With spring and warmer temperatures upon us, many people are heading outdoors to enjoy the weather. More people outside walking and cycling, however, also means that drivers and pedestrians alike must be on higher alert when sharing the road. For pedestrians, using the utmost caution and crossing the road at marked crosswalks is crucial, but drivers must also pay extra attention to and check for pedestrians before making a turn or proceeding through an intersection.

According to a recent local news report, an accident involving a driver operating his vehicle under the influence left a college track athlete dead. Local authorities reported that four athletes and an assistant coach with the university’s men’s cross country and track team were running along a local road when a red two-door sedan hit three athletes before fleeing the scene. Police arrested and identified the driver shortly after the accident when the car crashed into the median on Route 199. After first responders transported five athletes to a local hospital for treatment, one of them passed away from his injuries and two other athletes suffered significant injuries. Local accident reconstruction teams and authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.

In the United States overall, total traffic deaths have decreased by eight percent in the last ten years, but pedestrian deaths have increased by 42 percent over the same period. Similarly, over the last decade, pedestrian deaths from car accidents have dramatically increased in Virginia. Although pedestrian accidents and fatalities take place for a number of different reasons, the most common causes involve pedestrians crossing the street where there is not an intersection, crossing an unmarked intersection, or standing in the roadway.

Following a major accident involving several vehicles and a fast-moving, chaotic collision, it can often be challenging for the parties involved to properly discern who is at fault for the accident and how that responsibility should be apportioned. Different parties may have varying accounts of how the accident took place, and this can often become messy when the stories disagree with one another and do not match. Apportioning fault among the parties, however, is a crucial element of a personal injury claim, and it is important to understand how Virginia’s fault rules may affect the success of your lawsuit.

According to a recent local news report, two tractor-trailers and a sedan were involved in a fatal car accident in Sussex County. Local authorities reported that a Nissan was driving southbound on I-95 when the driver collided with a tractor-trailer. The Nissan remained in the lane and then a second tractor-trailer crashed into it, which caused the Nissan to veer off onto the right shoulder of the road. The second tractor-trailer then swung into the median and jackknifed into the northbound lanes and leaked 100 gallons of diesel fuel. The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the first tractor-trailer was not injured, and the driver and passenger of the second trailer had only minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation by Virginia crash reconstruction teams.

Every state has its own unique laws when it comes to apportioning fault in an accident and how that fault impacts a party’s ability to recover. In Virginia, the rules are particularly strict, and some would argue that they are not particularly friendly toward plaintiffs because the circumstances of the crash may bar many potential plaintiffs from recovering anything at all.

Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death and present significant socio-economic losses to everyone in the community. While many safety agencies have developed and implemented preventative measures to combat Virginia multi-vehicle accidents, these incidents remain a growing concern. Over the last twenty years, safety groups have spent immense amounts of time and resources to better understand the contributing factors towards car accidents. However, despite progress, there are many gaps yet to be filled, especially regarding multi-vehicle accidents.

There are fundamental differences between the cause of single-vehicle (SV) and multi-vehicle accidents (MV). Some research suggests that SV accidents stem from driver error, whereas MV accidents involve multiple factors. Moreover, temporal factors do not significantly impact SV accidents but are more likely to affect the likelihood of an MV accident. Temporal factors refer to details such as the time of day, day of the week, and season of an accident. Whereas traffic characteristics, such as speed limits, impact both MV and SV crashes. Both accidents are more likely to occur when the speed gap gets larger. Additionally, road and pavement characteristics influence SV and MV accidents. Roadways with higher road curvatures present a risk for higher numbers of MV crashes.

Regardless of the cause, MV accidents often set off a series of events that can impact many people. For instance, a news source described a harrowing series of Virginia crashes. The multi-vehicle accident began when a Hyundai driver made a right turn and veered into the path of a Jeep driver. The collision caused the Jeep driver to cross into the oncoming traffic lane and a town car. The town car overturned and slammed into a Mercedes. The town car driver died at the scene of the accident.

Virginians received an icy surprise earlier this month when a major snowstorm swept through many parts of the state. Although locals were prepared for a few inches of snow, the storm brought more than a foot to the Fredericksburg area. As the snow fell, vehicles on the road slowed down and eventually stopped. For some vehicles, there was reportedly as much as four inches of ice frozen underneath.

According to a recent news report, hundreds of drivers were stranded on Interstate 95 in Virginia overnight. Following the major snowstorm, traffic came to a standstill on I-95 after hundreds of cars got into various accidents that left vehicles trapped or stalled. Many people abandoned their cars, while others spent the night in their vehicles on the highway. Throughout the night, state troopers reportedly moved along the 40 mile stretch of highway from vehicle to vehicle providing supplies.

More than 24 hours after many individuals had been stranded, emergency crews finally freed hundreds of drivers. Tow trucks dragged hundreds of disabled cars out of the ice. Although the interstate reopened after most vehicles were cleared off, local authorities warned drivers that snowy weather conditions could still lead to slick roads and limiting unnecessary travel overnight was advised.

Following an unexpected accident, you may feel at a loss for what to do next. In the event that you decide to file a personal injury claim on behalf of yourself or a loved one to recover compensation, it is crucial that you do your research and speak with an experienced attorney. In Virginia, like other states, personal injury laws can vary and, depending on the circumstances of your claim, may impact the success of your claim in different ways.

According to a recent news report, a 13-year-old boy died following a two-car collision. Local authorities noted that the boy was a passenger in a car traveling north when the car attempted to make a left turn to enter a shopping center. The car then collided with another vehicle that was traveling south. Based on a preliminary investigation, the boy was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Both drivers suffered injuries also, but they did not appear to be life-threatening. Local authorities are still investigating the details of the accident.

If you or someone you love was recently involved in a similar accident and you are considering filing a lawsuit, you may be wondering what Virginia laws may impact your case.

While death is an inevitable part of life, the unexpected death of a loved one because of another’s negligence often exacerbates the trauma one experiences. Those who have experienced the loss of a loved one under these circumstances should consult with a Virginia wrongful death attorney.

Wrongful death claims refer to lawsuits filed by the family members of someone who suffered fatal injuries because of another’s negligence or reckless conduct. These claims are similar to other personal injury lawsuits, except for the parties and damage calculations. Under the state’s Wrongful Death Statute, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate or the party appointed by will or the state may bring a lawsuit. The law entitled the spouse or children of the victim to collect damages. However, certain other dependent family members may be permitted to collect damages. Generally, these parties include parents, siblings, and other close family members.

Wrongful death cases typically stem from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and products liability cases. For instance, news sources recently reported that a 20-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in a Virginia accident. A pickup truck driver veered into the centerline of a bridge and slammed into the man. The man’s vehicle flipped over before finally coming to a rest on its wheel. Tragically, the 20-year-old died, and his passenger and the pickup truck driver suffered severe injuries.

Determining liability after a car crash—meaning who is responsible for the injuries that occurred—is essential to effectively bring a Virginia personal injury lawsuit. While some cases are clear-cut, there are instances where the injured person—the plaintiff—may share some blame for the accident as well. If the plaintiff is found even partially at fault for the accident, this impacts the potential damages award they may receive. Because of this, it is critical to know how Virginia treats plaintiffs who are found partially at fault for the accident.

Recently in Suffolk, a ten-vehicle crash caused all southbound lanes to be closed for an afternoon. According to police, the incident occurred around 2:00pm, and it took over two hours to clear the roads. While there still is no information about potential injuries of people involved in the crash, the accident caused major delays and the backup was at least two miles long.

States differ in how they assess liability depending on the plaintiff’s potential fault in the accident. The question of how much—if any—the plaintiff is responsible for their own injuries is decided by the jury. After hearing all of the evidence at trial, the jury will determine how much they believe the plaintiff is at fault. The percentage the jury decides upon—along with the state the case is being brought in—impacts how much the plaintiff can financially recover from the lawsuit.

Driving late at night can often mean additional risks. Sometimes, however, driving later in the day is simply unavoidable because of things beyond our control. Because of the inherent additional risks of driving in the evenings, however, car accidents that take place later in the day can often be more devastating than usual. Thus, when these incidents happen because of the recklessness or negligence of another driver, it is crucial that those who are responsible are held accountable for their actions.

According to a recent local news report, a two-vehicle car accident sent five people to the hospital. Police reported that the car accident took place around 2:00 AM when a Dodge Challenger was traveling at a “high rate of speed” and rear-ended a Ford Escape. The impact of this initial crash caused the Dodge Challenger to veer off the roadway, flip over, and crash into the jersey wall. The Challenger then went over the guardrail and into the vegetation on the side of the road, which caused all three passengers to suffer life-threatening injuries. The two passengers in the Ford Escape also suffered life-threatening injuries. All five individuals were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The crash remains under investigation by local authorities.

Following a major car accident involving significant physical injury and property damage, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. Potential plaintiffs of major accidents are often advised to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary damages after such accidents. Before doing so, however, it is crucial to understand the basics of laws that govern Virginia personal injury lawsuits and may have an impact on the success of your claim.

When loved ones have been tragically killed in a fatal Virginia car crash, the family will often want to hold the responsible party accountable. Their best option is to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and seek monetary damages. In Virginia, there are strict requirements the family must meet in order to be awarded damages by a jury. While damages can never bring a deceased family member back, they can help the family to financially recuperate from their loss while they emotionally grieve.

Recently, in an accident in Virginia Beach, a pedestrian was struck on Northampton Boulevard by a car. According to a local news report, the pedestrian was walking across the road when the driver hit him. He died at the scene, and the driver of the vehicle was charged with possession of narcotics and various traffic offenses.

In accidents similar to the one above, the family of the deceased can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. In doing so, they seek damages for the death of their loved one. Damages widely vary depending on the facts of the case. In Virginia, there is no cap on damages—meaning, a jury can award any amount of money to the plaintiff it sees fit. Their only guideline is to agree upon an amount they deem “fair and just.” The damages amount can include, but are not limited to, some of the following: sorrow and mental anguish, loss of income of the deceased, hospital expenses, and funeral expenses.

The Virginia Supreme Court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision in a wrongful death claim stemming from a single-vehicle accident that took the lives of both occupants. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff, the administrator of the estate of one of the occupants, filed a lawsuit against several parties, including the other occupant of the vehicle. The lawsuit contends that the other occupant fell asleep at the wheel of his tractor-trailer, thereby causing the accident that killed the plaintiff. In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff was the driver.

On appeal, the court reviewed several of the plaintiff’s arguments, including that the lower court erred in excluding portions of the medical examiner’s autopsy report and the plaintiff’s experts’ opinions regarding the driver’s identity. The plaintiff sought to introduce evidence from the Chief Medical examiner, where she concluded the cause of the defendant’s death was blunt force trauma. Her report relied on the police report to tell her who was driving the tractor-trailer in the case.

The plaintiff argues that under Virginia Code § 8.01- 390.2, medical examiner reports shall be received as evidence in court. Therefore, although the examiner’s report stems from her opinions based on the police report, it should be admissible. Statutory interpretation requires a court to review the plain language of a statute unless the terms are ambiguous. In this case, the court found that nothing in the statute provides that a medical examiner is permitted to make an opinion on an ultimate fact in issue. Further, the statute does not permit medical examiners to base opinions and facts from information garnered through lay testimony. Therefore, the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the statute should be construed to admit the medical examiner’s opinion solely because the opinion is in a report.

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