV carrying the fourth-grader and her grandmother. The grandmother was also severely injured in the crash, but was able to survive those injuries.

The driver was charged with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault and murder in the third degree. It is estimated that he was travelling between 142 and 154 miles per hour when the crash took place. His defense attorney has released a statement that claims that while the man's actions may have been reckless and juvenile, they were not done with a hard heart.

To a family who is still grieving the loss of a young child, there is likely no excuse for making the choice to drive at that level of speed. Although the driver may be remorseful, it was his actions that led to the violent death of a little girl. The outcome of the Pennsylvania criminal trial may bring some degree of closure to the family. However, they also have the option of pursuing a wrongful death claim as an additional measure of justice in the matter.

Source: abc27.com, "Trial ordered in Pa. crash that killed girl, 9," Feb. 6, 2013

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