Southern Pennsylvania is known for its peaceful countryside, among other things. However, police report that the peacefulness was interrupted on April 29 as a result of a single-car accident. While initial details are scarce, one person was killed and may have been the victim of a wrongful death.
The accident happened in Perkiomen Creek. According to reports, a car was found around 11 a.m. It had turned upside down and landed in the West Branch of the creek. One person in the car was pronounced dead at the scene. Another person was injured and taken to a local hospital.
Police are continuing to investigate the cause of this tragic Pennsylvania car accident, and it was not immediately clear if the deceased victim was the driver or passenger. Wrongful death is a legal term that applies when a fatality occurs due to the negligent or intentional act of another. Certainly if the passenger was the one killed, a wrongful death issue may exist concerning any alleged negligent actions of the driver in causing the accident. But if the driver was the one killed, wrongful death would only apply if evidence indicated that a party other than the driver acted negligently in a manner that caused or contributed to the car crash.
In many cases of a fatal car accident, the driver who is found to be at fault faces civil claims for the wrongful death of a victim. A successful claim can include payments to surviving family members for such damages as lost wages, lost consortium and medical costs. Though officials are unsure as to the exact cause of this accident, it may be the case that the actions of the driver caused the death of a passenger, and the official accident report will likely be an important document to review.
When a surviving family finds that they have suffered the consequences from the wrongful death of a loved one, they are faced with challenges that are both economic and emotional. It is important that these families know that there are ways to ease the economic difficulties so they can focus more wholly on helping each other through such a difficult time.
Source: ABC27 WHTM, "1 dead, 1 injured when car crashes into Pa. creek," April 30, 2012