A man who already used a wheelchair to get around will now need skilled nursing care for the rest of his life after he was struck by a car last month. The driver who hit him, a 53-year-old man from Rostraver, Pennsylvania, is set to go to trial for the Nov. 6 car accident.

According to police reports, the 74-year-old victim, who owns a gun shop in the small southwestern Pennsylvania town, had just left his store and was heading home when the accident happened. Moments later, his wife, who had been locking up the shop, found him lying in his driveway. He’d been run down by a car and suffered a broken pelvis, broken ribs and internal bleeding. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The driver, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found. Police say he left the scene after the crash, but a witness to the accident followed his truck to the driver’s home. Police allege that the driver admitted to leaving after the crash because he thought he’d hit a deer, rather than a person. He also admitted to having consumed alcohol before driving.

The victim was already in a wheelchair due to a series of strokes several years ago that paralyzed his left side. Despite his previous disability, he showed up to work every day and is well-known in his community. It may be too early to say whether he can continue being involved in the business, but even if so, he’ll need a considerable amount of medical care. This care isn’t likely to come cheap, especially when added to the medical bills incurred from the accident.

Regardless of what happens in the driver’s criminal trial, the victim and his wife have the option of filing a personal injury suit against him that could cover the cost of his hospital bills and continuing care. After everything he’s been through, the injured man deserves that compensation and the chance to recover to the greatest extent possible.

Source: The Tribune-Democrat, “Pennsylvania man to trial for wheelchair hit-and-run crash,” Dec. 18, 2012

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