Despite all of the advances that have been made with respect to motor vehicle safety, car accident fatalities remain all too common. When someone other than the negligent driver passes away, the responsible driver may be held legally accountable for deaths that resulted from his recklessness or negligence. This criminal charge associated with such cases is called vehicular homicide in Philadelphia.
Vehicular Homicide and Wrongful Death
Vehicular homicide is usually classified as negligent or grossly negligent operation of an automobile that results in another person’s death. This means that the families of the occupants of both vehicles involved in an accident may have vehicular homicide claims against the driver who caused the accident. When someone is grossly negligent, it means he engaged in behavior that is seen as so careless and so reckless, that it went beyond mere negligence. Mere negligence is what causes most of the car accidents the average person will encounter.
Grossly Negligent operation of an automobile might include:
These are all negligent actions and, in the absence of these conditions the accident likely would not have occurred, but depending on the circumstances they can be also considered grossly negligent, and rise to the level of a criminal vehicular homicide cases. When someone is killed in a car accident, our wrongful death attorneys in Philadelphia often try such accidents as wrongful death cases in civil courts.
Pursuing a Civil Vehicular Homicide Case in Philadelphia
Although vehicular homicide is a criminal charge, it may also be appropriate to consider filing a civil lawsuit under the principles of civil case law in Philadelphia. A successful legal action can gain the financial compensation that you need to address end-of-life medical care, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and other damages. If you lost someone you love in a car accident and the other driver was responsible, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal rights and options.