A Pennsylvania court recently acquitted a man of vehicular homicide after his vehicle struck a sixteen-year-old boy on his bicycle, resulting in the boy’s death. There are always two sides to every story, and prosecutors argued that the man intended to harm the boy as he rode on his bicycle because he and his friends had just vandalized the man’s car. Although the man was acquitted in criminal court, this does not prevent the boy’s family from pursuing a civil suit. When an accident becomes a criminal case, this can often complicate the legal matter. In fact, sometimes insurance policies may exclude “intentional” or “criminal acts.” Moreover, to be convicted, the prosecutor had to prove the man intended to harm the boy or cause the accident beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil lawsuit, only a preponderance of the evidence standard is required to show that the man was at least reckless or negligent. An experienced bicycle accident attorney in Philadelphia would know how to prove the case after a criminal trial, and what insurance may cover such an accident.
Bicyclists are lawfully obligated to obey all of the rules of the road just as a motorist is. However, cyclists can be unpredictable, especially if they are avoiding obstacles in the roadway or simply young and inexperienced. If a motorist is not alert, an accident can happen in a matter of seconds. All of a sudden, automobile insurance companies and doctors are involved. An experienced legal professional who speaks for your best interests can be a great source of comfort in otherwise stressful times.
Losing a loved one to a biking accident can carry a heavy emotional toll. It can also result in large hospital bills and reduced family income if the victim provided financially for his or her family. Faced with grief and financial uncertainty, recovering from a bicycle accident can be a difficult path. A Philadelphia lawyer with expertise in bicycle accidents can help recovering victims and families receive financial compensation in the form of civil penalties, also known as damages. Sometimes the government cannot make its criminal case against a driver whose actions resulted in the death of a bicyclist. In such a case, families have other options in Philadelphia and should seek the advice of an attorney with knowledge of bicycle accident law.