Two people were killed and a child was critically injured (and later died) after the car they were riding in crashed and caught on fire in Pittsburgh’s Chateau neighborhood. The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Saturday near Beaver Avenue and Island Avenue, police said. The car, which was the only vehicle involved, hit a bridge abutment on Beaver Avenue near the intersection of Island Avenue and then caught on fire. Emergency responders had to pull the two adults and a child from the burning vehicle. The adults have been identified as Lynika Barron, 25, and Dominick Hall, 24. Hall and a dog inside the car were pronounced dead at the scene, while Barron was pronounced dead at a local hospital.  Hall and Barron’s son, Kingsley Hall, was taken to the hospital on Saturday in critical condition, but died on Wednesday from his injuries.

Potential wrongful death action.

When an accident victim dies because of another’s actions, their estate, or family can pursue a wrongful death claim against a deceased person’s estate in court. In a single car crash where only one driver is involved, there will need to be a report from a crash specialist regarding a possible reason for the accident.  If mechanical malfunction is a reason, then there may be additional parties to a wrongful death claim.

Insurance laws.

The State of Pennsylvania uses both a “no-fault” system and a 3rd party liability system. Drivers also have the right to circumvent Pennsylvania’s no-fault law and proceed directly against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances that result in serious injury, or death.  “Auto death indemnity” is a no-fault auto insurance coverage that offers a death benefit to drivers, or their passengers in the worst case scenario, and families should speak to a lawyer about this.

Damages.

Compensation for a wrongful death resulting from a car accident is in a family’s reach to assist in the payment of any significant medical expenses, loss of wages, funeral expenses, through the accidental death benefits covered under insurance.  Wrongful death settlements in car accidents are usually paid out by insurance companies who gave liability coverage to the entity, or person who was responsible for the accident, but actions must be initiated within the two year statute of limitations.

Seek legal counsel.

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident in the Pittsburgh area, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Scanlon & Wojton for assistance with a wrongful death claim. They can help navigate a claim with the insurance company, or initiate a legal action when warranted.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219

 

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275

 

Sources:

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.071.002.000..HTM

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/LEGIS/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=42&div=00.&chpt=083.&sctn=001.&subSctn=000.

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