Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Scottdale PA Family of Four Injured in Car Accident Add Civil Lawsuit to Criminal Charges

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Feb 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

While most car accidents are caused by low-level negligence or carelessness, some crashes stem from downright recklessness. For example, in May of 2016, a Scottdale, Pennsylvania family of four was struck by a pickup truck going “at least 71 mph” in a 35 mph zone, causing massive injuries from which they are still recovering.

Now the driver of the pickup, Matthew Marshall Murphy, 24, is facing “three counts of aggravated assault by vehicle and additional charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment and traffic violations.” In addition to these criminal charges, Vicky and William Schuler are suing Murphy for their injuries and the injuries of their two sons, Gavin and Austin who are 1 and 2 years old, respectively.

At around 10 am on Mother's Day of 2016, the Schuler family was driving to church when the pickup truck slammed into their 2011 Hyundai Elantra. The state police accident reconstruction team estimates that Murphy was traveling between 71 and 78 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

The Schuler's car was pushed through an intersection, where it then crashed into a concrete barrier. Then, the car rolled over multiple times and landed upside down. A witness, Christopher Dini said they watched the whole accident happen and ran over to the scene immediately, where they “had to lift the roof off the legs of an adult female lying next to the unit. There was also an adult male lying in the grass about 30 feet away.”

Murphy told the district attorney that he was “headed to a relative's home to pick up picnic tables to take to Scottdale for a Mother's Day celebration.” The officer who arrived on the scene first, Kimberly Zubovic, said that Murphy was “slumped to his right in the truck and appeared to be convulsing.”

All four of the family members suffered varying degrees of injury. Vicky had major back surgery, and Will suffered the insertion of pins and needles in his arm. Their son Austin, was released from the hospital the day after the crash. His brother, Gavin, however, whose injuries were the most severe, was hospitalized for two months, and additionally underwent physical and speech therapy after he was released.

Almost a year later, the family is still recovering from those injuries and has decided to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against Murphy in addition to his criminal charges. Their attorney, Nathaniel Smith, says that they are still in the investigatory stage of the case, but that “filing the lawsuit will enable us to subpoena records that are otherwise not accessible. The Schulers have been through a tremendous amount of pain and fear for the future, and they are still on the mend.”

Even if the person who caused our injuries in a car accident is facing criminal charges, you may still bring a civil suit to be compensation for your injuries and suffering. To discuss your case and evaluate your options, call attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian today at 800-529-6162 or contact them online.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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