A mid-morning crash on Route 8 at the intersection of Sandy Hill and Cunningham roads left one person dead last Wednesday. Northern Regional Police Department Chief John Sicilia said emergency crews got a call around 9:30 a.m. that a black Mercury traveling north on Route 8 collided head-on with a roll-off Penn Waste truck. “The truck was going south,” Sicilia said. “It was actually stopped at the stoplight.” The Mercury crossed the center line for some unknown reason and hit the truck in the southbound lane just outside the Harvest Valley Farms store. According to Sicilia, early reports from witnesses said the operator of the Mercury, a man, had been driving erratically before the crash. The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was identified by the medical examiner as Michael Petro.
Potential wrongful death action.
When an accident victim is injured, or dies because of another’s actions, they, or their estate and family can pursue a wrongful death claim against another driver in court. Monetary awards in Pennsylvania have no cap on most damages, but there is a cap of $500,000 against local government claims such as one that may be made against a municipal waste management truck. The State of Pennsylvania uses both a “no-fault” system and a 3rd party liability system. Drivers also have the right to circumvent Pennsylvania’s no-fault law and proceed directly against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances that result in serious injury.
In Pennsylvania, an accident report must be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Safety within five days from the mishap if collisions result in death, injury, or significant property damage. An auto accident attorney can explain Pennsylvania’s “modified comparative negligence” rule, where an individual can still recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but the amount of compensation will be reduced by an amount that is equal to their percentage of fault, but a plaintiff can only seek damages from the defendant if they are less than 51 percent at fault.
Compensation for a wrongful death, or injuries resulting from a car accident is in a family, or injured party’s reach to assist in the payment of any significant medical expenses, loss of wages, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering, but actions must be initiated within the two year statute of limitations.
Seek legal counsel.
If you have lost a loved one in a municipal truck accident in the Pittsburgh area, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Scanlon & Wojton for assistance with a wrongful death claim. They can help navigate a claim with the insurance company of the at fault driver, or initiate a legal case when warranted.
Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241
Fax: (412) 235-7275