Motor vehicle crashes are an unfortunate daily reality for drivers and passengers. Sometimes, an auto accident occurs due to unforeseen circumstances like inclement weather or vehicle malfunction. In Pennsylvania, police typically investigate to determine exactly what occurred, and if someone was hurt or killed, legal recourse may be available.
Recently, a Pennsylvania man was charged with serious crimes stemming from an accident that police say he caused. The man, who is now 22, was under 21 at the time of the crash. According to court findings, the man was driving under the influence of alcohol and driving unsafely when he wrecked, killing his friend in the passenger seat.
On the criminal side, the driver pleaded guilty to driving under the influence as a minor and vehicular homicide. He was given a sentence that included jail time and years of probation. The sentence reflects the fact that he was doing almost 100 mph in a 45 mph zone before he lost control of th vehicle and killed his friend.
In a case like this, the victim’s family might also consider filing a civil suit on behalf of the deceased victim. Upon appropriate proof of driver negligence, a court may award a monetary judgment to the estate of the deceased. Any financial award may help a family pay for things like funeral expenses and medical bills that resulted from a fatal auto accident, among other documented damages. Obviously no amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, but it is a measure that can help a family move forward after such a devastating loss.