Deadly Philadelphia Bicycle Accident on Kelly Drive

Philadelphia is a city constantly on the move.  Cars, Trucks, SUVs and Bicyclists often have to share the lanes.

In a study released by 24/7 Wall St., they ranked Philadelphia in the top ten for most dangerous cities for biking.  In 2018, four bicyclists were killed along city streets.  Flash forward to 2019 and the number dropped to two fatalities over the year.

Halfway through 2020, the city has already matched last year’s total after another recent tragedy.

Teen Killed in Philadelphia Bicycle Collision

Investigators were on the scene of a deadly bicycle accident on Kelly Drive Tuesday night July 8, 2020. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, a white Acura struck the 18-yr-old victim. The victim was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the Acura stayed on the scene.  Investigators did not immediately charge the driver. Based on existing news reports at the time of this article, many details of the crash are unknown.

It’s the second fatal accident involving a Philadelphia bicyclist in less than a month’s time.  In June, another teen rider, a 17-year-old boy, was struck and killed in the city’s Roxborough neighborhood.

Wrongful Death Actions and Bicycle Accidents

As a family deals with their grief in the aftermath of a devastating accident, they may also wish to hold the at-fault driver responsible for his or her actions on behalf of the deceased. Family members of the victim can file a wrongful death case against the driver. To recover damages, the family member must show that the driver was negligent in his or her conduct, causing the death of the cyclist.

Contact a Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The sudden death of a family member from unanticipated causes is traumatic and devastating. Families are usually overwhelmed with the grief and hundreds of matters that need attention. However, it’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney after any bicycle accident involving a serious injury or a fatality. While not all motorists are responsible for all bike accidents, cyclists are often blamed for accidents and told by insurers that they were at fault, even if a driver was responsible or partially responsible.

Nearly all injury lawyers in Philadelphia offer free consultations. A good, local injury lawyer will listen to you and what happened and explain all of your legal options to you as well.

After any accident involving a serious injury or death, contact an injury lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle.


Amazon Prime Truck Accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike

Amazon delivery vehicles have been seen more and more on our streets and highways over the last few years, and as of 2020, more people than ever are ordering things online due to COVID19. Operators of Amazon Prime delivery vans and tractor-trailers are working to get everyone their packages as quickly as possible.

A Buzzfeed News article claims overworked contractors have brought death and carnage to America’s streets and at least one tractor-trailer driver has filed a lawsuit, claiming he was required to operate a tractor-trailer without his federally mandated breaks.

With daily deadlines and ever-increasing numbers of Prime packages, accidents are going to occur. In 2020, a Prime truck crashed in North Carolina, one crashed in Texas, two Prime trucks collided in Chicago, and we recently had a horrific crash here in New Jersey on the Turnpike.

Accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike

Given the high number of vehicles and their speeds on the 148 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike, crashes involving large trucks and tractor-trailers aren’t unusual. It’s the magnitude of a few of the impacts that are devastating.

According to video on 6abc.com, New Jersey State Police said an Amazon Prime truck was traveling at a high rate of speed when it rear-ended a Toyota Camry in June 2020. The impact was so severe that a crane had to be called to the scene to lift the truck from the car. Tragically, a 1-year-old boy was killed, a 3-year-old boy in the car suffered serious injuries, and two adult women suffered injuries as well. Nearly all rear-end collisions involving tractor-trailers occur due to a driver’s negligence. A driver who is intoxicated, distracted, or negligently following a vehicle at an unsafe distance can cause a horrific crash like this one.

Most truckers, including Amazon truckers, are held to a  higher standard than regular motorists. In fact, if there are hazardous conditions, truckers are to use “extreme caution” and be much more mindful of potential hazards than normal drivers due to the extremely heavy pieces of equipment they’re operating.

While rear-end collisions are probably the most common on the Turnpike, other types of collisions which could occur with Amazon trucks include jackknifing, rollovers and unsafe lane changes or blind spot accidents

Speak to an Experienced Attorney after any Amazon Truck Crash.

Many truck accidents involve a wreck which was clearly the trucker’s fault. However, trucking companies have sophisticated insurance carriers and experienced truck accident lawyers working on their side. Their primary goal is to delay, minimize, or deny any claims against them, especially if there is a serious injury or a wrongful death claim.

Always speak to a seasoned attorney after any crash involving a UPS, FedEx, USPS, Amazon, or any other type of delivery truck.

Attorney Edith Pearce represents clients involved in tractor-trailer accidents in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with any type of tractor-trailer in either state, contact her today for a free, confidential consultation. We will provide compassionate and personal attention to you and your family.


What if I’m Hit and Injured by a Carjacker in Philadelphia?

Motor vehicle crashes with injuries happen every day in and around Philadelphia, Sometimes, those crashes involve vehicles that have been stolen or carjacked.

That’s what happened to a woman on 17th Street in April 2020. A 23-year-old woman who was driving on 17th Street witnessed a crash behind her in her rearview mirror. A man fled that crash and jumped into the back seat of her car. She was then pushed out of her vehicle, and the man drove off. After the man fled the area, he struck a 20-year-old female pedestrian who suffered severe injuries. He then crashed the vehicle in a vacant lot and ran off. His identity remains unknown.

The Insurance Issue

When a driver is operating a stolen or carjacked vehicle, the driver obviously isn’t an insured person. That might leave the pedestrian victim without any legal recourse for the damages that she suffered. If the victim or a family member who she lives with had uninsured motorist coverage at the time that she was hit, she might still be able to obtain compensation for her injuries and damages.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

The general rule is that Pennsylvania requires anybody behind the wheel of a motor vehicle to be covered by liability insurance in certain minimum amounts. Uninsured motorist coverage is also available, but it’s not mandatory like liability insurance. People who are otherwise insured must ask for it and pay a separate premium for it. Uninsured motorist insurance generally covers you or any member of your household who is a blood relative in the event that one of you are injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by an uninsured driver. In most cases, it even provides coverage for injuries suffered by a victim of a hit-and-run. Most policies even cover injuries when the victim was a bicyclist or pedestrian.

Making the Claim

An uninsured motorist claim is made with the insured person’s own insurer. Don’t expect to be treated fairly, no matter how long you’ve been loyally paying premiums to your insurance company. In its efforts to minimize what it will pay. it will do whatever it can to try and push some or all of the fault for the accident over onto you. You’ll quickly find out that you’re far from being in good hands or with a good neighbor. Your own insurance company will want to keep the premiums that you’ve paid over the years and not pay you a penny. That’s when you’ll realize that you should have retained a quality and effective Philadelphia car accident attorney from the start.

Contact a Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer.

There are many defenses that your insurer might confront you with in an uninsured motorist claim. Your best interests will be served by retaining an experienced and aggressive Philadelphia car accident attorney from the onset. After being injured or losing a loved one in an accident that was caused by the driver of a stolen or carjacked vehicle, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.


U-Turns and Motorcycle Accidents in Philadelphia

Aside from putting a vehicle in reverse and backing it up, a U-turn is one of the most dangerous maneuvers that a driver can execute.  A negligently performed U-turn in Philadelphia traffic can cause accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, cars, busses and trucks. Any legal U-turn that a driver makes must be carefully carried out in the right way. If an accident occurs in the course of a driver making a U-turn, it’s likely that the U-turning driver will be held liable for injuries and damages resulting from the accident.

Common Causes of U-Turn Accidents

Even when a driver is at a location where a U-turn is permitted, that driver must use due care and caution for others who are on or about the roadway. Here are some common causes of U-turn accidents:

  • U-Turns from Improper Locations: Examples of this are trying to make a U-turn from the right lane on a four-land roadway, where signs prohibiting U-turns are posted or even attempting to make a U-turn from a parking space on a street.
  • Failure to Keep a Proper Lookout and Yield: This often occurs when a driver makes a snap decision to make a U-turn without first carefully checking whether it can be done safely.
  • Disobeying a Traffic Control Device: A U-turning driver might disregard a traffic signal and cause an accident.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: Fog, rain, sleet or snow can impair a driver’s visibility when making a U-turn. Even glare from the sun toward the end of an otherwise beautiful day can turn a U-turn accident tragedy.
  • Distracted Driving: A driver of a U-turning vehicle might be talking on a cell phone, texting or be otherwise distracted and not be aware of traffic on the roadway.

A Recent Philadelphia Fatal U-Turn Accident

Motorcycles present low and narrow profiles in traffic, and some drivers just don’t see them until it’s too late. In May 2020, a driver of a car attempted a U-turn before sunset at the intersection of Broad and Dauphin in North Philadelphia. A southbound motorcyclist hit the back of the car. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Drivers who choose to make a U-turn must use a high degree of care and caution. They must signal their intentions and properly estimate the time and space that’s required to make the turn so as not to interfere with anybody else on the roadway. If you were injured, or a family member was killed in an accident with a U-turning driver, don’t give any type of a written or recorded statement to the opposing insurance company. It will only be used against you sometime in the future. Pennsylvania law doesn’t require you to give such a statement anyway.  Instead, contact our offices as soon as possible to speak confidentially with an experienced and skilled Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you understand the damages that you’re confronted with. Once we’re retained to represent you, our goal will be to maximize any settlement or award that you might receive.


Fatal Hit-and-Run Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims in Philadelphia

The driver of a vehicle that caused injury or death in an accident is required to stop at the scene or as close as possible to it and provide appropriate information and aid in accordance with section 3744 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code. Failure to stop constitutes a hit-and-run which is a criminal offense. It becomes a felony offense when a death is involved.

Fatal Hit-and-Run Criminal Penalty

If a person is killed in a hit-and-run crash anywhere in Pennsylvania, the driver who caused the hit-and-run death can be convicted of a Class 2 felony. That crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 3 and up to 10 years in prison and a fine of between $2,500 and $25,000.

Civil Hit-and-Run Wrongful Death Cases

According to Title 42 section 8301 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, a wrongful death is caused “by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful act or negligence of another.” Wrongful death cases are civil cases that can be brought at the same time that a criminal prosecution is pending against the person who caused an accident. Pennsylvania wrongful death cases are filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of the beneficiaries of the person who died as a result of a wrongful act or failure to act. These cases seek monetary compensation for the damages that the beneficiaries suffered as a result of a wrongful death.

A Philadelphia Uninsured Motorist Death

A recent Philadelphia crash resulted in a fire and the death a truck driver when the driver of a car backed up into the truck on a Schuykill Expressway ramp. The driver and his two passengers ran from the scene. They were later found at a local hospital. The 19-yeear-old driver car has been charged with vehicular homicide and having no insurance.

The Burden of Proof

The reason why a civil uninsured motorist insurance case can be brought at the same time as a criminal prosecution is because of the two different burdens of proof in the types of cases. The burden of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case the burden is lower. It’s a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the claimant’s version of events is more likely true than not true. It’s lower burden.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

The general rule in Pennsylvania is that uninsured motorist insurance will cover you or anybody who is a resident of your household who is a blood relative or spouse for injuries or death caused by an uninsured driver. Nearly all uninsured motorist policies define a hit-and-run driver as an uninsured motorist. What comes to issue is that uninsured motorist insurance in Pennsylvania is optional. It must be purchased separately from liability insurance. Given the high percentage of uninsured drivers, if you don’t have uninsured motorist insurance, you should cover yourself and your family members with it. In the event of a wrongful death that was caused by a hit-and-run driver, here are the damages that the decedent’s estate can seek:

  • The decedent’s hospital and medical bills.
  • The costs of administrating the decedent’s estate.
  • The decedent’s lost earnings and benefits. These include the sums that the decedent reasonably would have earned to support of his or her family had he or she lived.
  • Compensation for the value of the household services provided by the decedent, the physical and moral guidance and emotional support provided by him or her.
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering that the decedent endured before his or her death.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.

Contact a Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

When bringing an uninsured motorist claim involving a wrongful death, you’re proceeding against either the decedent’s insurer or your own insurer. There are many defenses to these claims, so don’t expect to be treated fairly. That insurer wants to keep all of that premium money that it has been paid through the years. You’ll be in need of an experienced and aggressive Philadelphia car accident lawyer from the onset.

After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.