A tragic accident in Bucks County last week took the life of a 16-year-old high school student. The student, a sophomore at Bensalem High School, was struck by an SUV that allegedly failed to stop for her school bus, even though the bus had its stop sign arm deployed and its lights flashing.
The accident happened around 6:30 a.m. as the girl was crossing Bensalem Boulevard. She received emergency medical treatment at the scene and was then transported to a local hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead. The 18-year-old driver of the SUV remained at the accident scene.
When a pedestrian is killed in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, the victim’s immediate family members have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and recover compensation under Pennsylvania law. Even if the family did not depend on the victim financially, they can recover damages for loss of companionship as well the emotional loss they have suffered due to their loved one’s death. Damages can also be awarded for medical expenses, funeral expenses and expenses related to estate administration.
Pennsylvania law requires that drivers stop for a school bus that is displaying its stop sign and flashing lights. Evidence that a driver injured or killed another person while violating a traffic safety law can be used to establish the driver’s negligence and liability for damages. Negligence is a legal term meaning the failure to act with the level of care a reasonable person would use under the same circumstances. Any person who has suffered the death of a loved one due to another person’s negligence may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Bucks girl, 16, killed as SUV passes school bus,” Justine McDaniel, Dec. 17, 2014