Authorities in western Pennsylvania say a man is facing vehicular homicide and other charges in a head-on hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist near Pittsburgh over the weekend.  Allegheny County police say officers in the borough of Bell Acres were dispatched just before 12:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of a collision involving a pickup truck and a cyclist. Paramedics found the severely injured bicyclist identified as Curtis Brown of Pittsburgh, and he was flown to a trauma unit, but pronounced dead shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday. Police said an erratic driver had been reported minutes earlier and a Leet Township officer spotted a suspected vehicle, which was stopped and the driver arrested. Justin Michael Miller, 33, faces charges including vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, aggravated assault, possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia, fleeing and eluding and driving under suspension.

Criminal and civil cases.

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in the State of Pennsylvania and if injuries, damages, or wrongful death occurred as a result, an experienced personal injury attorney can help with a claim for compensation and a wrongful death action. When accidents involving criminal charges occur, responsibility in a personal injury case may be influenced by the negligence proven in the criminal action where the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the resulting  injuries and damages. Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301  defines a wrongful death as one that is “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” A wrongful death claim may be filed even if a criminal case has already been filed in the state, based on the circumstances surrounding the same death.

Damages.

When negligence can be proven, compensation for any loss sustained as a result of a vehicle accident may be possible in the State of Pennsylvania.  Call an accident attorney who can help support negligence by assigning  “fault” in a legal proceeding that addresses property damage, physical injuries, and wrongful death.  Damages that may be recovered include:

  • Medical bills
  • Current and future compensation losses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of care, companionship
  • Estate administration expenses
  • Funeral expenses if a wrongful death occurs

Insurance.

Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault system, a driver may turn to his or her own insurance company for compensation for injuries up to the personal injury protection, or “PIP”  limit, regardless of fault. Drivers also have the right to circumvent Pennsylvania’s no-fault law and proceed directly against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances, including wrongful death claims.

Seek legal counsel.

Vehicle accidents are complex and often require involved research, so it is wise to contact an experienced attorney at Scanlon & Wojton, LLC, who can exercise their best legal practices to ensure a positive result.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219

 

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275

 

Sources:

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.071.002.000..HTM

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=42&div=0&chpt=83&sctn=1&subsctn=0

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