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Driver remorse doesn't remove pain of accident victims' families

Many times when people think of personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, they imagine money-hungry plaintiffs who are simply out to profit from another person involved in an accident. But as anyone who's been involved in a serious accident knows, medical costs can add up quickly, as can funeral and burial costs in the event someone has died. Factor in lost wages and very real pain and suffering, and it becomes clear that these cases have much more to do with emotional and financial recovery than revenge or greed.

The fact that the person who caused a crash may be remorseful doesn't change the need for victims or their families to pursue monetary compensation. Consider the case of a cab driver who caused a horrific motorcycle accident two years ago near East Petersburg, Pennsylvania. The 66-year-old driver crashed into a group of motorcyclists on June 27, 2010, killing five people and injuring a sixth.

The crash happened after the cab driver suffered a diabetes complication from skipping lunch. Despite knowing he had to eat regular meals to avoid a negative reaction, he failed to do so, which led to his erratic driving. He acknowledged as much when he pleaded guilty to the charges filed against him, and last week he was sentenced to one to five years in a state prison, followed by two years of probation. He must also pay more than $250,000 in restitution.

The man expressed his profound remorse during his sentencing hearing, saying he thinks about the accident every day. Even the judge said the case was difficult because the man clearly struggled over the loss. But the victims' families struggled even more, and despite the cab driver's requests for forgiveness, many of the family members -- as well as the sole surviving victim of the crash -- said they weren't ready for that step.

In addition to the cab driver's criminal sentence, he may find himself the defendant of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if the victims' families choose to file one. No matter how sorry the person who caused an accident may be, victims and their loved ones still have the right to recover from their losses, both monetary and emotional.

Source: Lancaster Online, "Former cabbie gets jail for fatal crash," Brett Hambright, Oct. 10, 2012

· Our firm handles cases similar to the one described in this post. To learn more about our practice, visit our Harrisburg motorcycle accident page.

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