Criminal Injury & Negligence Case Law

Criminal Injury/Negligence Case Law Facts 2023

While Pennsylvania is a relatively safe state, criminal occurrences have been increasing. Unfortunately, this is because since Covid lockdowns occurred, and many of the populace suffered financial hardships, drug and alcohol abuse has increased, as has mental illnesses, according to the WHO (World Health Organization). 

According to Richard Berk, writing for the Department of Criminology of the University of PA, although statistics are relatively the same across the USA, there was a general influx of crime, starting in 2020 and continuing through 2023 in PA. Violent crimes are of particular concern, with rape, robbery, abuse, and even murder on the rise. (1, Date Unknown). 

According to research by Mr. Berk, there are factors at play, including restricted travel, restriction on activities, and job loss. Throw into the mix many school closures and a much bigger hybrid workforce, and this is a recipe for disaster for human emotions. The use of force by police was also curtailed. 

Isolation and Emotional Turmoil Leads to Crime

Human beings as a whole are “social animals.” The response to isolation and emotional turmoil can lead to drug and alcohol abuse to alleviate the pain. In addition, there is much larger access to drugs, and more individuals are now turning to alcohol. 

This is startlingly apparent by visiting the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol website. A new initiative was started with over 9 million dollars in funding for an initiative in 2022 to 2023 to assist individuals now impacted by drugs and alcohol. This, in turn, hopefully, will decrease the desperation and impaired judgment that leads to violent crime. 

2023 Statistics on All Types of Violent Crime

The offense trends comparison charts available on the PA UCR (Uniform Crime Reports) show some leveling off of all crimes as of February 2023, but it has just started to come down. 

This has left many crime victims in its wake, with significant injuries that need compensation.

Even if an individual committed a crime under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it does not indicate that the person convicted is free from making retributions or becoming the subject of a negligence lawsuit. 

Public Places Can Be Liable for Crime

Places of business and other facilities such as college campuses, restaurants, and recreation facilities have a Duty of Care to ensure safety. This means that compensation for crime victim deaths or injuries can also be compensated by the facility where the crime occurred. 

A reliable, established crime victim attorney can determine if a personal injury case can be brought against both the perpetrator and the location where the crime occurred. 

Establishing Culpability in Crime Victim Cases

Some procedures must be followed to win compensation successfully:

First, report any crime immediately, even if seemingly insignificant; injuries are sometimes not readily apparent, and calling the police immediately should be done to file a full report. Better “safe than sorry” is the rule here. 

  1. Seek medical treatment 

This is a secondary form of documentation that any good crime victim attorney will need to represent a victim successfully

  • Retain a qualified crime victim attorney

At least an initial consultation should occur, as mental and emotional distress is also compensable even with only minor physical injuries. A qualified crime victim attorney is the best judge of the ability to receive compensation and from whom. 

In all legal proceedings, there are aggravating and mitigating circumstances, and an attorney well-versed in victimology will be able to determine all the circumstances. These circumstances can also be critical in any criminal proceedings. 

  • Do not dismiss property crimes

Although most crimes that are brought for compensation are bodily injury or death, property crimes leave emotional scars, especially if they are heinous in nature. 

  • Do not blame yourself

The victim is “never” to blame. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time might be a mistake or simply bad luck, but it does not alleviate guilt on the part of the culprit or the entity who owns or manages a public building or space. 

DUI (Driving Under the Influence), Can be Criminal 

If significant injury or death occurs. There are several stages of DUI, everything from a misdemeanor to a felony. There are times when criminal proceedings must occur before victim compensation. 

An attorney versed in this type of law is absolutely needed in this type of circumstance. Depending upon the severity of the accident injuries, only an excellent criminal attorney with a team at their disposal can make a timely determination of what types of proceedings should occur. 

Summary-Criminal Injury Facts 2023

Criminal injury is a highly specialized form of law; negligence experience in this field is needed. Christian J. Hoey, ESQ, of Paoli, PA, serves a wide area of PA in this field. 

As a former Federal Prosecutor, Attorney Hoey has acquired a team of experienced professionals to assist in winning cases for crime victims, no matter what the surrounding circumstances may be. 

There is a free initial consultation, so of course, Attorney Hoey should be the first stop in the legal proceeding process. Christian J. Hoey also can defend those wrongly accused of a crime and should be contacted in those cases ASAP as well. 

For more information on all our law services, visit us at or call us at (610) 647-5151.

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

Skip to content