Though we have talked extensively about the importance of paying attention to the road, today's story shows just how dangerous distracted driving can be. This past May, a 24-year-old was driving in East Norriton when he said his daughter dropped her bottle. Instead of waiting until he was home to get the bottle or pulling over and searching for the bottle, the father took his eyes off the road in an effort to get the bottle. Unfortunately, that mistake cost a man his life.
While he was looking for the bottle, the man, who was driving on a suspended license, swerved to the right. He then struck a pedestrian who was walking on the side of the road. According to a witness, the man who was hit was a good distance from the car prior to the pedestrian accident.
It is obvious that this young driver did not mean to kill a pedestrian or cause an accident, but intent is not important when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The pedestrian's family members need only show that the driver was negligent to seek compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.
The family can still file a wrongful death lawsuit even though the young man has been criminally prosecuted. Though he will spend six to 23 months in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, this family will never again see their relative.
Fortunately, the 24-year-old has owned up to his actions, admitting in court that he caused the accident, even before the prosecutor offered him a deal.
Source: The Mercury News, "Collegeville man jailed for driving without a license before fatal pedestrian accident," Dan Clark, Feb. 11, 2014