On January 13, a fiery crash involving a car and big rig led to the death of Daniel Murphy of Allentown. It was reported that Mr. Murphy had stopped in the toll lane near Morgan Hill Road when a tractor trailer plowed into his vehicle, pushing both vehicles through the tollbooth and into an embankment, where the vehicles burst into flames. Mr. Murphy's vehicle was stuck under the big rig, and he died at the scene.
The driver of the big rig was transported to the hospital, and was later charged with vehicular homicide and other charges. The driver, Robert Gawne Sr., apparently told police he had been "nodding off" about a half an hour prior to the deadly crash.
The family of the victim has the right to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. Wrongful death cases allow the close family of victims to seek compensation for the loss of a loved one, if the death is the result of an act of negligence. The driver was driving a ShopRite truck. It is reported that this truck operator was not only responsible for the death of an innocent driver, he is a registered sex offender.
In Pennsylvania, the close family has the right to recover damages under the Wrongful Death Act and the Survival Act. The damages that can be recovered include any hospital bills incurred prior to death, and medical, funeral and burial expenses, as well as the costs of estate administration. The family can also be awarded money that fairly and adequately compensates them for the losses they experienced in money that would have been earned had the person lived a normal life span, including the costs of shelter, food, clothing, education, gifts and other money that the decedent could have been expected to provide, including support of the family.
Damages can be sought in an award that reflects the loss of services to children, as a parent, as well as the society and comfort that the person provided to the family. The calculation of lost earning involves a complex formula to determine what he or she would have earned during a normal lifetime. There are also awards for the pain and suffering of the victim prior to death.
Every wrongful death case has a different value. If you lost a loved one through an act of negligence, such as this tragic accident, contact the Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy Jr. for assistance.