Jul 31, 2013 |


Jul 31, 2013 - Wrongful Death

By Jonathan Russell of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Wrongful Death on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

Those Pennsylvanians who live in the Philadelphia area may travel to neighboring states from time to time, and therefore may take interest in a recent story about a bus driver from a nearby state who is now being charged in connection with a baby’s death. The baby died in a fatal accident in which the bus driver struck a streetlight, causing the light to fall; tragically, a stroller with a baby in it was under the light, and the light fell on top of the stroller, killing the child.

Meanwhile, the bus driver proceeded to hit a tree, another light and then a car that was parked. The parked car was pushed in to three other cars. In addition to the child, who later died from her injuries, six other people had to be treated at the hospital. Police believe the driver was using his mobile phone at the time of the accident and have announced that the bus driver will face charges of “reckless driving” and “death by auto”.

In addition to such criminal charges, any driver whose negligence leads to a fatal accident may face a civil suit for wrongful death. If the surviving family members of an accident victim are able to establish that a driver’s negligence caused the death of their loved one, even though the driver certainly didn’t intend to do so, the driver may be ordered to compensate the family for their loss. In a case like this in which a negligent driver is employed and driving in connection with work at the time of the accident, the driver’s employer may also be held financially responsible for the accident.

Although it is certainly a tragic coincidence that a child happened to be left near the street light when the bus driver struck the light, drivers need to remember that not paying attention to the road can have very serious consequences. Victims who have suffered injury or lost loved ones in an accident in which a driver was using a cell phone behind the wheel may wish to consult a legal professional regarding their rights.

Source: ABC 27, “NJ bus driver to face charges in infant’s death,” July 31, 2013

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