It’s no secret that everyday driving is a dangerous endeavor that requires caution and consideration from all drivers. But long-distance trips in recreational vehicles, or RVs, can be novel experiences that can trip up even the most experienced of drivers. Accidents in these vehicles may seem rare but can be deadly. Many RV passengers do not wear seatbelts, and there may be a risk of more projectile items in the vehicle that could harm passengers in a crash. Further, RV travelers may be more likely to be on road trips for long periods of time or be driving on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar jurisdictions, increasing the risk of an accident.

According to a recent article, a group of people traveling to New York Fashion Week from Houston was involved in an accident in Virginia. The RV they were riding in collided with a tractor-trailer, killing two of the passengers and injuring seven others. The 25-year-old driver has been charged with reckless driving and driving without a valid operator’s license and was the only person in the RV wearing a seat belt. The investigation, however, is still underway.

Seat Belt Laws in Virginia

While all drivers and passengers should wear protective devices to prevent serious injury and even death in car accidents, the law does not always require it. Seat belt requirements vary by state and can apply differently to different age groups or where a passenger is seated in the vehicle. For example, some states require every person in a vehicle to buckle up, regardless of age, while others only require seatbelts for the driver and front passenger. This is even further complicated by vehicles like buses and RVs, which aren’t subject to the same seat belt laws as traditional motor vehicles.

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It is a known fact that vehicular accidents occur every day, and it is common for drivers to file claims with their insurance and sometimes civil claims in court. However, in some particularly egregious cases, criminal charges are brought by the state. Criminal vehicular charges may be brought in situations where a car accident results in the death of another person, particularly in situations where one driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving recklessly. Depending on the state, there are different laws that govern when someone may be criminally charged.

According to a recent news report, a 40-year-old Virginia man was charged with criminal vehicular homicide in St. Louis County, Minnesota. Authorities found that the driver’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. The 40-year-old driver is accused of crossing the center line and hitting another vehicle head-on. Due to the crash, officers found the other vehicle in a ditch, and unfortunately, the crash resulted in the death of the other driver. Officers reported that the 40-year-old driver had a limp and watery eyes, as well as slurred speech, in addition to smelling like alcohol. His blood alcohol content was .247, which is more than three times the legal limit of .08.

What’s the Difference Between a Civil Personal Injury Lawsuit and a Criminal Charge?

In every state, after an accident that leaves someone injured and causes the injured party to file suit, there are specific laws that dictate when and how someone can bring a lawsuit. Every state has a statute of limitations, which places a deadline for when a lawsuit must be filed by. In the state of Virginia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years. This means that if you plan to bring a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Virginia, you must do so within two years from the date of the accident.

Additionally, unlike most states, Virginia uses the law of contributory negligence. In the few states left with contributory negligence laws, which includes Virginia, if the person who was injured in the accident also contributed to the accident, the injured person will be barred from recovering damages. Most other states use some form of comparative negligence or modified contributory negligence, which would allow an injured party to still recover some damages even if they have some partial fault in the accident. In Virginia, however, the state also has the last clear chance rule, which means that the final burden to act to avoid an injury falls on the defendant when specific conditions are properly met.

In a recent news report, a chemical lime plant accident occurred in Virginia, involving employees who were providing contracting services to the mine. An employee was trapped inside an excavator that had fallen over onto its side. A second person attempted to help the trapped worker and thus suffered minor lime chemical burns as he was injured in the process. The injured person was treated on the scene by first responders. Unfortunately, by the time rescuers made it to the trapped worker, they found that he was already deceased. All other mine workers made it out safely.

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Hit-and-run collisions involve at least one individual fleeing the scene after a crash without offering information or identification, without aiding others involved in the crash, or without reporting the crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015, which equates to this type of crash occurring somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds. Hit-and-Run collisions can be especially stressful for victims who suffer various injuries and property damage to their vehicles.

Fleeing the scene of a car accident is illegal and can result in consequences that involve criminal prosecution. Studies have shown that there are various reasons why individuals decide to flee the scene of a car accident. These reasons may include driving while intoxicated, driving significantly over the speed limit, outstanding warrants for the driver’s arrest, driving a stolen vehicle, or driving without a license or insurance, to name a few.

In a recent news report, two people were injured after a crash on Interstate 66 in Manassas, Virginia. A Nissan Altima experienced a mechanical failure and stopped in the left-center travel lane of the interstate. The driver and passenger of the Altima took various precautions, including putting on the car’s hazard lights and putting a cone that they borrowed from a nearby work zone behind the vehicle. The driver and the passenger then waited behind a retaining wall for help. Within minutes, a Kia Forte slammed into the back of the Nissan, and the driver of the Kia fled on foot and disappeared into the woods.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among individuals aged 1 – 54 in the United States. In a recent car accident in Virginia, reckless driving led to one fatality and multiple injuries. According to a local news report, a two-vehicle car accident from earlier this month resulted in the death of one person in Orange County, VA. One southbound Ford was traveling on Route 522 when the Ford ran off the right side of the road and hit the guardrail, causing the car to cross into the opposite lane and collide with a northbound car. A passenger in the southbound Ford died at the scene of the crash, while two other passengers were hospitalized with serious injuries. The 20-year-old driver was hospitalized with minor injuries, and charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain proper control of the vehicle. None of the people involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts.

In general, reckless driving is committed by someone who drives his/her vehicle “on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person” regardless of the posted speed limit. Unfortunately, drivers on the road may encounter someone driving recklessly at any time of day and on any road. Wearing a seat belt and ensuring that all passengers are properly restrained before a trip begins can help protect against severe injuries or death.

Seatbelts are known as one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes according to the CDC. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020, 51 percent were not wearing seat belts. Wearing a seat belt during every trip can help save lives.

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.

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