In the early hours of a recent Wednesday morning, a tragic three-vehicle crash occurred on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway near Georgia Avenue in Montgomery County, Maryland. The collision involved a 2005 Honda Accord and a 2020 Jeep Wrangler, and happened around 3 a.m. The incident resulted in the death of a passenger and left six others injured. Authorities believe that the crash, which is still under investigation, may have been caused by distracted driving. The collision led to hours of lane closures, causing significant delays that extended into the morning commute. This tragic event highlights the dangers of distracted driving and the serious consequences it can have.

Distracted driving remains one of the most dangerous and pervasive issues on our roads today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a staggering 80 percent of auto accidents are caused by some form of driver distraction. Safely operating a vehicle requires complete focus, and even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to catastrophic results. Despite 98 percent of adults acknowledging that texting while driving is unsafe, nearly half of them admit to doing it anyway. It’s estimated that at least 26 percent of total crashes involve drivers talking or texting on cell phones. These statistics underscore the critical importance of staying focused and alert while driving to prevent accidents and save lives.

Victims of car accidents caused by distracted driving may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses. It doesn’t matter which driver was distracted; all injured passengers have a potential avenue for legal relief. The experienced attorneys at The Schupak Law Firm specialize in Maryland and D.C. personal injury and car accident cases. They have a proven track record, having secured millions in settlements and judgments for their clients. Whether you are dealing with medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering, The Schupak Law Firm can help you navigate the legal process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Fatal accidents affect not only the drivers involved but also their loved ones. After a person dies in a car accident, their family may be left with emotional and financial consequences from the crash. To provide closure and alleviate their financial burden, the deceased’s family may choose to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to understand the difference between a wrongful death and a survival action, which are different types of lawsuits under Virginia personal injury law.

For example, as a news article recently reported, a Rockville, Maryland fatal accident claimed the life of one person. Local police observed a sedan speeding and turned on their emergency equipment. Shortly thereafter, they encountered a two-vehicle crash between the sedan and another vehicle. According to local investigators, the sedan likely collided with the other vehicle while making a turn. Sadly, the other driver died at the scene. The sedan driver fled from the scene, but police later apprehended him.

What Are the Differences Between Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Survival Actions?

In Virginia, there are two types of lawsuits you can bring after a fatal accident. A wrongful death lawsuit compensates the deceased victim’s family for the harm they have suffered from the accident. A court will award damages for pain and suffering, which compensates for the emotional and psychological harm resulting from the accident. A wrongful death lawsuit can also allow the victim’s family to recover economic damages, including the deceased’s lost future earnings. Conversely, survival actions compensate the deceased victim as if they had survived. The deceased’s personal representative files the survival action, but the damages award will go to their family. The damages recoverable in a survival action are the same as the deceased could recover had they survived.

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If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you may not know what to do next. While bringing a lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind, it can begin to provide closure and permit compensation for the emotional harm you have suffered. The recent Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse provoked conversations about the liability that could result from the deaths of six construction workers who were on the bridge when it collapsed.

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland led to construction workers’ deaths and untold property damage throughout the area. As CNN reported, eight people were on the bridge when it collapsed after a ship struck the bridge. Two people were rescued, but six construction workers were sadly presumed dead after an extensive search and rescue operation. Before it hit the bridge, the ship’s lights flickered as it veered off course. The crew signaled a “mayday” before crashing, altering authorities to prevent incoming traffic from crossing the bridge. Sadly, they could not prevent harm to the people who were already on the bridge, whose families continue to mourn.

Can the Victims’ Families Sue for Wrongful Death?

The victims’ families may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, likely against the owner of the ship that ran into the bridge. Maryland law allows a deceased victim’s spouse, parents, and/or children to file a wrongful death action against the party responsible for the victim’s death. To prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit, the person bringing the suit must prove all the elements of negligence the deceased would have to prove if they survived the accident. Specifically, wrongful death plaintiffs must prove the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, breached that duty through their actions or failure to act, caused the accident, and that the victim died as a consequence. Plaintiffs must prove these elements by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it was at least 51% likely that the defendant’s negligence led to the victim’s death.

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If a person has lost a loved one in a Virginia auto accident, they may want to put the event behind you as quickly as possible. However, holding the responsible driver accountable in court can provide closure and compensation for expenses resulting from the accident. Working with a personal injury attorney can help a person navigate the lawsuit process and recover damages for the harm their family has suffered.

As a recent news article reported, four people were killed in a car accident that occurred in Prince George’s County, Maryland. According to a first responder, a pickup truck traveling west on a local road struck a vehicle and continued traveling with a tire that had caught on fire. Then, the truck hit a van head-on. The van then caught on fire. Sadly, four people died from their injuries. Eight other people suffered a range of injuries.

Who Can Receive Damages in a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim?

While the representative of the deceased person’s estate files the wrongful death claim, the ultimate damages award will go to the deceased’s beneficiaries. Under Virginia law, these can include the deceased person’s surviving spouse and children or grandchildren if their children are also deceased. If the deceased does not have a spouse or children, the damages award can go to the deceased’s surviving parents, siblings, or any relative who was a dependent or shared a household with the deceased. Finally, if the deceased person has no surviving relatives under these categories, any other surviving family member can recover damages.

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Head-on collisions can lead to serious injuries, especially when an accident involves multiple vehicles. Drivers and passengers may suffer serious physical injury, brain injury, and emotional harm from the traumatic event. Because head-on collisions often involve strong force and high speeds, they may also lead to fatalities. When a head-on collision involves multiple drivers, an injured accident victim may wish to hold all drivers accountable for their harm. Understanding Virginia’s rules of recovery is key to recovering the compensation you need after a head-on collision.

For example, a recent head-on collision involving three vehicles led to multiple injuries. According to a local news article, the accident occurred in Maryland as the vehicles were traveling on the highway. First responders closed the westbound lane of the highway where the head-on crash took place. The investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

Can You Recover Damages from Multiple Defendants for a Virginia Head-On Accident?

If more than one defendant caused your injuries, you may sue multiple defendants for negligence. Virginia follows a pure joint and several liability system. Under this theory of liability, the plaintiff may recover the full damages amount from any defendant. For example, if two defendants are equally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, but one cannot pay 50% of the damages award, the plaintiff can collect 100% of the damages award from the other defendant. In this respect, Virginia differs from other states that follow several liability or modified joint and several liability. In pure several liability states, each defendant is only responsible for paying damages proportionate to their share of fault. Under modified joint and several liability, states will only require one defendant to pay the full damages award if their portion of fault for the accident meets a certain minimum threshold, such as 51%.

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Hit-and-runs do not just affect the victim. When a person dies in a hit-and-run, their family often suffers significant emotional and financial injury. If police identify the hit-and-run driver, the victim’s family can pursue a civil wrongful death lawsuit in addition to the criminal charges the driver may face. While no amount of money can bring a deceased loved one back, a civil damages award can help begin to provide closure and recover compensation for the harm the driver has caused.

As a recent news segment reported, police are searching for the driver who committed a fatal hit-and-run in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The accident occurred when the driver struck one man at a local intersection. When police arrived at the scene, the man was unresponsive. Sadly, he later died at the hospital.

Can You Sue the Responsible Driver After a Fatal Virginia Hit-and-Run Accident?

If police have identified the responsible hit-and-run driver, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of your loved one. In Virginia, the victim’s personal representative must bring the lawsuit, but the damages award goes to the victim’s surviving dependents. Plaintiffs can bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased could have brought suit had they survived the accident. This theory of recovery ensures that the defendant does not escape liability because the deceased is not alive to sue the defendant themselves. Therefore, a successful wrongful death claim will prove all four elements of a typical negligence lawsuit. To prevail on a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove the hit-and-run driver owed the deceased a duty of care; the driver violated that duty through their negligent behavior; their negligence caused the hit-and-run accident; and that the victim died as a result. The plaintiff must prove these elements by the “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning it is at least 51% likely that the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death.

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According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, 563 people have died in a Maryland car accident in 2023. Fatal Maryland car accidents can have a number of causes, from driver carelessness to inclement weather to a faulty vehicle part. If a driver’s carelessness leads to a person’s death, the deceased person’s loved ones may bring a lawsuit against the driver for damages. However, issues can arise when multiple drivers share responsibility for the crash.

As a recent news article reported, a fatal Maryland car accident claimed the lives of four people. According to Maryland state troopers, the accident occurred when a Saturn struck the rear of a Chevrolet attempting a left turn in the westbound lane. Due to the impact of the crash, the Chevrolet entered the eastbound lane, where it was struck by a Ford. As a result of the collision, the Chevrolet drivers and three passengers died from their injuries.

Can You Sue Multiple Defendants After a Fatal Maryland Car Accident?

Because motorcycles have fewer safety protections than cars, a motorcycle accident can lead to significant injuries and fatalities. When a person dies in a fatal motorcycle accident, their surviving loved ones may be unsure what to do next. While bringing a lawsuit may be the last thing on their mind, recovering compensation can help alleviate the medical, funeral, and burial expenses resulting from the accident. An experienced Virginia personal injury attorney can work with you to hold the responsible driver accountable for a motorcycle accident.

For example, according to a recent news story, one person tragically lost his life in a Virginia motorcycle accident. Virginia State Police reported that the Arlington, Virginia crash took place on southbound I-395 in the early morning. Three motorcyclists were traveling on the highway when a SUV struck all their motorcycles from behind. Two of the motorcyclists were transported to the hospital, where one sadly died from his injuries.

What Are the Elements of a Fatal Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?

When a person dies in a Virginia motorcycle accident, their loved ones can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver. In Virginia, the deceased’s personal representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit, but the deceased’s loved ones may receive the resultant damages award. Virginia law allows representatives to bring a wrongful death action if the deceased could have sued if they survived. Therefore, to prevail on a wrongful death action, the plaintiff must prove all four elements of negligence. These include a duty of care, a breach of that duty, a causal link between the breach and the accident, and harm as a result of the accident.

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Hit-and-run accidents are serious offenses. When a driver flees the scene of an accident, they often worsen an injured victim’s likelihood of recovery. By failing to render medical aid or call an ambulance, hit-and-run drivers cause a delay in care to the victim, which may lead to death or severe bodily harm. Due to the egregious nature of a hit-and-run, drivers who flee the scene of an accident can face significant legal penalties, including hefty damages awards in a negligence lawsuit.

According to a recent news story, a driver and passenger died following a hit-and-run accident in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Local police believe an unidentified driver was heading northbound on a local road when it collided with another vehicle attempting a left turn into the southbound lane. As the vehicles collided, they caught on fire. The driver and passenger of the left-turning vehicle died at the scene. The other driver, however, fled the scene on foot. Later, investigators determined that the hit-and-run driver stole the vehicle from a nearby residence. Investigators are continuing to search for the unidentified driver.

What Are the Penalties for a Maryland Hit-And-Run?

In Maryland, leaving the scene of an accident carries significant consequences. If the hit-and-run accident results in property damage but no bodily injury, the hit-and-run driver faces up to 60 days in prison and $500 in fines. If the accident causes bodily injury, the driver may receive up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Finally, if a person dies in a hit-and-run accident, a driver who fled the scene could face 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, a Maryland hit-and-run driver could have their license suspended or revoked.

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Hit-and-run accidents often cause severe bodily injury, property damage, and psychological harm. If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, you may seek coverage from your insurance company. However, insurance companies are businesses, and they often do not cover the full extent of their customers’ harm. When insurance does not provide the compensation you need, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to hold a hit-and-run driver accountable for your injuries.

For example, one person suffered injuries following a hit-and-run collision in Washington, D.C. According to a witness, the victim was riding a Lime scooter in the early morning hours when a car struck his scooter. Rather than stopping to provide aid, the driver kept driving toward Virginia. Local police have continued to investigate the crash.

Can You Pursue Insurance Coverage After a Virginia Hit-and-Run?

Virginia allows insured drivers to seek coverage for a motor vehicle accident without identifying the responsible driver. According to the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, drivers in Virginia must purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage, which every insurance policy must offer. This type of coverage provides bodily injury and property damage protection in an accident with a hit-and-run driver. You can still receive UM coverage if you do not identify the responsible driver, but you must pay the first $200. If you have identified the driver, UM coverage can help pay the difference if the driver’s liability limits are not high enough to cover your damages. The minimum amount of UM coverage is $30,000 for bodily injury liability and $20,000 for property damage liability.

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