One woman was killed and three other people were injured recently after they were struck by a car. Police say that the out-of-state woman was outside of her car on Interstate 78 when she was hit; the incident occurred on a Friday in late December in Lehigh Valley. When Pennsylvania residents are killed in car accidents that were the result of another individual’s negligence, their loved ones are typically entitled to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties, depending on the degree of liability of each party.
The accident occurred in Lower Macungie Township around 8:45 p.m. A 29-year-old woman was driving a car in the eastbound lane of Interstate 78. While attempting to merge left, her vehicle collided with the road’s concrete center median, police say. The car came to a stop in the highway’s left lane, and the woman and a 33-year-old male passenger exited the vehicle. Two Easton residents in an SUV reportedly stopped to help them, pulling their SUV onto the right shoulder.
According to the police report, another SUV being driven by a 71-year-old Saylorsburg man collided with the woman and her car. This SUV then crossed lanes, hit a guard rail, the SUV parked on the shoulder and that SUV’s occupants. All of the victims were rushed to a local hospital, and three were later discharged; reports did not list the 71-year-old individual as a patient. The 29-year-old woman suffered what was determined to be fatal blunt force injuries as a result of the crash, the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office says. At 2:40 a.m., she was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Based upon the preliminary evidence, it is possible that the loved ones of the woman who was killed might have grounds to proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit for financial relief against the SUV driver. However, investigations of car accidents such as this one often reveal fault by more than one party. Under Pennsylvania law, the legal issue of modified comparative negligence will have to be addressed. The percentage of the deceased woman’s fault will be determined, and the monetary award will be reduced accordingly. If her portion of the legal blame exceeds 50 percent, her loved ones will not be able to collect any compensation from the other party at fault.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, “3 others hurt in I-78 crash that killed N.J. woman, Pa. state police say“, Steve Novak, Dec. 26, 2015