Pennsylvania Superior Court Upholds $3M Judgment in Fatal Motorcycle Accident Case
In a personal injury case, there are lots of pieces that go into getting a successful result. Your case may require documentary evidence, expert opinions, and legal arguments to keep out potentially harmful items. All of these are areas where having an experienced Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney representing you can provide an invaluable benefit.
An example of this was a recent case arising from a tragic vehicle accident in Philadelphia. Calvin and a friend were driving their motorcycles, with Calvin deciding that he would record the ride, so he had a Go Pro video camera mounted to his bike. The video showed that, in the half mile before his accident, he performed three wheelies. Calvin was not, however, speeding at the time of his accident. The accident occurred when Kahlile attempted to make a left-hand turn and steered his Dodge Durango into Calvin’s path. The impact killed Calvin.
At the scene of the accident, a police officer noted that Kahlile appeared lethargic and had bloodshot, watery eyes. A blood test taken two hours after the accident yielded a blood-alcohol level of 0.073.
Calvin’s estate launched a wrongful death lawsuit against Kahlile. In any type of auto accident case, it is important to act quickly and decisively. That’s because there are many things that need to get done in order to put together the strongest possible case. In this case, Lenora, the administratrix of Calvin’s estate and the plaintiff in the wrongful death lawsuit, needed certain factual evidence that was available from the accident, including the police accident report as well as the eyewitness testimony of the police officer who observed Kahlile in a potentially impaired state.
There may also be a need for expert witness testimony, which Lenora obtained in this case. Lenora obtained the services of a toxicology expert who opined that, if Kahlile’s blood-alcohol content was 0.073 two hours after the accident, it was 0.104 when he slammed into Calvin, which would qualify as legally drunk. Another element is keeping out potentially harmful evidence. Lenora, through her counsel, was able to persuade the trial judge to only allow into evidence certain segments of the footage shot by Calvin’s Go Pro camera.
With all of this in place, Lenora’s case was strong enough to persuade the jury to enter a judgment against Kahlile and assess damages of $3.1 million. Kahlile appealed but lost. One of the main parts of his appellate argument was that the trial judge should have allowed him to put into evidence other parts of the Go Pro camera video footage. The appeals court rejected this argument, concluding that the footage that was put into evidence was enough to allow the jury to assess Calvin’s reckless or erratic driving and factor that into its decision accordingly.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident, contact the knowledgeable Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys at Needle Law Firm. Our team can help throughout the entire process from pre-trial to the damages phase. We have been providing knowledgeable representation and personalized attention to our clients for many years and are here to discuss your matter with you.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling (570) 344-1266.