A case that is set to begin any day in the PA criminal courts has made its way to civil suit after a man was killed in a truck-on-truck accident on Pennsylvania’s Route 82. The man, his passenger and several related companies were named in the suit that alleges they were negligent in the death of the plaintiff’s husband. The criminal investigation has already released details that are helpful to proving the woman’s case. The tractor-trailer the deceased was driving was a work-vehicle, as was the truck driven by the defendant.
According to authorities the plaintiff’s husband was driving the tractor-trailer west on Route 82, and had the right of way, when the defendant, driving north on Warner Road failed to yield to the tractor-trailer. This caused a collision that sent the tractor-trailer into the ditch where the plaintiff’s husband sustained life-ending injuries. The passenger of the truck that failed to yield has been accused as negligent because the suit alleges that the driver was “distracted, that his driving was impaired and that the driver posed a threat to the motoring public.” The suit seeks a minimum of $25,000 in damages in addition to punitive damages.
In addition to the civil suit, vehicular homicide charges have been filed against the driver of the truck that allegedly failed to yield. Criminal cases conduct thorough investigations into the details of truck accidents and the evidence can often be utilized in civil court. Not all wrongful death suits are filed in accordance with criminal cases. There are many wrongful death suits brought by defendants in which no alleged or actual crime has been committed.
However, since there is a lower threshold of proof in civil court to prove negligence, it may be in a family’s best interest to explore how a favorable wrongful death decision could affect the family. The sudden death of a loved one is tragic and abrupt. It can leave families devastated emotionally and financially. Many families will turn to wrongful death suits in cases where negligence is suspected in a loved one’s workplace death.
Source: vindy.com, “Estate sues Pennsylvania man going to trial next week on vehicular homicide charge,” Ed Runyan, Nov. 14, 2016