Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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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Hit-and-runs are senseless tragedies that occur when a driver leaves the scene of an accident. Too often, the person who committed the hit-and-run leaves behind another person who has suffered injuries from the crash. By fleeing the scene instead of seeking medical attention, a hit-and-run driver leaves an injured victim helpless, often worsening the victim’s harm. When a driver’s actions lead to another person’s death, the deceased’s family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the hit-and-run driver responsible in court.

As a recent news article tragically reported, a passenger lost her life following a hit-and-run in Washington, D.C. The accident occurred as a Ford was traveling north at an intersection when a Mercedes drove through a red light, slamming into the Ford. As a result of the crash, a backseat passenger in the Ford was ejected from the vehicle. Following the accident, the driver and passenger in the Mercedes ran from the scene. Sadly, the Ford passenger died at the scene. The other two occupants of the Ford suffered minor injuries.

Can You Bring a Lawsuit for Damages After a Fatal Virginia Hit-and-Run?

Virginia allows plaintiffs to bring a wrongful death suit after a fatal hit-and-run accident. Under Virginia law, the deceased’s personal representative must bring the wrongful death lawsuit. However, the law specifies that the resulting damages award will go to the deceased’s surviving spouse and children or, if the deceased did not have a spouse or children, the deceased’s parents, siblings, and any dependent relatives. A Virginia plaintiff can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a defendant as long as the deceased would have also been able to bring a lawsuit had they survived the accident.

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Too often, pedestrian accidents result in severe injury or even death. Typically, they occur when a driver fails to spot a pedestrian or a pedestrian crosses the road outside of a designated crosswalk. No matter the cause, when a person or their loved one suffers injuries after a pedestrian accident, they make seek to hold the responsible party accountable through a negligence lawsuit.

As a recent news article reported, a pedestrian accident tragically killed a three-year-old boy in Lynchburg, Virginia. According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred when the child approached the side of a truck. As the truck driver began to travel, he struck the child, whom he did not see. Tragically, the boy died at the scene. Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

What Are the Elements of a Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?

If a person or their loved one suffers injuries in a Virginia pedestrian accident, they can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party for negligence. In a negligence suit, the plaintiff must prove four essential elements by the preponderance of the evidence, meaning at least 51% more likely than not. Specifically, they must prove the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty through their action or failure to act, caused the accident through their negligence and that the plaintiff suffered harm due to the accident. The same elements of a negligence claim also apply to wrongful death suits. The intention behind wrongful death lawsuits is to hold the defendant responsible even though the deceased cannot sue them directly in court. Therefore, the person bringing the wrongful death lawsuit must prove that the deceased would have prevailed in a negligence suit had they sued the defendant directly.

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When a driver runs a red light, they risk colliding with a vehicle traveling in a different direction. These red light accidents may result in severe injury or property damage to a vehicle. When these serious injuries occur, an accident victim may sue the driver who ran a red light for damages. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can help injured victims understand the laws that govern damages suits against a negligent driver.

As a recent news article reported, one person died and three people suffered injuries after a three-vehicle crash in Glen Burnie, Maryland. According to local police, a Toyota was traveling southbound when it ran a red light. The Toyota then drove right into an intersection, where it collided with a Chevrolet making a left turn. Unfortunately, a third vehicle was also turning left, and it was struck by both vehicles. A passenger in the Chevrolet tragically died at the scene. The Chevrolet driver, the Toyota driver, and a passenger in the Toyota were transported to the hospital for their injuries. As local police reported, the Toyota driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding when the accident occurred.

How Can You Recover Damages After a Red Light Accident?

When someone causes injuries after running a red light, an injured victim may be able to bring a negligence claim to recover monetary damages. To succeed on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty by acting carelessly or failing to act, caused an accident through their carelessness and that the plaintiff suffered consequent injuries, whether to their person or property. Examples of careless or negligent actions may include running a red light, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, driving while distracted or under the influence may cause a driver to run a red light, potentially leading to a serious accident.

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Even driving in clear conditions can be dangerous with a lapse of attention, mechanical failure, or unexpected actions from other drivers, pedestrians, or even animals. But when a driver is driving unsafely by recklessly disregarding the safety of other drivers or their passengers, including driving under the influence, tragedy is unfortunately even more likely to strike.

In Virginia, the chance of being in a crash due to alcohol-related reasons is one in six over an individual’s life. In 2019, 32% of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related, and nearly 19 thousand people were convicted of DUI.

According to a recent news report, a front-seat passenger died from life-threatening injuries sustained when the vehicle the passenger was riding in hit a utility pole at 7:15 PM. The car, a Volvo, was the only vehicle involved in the accident. Observers say there was no evident reason for the car to leave the roadway and strike the pole and that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested at the scene, and the crash is currently under investigation.

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Pedestrians in Virginia and the Beltway region have been at an increased risk of injury from auto-pedestrian accidents in recent years. Obsolete traffic control devices, as part of a broader shift away from pedestrian infrastructure, have caused more pedestrians to cross dangerous roads without the right-of-way, resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths in recent years in the region. A woman was recently killed when attempting to cross the street from a restaurant in Washington County earlier this month.

According to a local news report discussing the incident, the 72-year-old victim was crossing the street in front of the Williamsport Waffle House restaurant on Route 11 an early morning in January, when she was struck by a GMC truck and died at the scene of the crash. Reportedly, it was still dark outside when the crash occurred, and visibility may have been an issue. The driver of the truck stopped after the incident and has cooperated fully with authorities concerning the tragedy, although the article does not note if a citation was issued to the driver after the crash.

Pedestrians in Virginia should exercise extreme caution when walking near a roadway or crossing the street. It is always best to find a crosswalk to cross a busy street and make eye contact with any stopping drivers before entering the road to ensure that they see you. Drivers owe all pedestrians a duty to avoid a collision and can be held accountable for causing a crash. A pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle while properly using a crosswalk has the right of way, and the driver of the vehicle can be held financially accountable for any injuries suffered in the crash.

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