One negligent act is enough for a Pennsylvania driver to be held accountable for harming or killing another person in a motor vehicle accident. Evidence of multiple negligent behaviors increases the harshness of criminal charges and civil damages in personal injury and
wrongful death claims
Lehigh Valley authorities reported a woman driver was drunk, texting and on the way to a marijuana supplier when she struck two pedestrians. Montgomery County police said the woman left the scene of the car crash on Route 309.
The two victims had been walking alongside the road. One teenager suffered a broken elbow. The impact sent another teen airborne. The 15-year-old boy was catastrophically hurt. The pedestrian died shortly after hospitalization.
The accused hit-and-run driver returned to the crash site about an hour after the collision. The woman told police she might have struck "something." Investigators suspected intoxication.
A vehicle search uncovered marijuana within a pack of cigarettes. A hospital test revealed the driver's blood alcohol content exceeded 0.16, more than double the BAC limit allowed by state law.
Police said they later learned the driver had been at a bar for several hours prior to the fatality. Investigators said time-stamped cell phone messages to a drug dealer showed the woman was texting and driving when the pedestrian accident occurred.
Criminal charges were severe. DUI vehicular homicide, accident involving death, DUI aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and drug possession were among them. A $100,000 cash bail was set.
Authorities are certain evidence of criminal wrongdoing and negligence is plentiful in this case. Proof would benefit the victims' families in liability claims. Civil juries must believe negligence is unmistakable before agreeing to compensate plaintiffs for economic and emotional losses.
Settlements and damages awards are often much higher in accident liability cases where defendants' actions are reckless or intentional. An attorney advises injured and grieving plaintiffs on the proper course of legal action.
Source: philadelphia.cbslocal.com, "
Driver Charged With DUI In Fatal Hit-Run Of Teen In Hatfield Township
" No Author Given, May. 24, 2013