An Allegheny County judge recently sentenced a Pennsylvania driver to a prison term of one to two years for his role in a fatal motorcycle accident.
The 33-year-old driver was in a pickup when he struck a 69-year-old motorcyclist head-on. Instead of stopping to help, the man fled the scene. Unfortunately, the motorcyclist did not survive.
As readers may know, a motor vehicle accident caused by reckless or negligent driving may expose a driver to both civil and criminal liability. In this case, it appears that distraction may have contributed to the accident, as the man was not sentenced for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Nevertheless, the man’s hit-and-run behavior certainly didn’t garner him much sympathy with prosecutors. They charged him with homicide by vehicle and other criminal counts. The man pleaded guilty to the charges, and his prison sentence represents the mandatory term for those charges.
A personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents knows the catastrophic injuries that often factor into such tragedies. When a motor vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the force of impact from the larger vehicle often inflicts life-threatening or even fatal injuries on a motorcyclist. Such an accident can change a motorcyclist’s life forever, possibly due to a head or spinal cord injury. Even if a cyclists is able to return to work, it is likely that his or her recuperation will be extensive. For that reason, a crash victim should consult with a personal injury attorney to pursue recovery options against the negligent driver in a civil lawsuit.
Source: ABC 27, “Man gets 1 to 2 years in fatal western Pa. crash,” June 6, 2014