09.04.12 UPDATE – Pennsylvania's new hit-and-run law takes effect today. Drivers found at fault for a fatal-hit-and-run accident now face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. More details about the law are below.
08.14.12 ORIGINAL STORY – Pennsylvania drivers will soon face up to 10 years in prison for fatal-hit-and-run accidents. The new law takes effect on September 4.
The current maximum sentence for a fatal hit-and-run is seven years. The state's minimum sentence of one year won't be affected under the new law, but the crime will be upgraded from a third-degree offense to a second-degree felony. The new legislation was proposed in response to a 2005 accident in which a 29-year-old Blairsville resident was struck by a car while riding his bike.
There were 11 bicycle deaths and 1,312 injuries in Pennsylvania last year. Two fatal bicycle accidents occurred in Pittsburgh in the past month alone. The first, a hit-and-run, involved James Price, a Pittsburgh bicyclist. The second happened less than a week later along the same block of Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. Because Mr. Price's accident took place before the new law is set to take effect, the tougher sentence will not apply if the driver is caught.
If you, or someone you love, were injured in a hit-and-run accident, we're here to help. You have enough to worry about – health concerns, medical bills, lost wages – so let us take the legal burden off your shoulders. Call us at 1-866-943-3427 or fill out the form at the top of this webpage for a free legal consultation. You can also use our easy and convenient "click to call" service.