Whether they are serious in nature or not, car accidents are disconcerting and scary. Being in a vulnerable situation like an accident can leave anyone shaken because at the time of the accident, there is no way to tell if everything is going to be okay. Especially in accidents where serious bodily injury or death occurs, the level of anxiety associated with these severe accidents is substantial. Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are unfortunately all at risk of being involved in vehicular accidents.
In Pennsylvania, specifically Bucks County, there was a recent deadly car crash involving a teen driver and a teenage pedestrian. According to police reports, the pedestrian, a 16-year-old, was attempting to catch her school bus. A SUV driven by a teen boy did not yield to the school bus signals, passed the school bus and struck the girl, killing her. Authorities believed that if the driver of the SUV had stopped at the school bus signals, then no accident would have occurred. The driver now faces criminal charges.
When death happens as the result of an accident caused by negligence, that accident can be tried in court as either a criminal case or a civil case. In many instances a case will be tried in both types of court. If the police bring criminal charges, then the court will preside over a criminal trial unless there is a plea. In civil cases, the victim has to file the claim in court to commence the case. In negligent driver civil cases, the courts require the plaintiff to demonstrate the defendant's negligence.
Accidents are always extremely difficult matters to handle, especially when a death happens. Knowing and protecting your rights in an auto accident situation is paramount to obtaining compensation for damages.
Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, "Teen faces homicide by vehicle charge for Bucks County bus stop crash," Dan Stamm, Jan. 2, 2015