Four People Killed in Fatal Virginia Auto Accident

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.

What Are the Legal Elements of a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim?

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to ensure a negligent party cannot evade responsibility because the victim of their negligence has died. Therefore, the legal elements of a wrongful death claim mirror those of a typical negligence claim. The plaintiff in a wrongful death action must prove the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, breached that duty by acting negligently, caused an accident through their negligence, and that the victim died as a consequence. The plaintiff must prove all four elements by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Under this standard of proof, the plaintiff must show it was at least 51% likely that the defendant’s negligence led to the victim’s death. This standard is much lower than the burden of proof in criminal cases, which requires the prosecution to prove its case against the defendant “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Do You Need a Fatal Virginia Auto Accident Attorney?

If you have lost a loved one in a Virginia auto accident, contact the Schupak Law Firm to discuss your next steps. The attorneys on our team understand the harm that a fatal accident can cause to a victim’s family. Our compassionate attorneys will work with you at every step of the way to file a wrongful death action. Through our skilled representation, you can be sure that your claim is in competent hands. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team, give us a call today at 240-833-3914.


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