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.
What Damages Are Available in a Fatal Pedestrian Accident?
When a person loses a loved one in a pedestrian accident, they often face devastating pain and suffering. If they choose to hold the responsible driver accountable, a decedent’s loved ones can pursue emotional damages. Under Virginia law, a jury or judge can award damages for sorrow, mental anguish, or solace. This also includes the loss of the decedent’s companionship, comfort, or guidance. This type of damages award intends to compensate a decedent’s loved ones for the emotional harm they have suffered as a result of the accident. In addition to emotional damages, a deceased victim’s loved ones can seek compensation for economic losses resulting from the accident. These include the decedent’s income along with their services, protection and care for the home. A decedent’s loved one can also seek damages for the deceased’s medical care and funeral expenses. Finally, in rare circumstances, a court may award punitive damages, which intend to punish the responsible party for intentional conduct that disregards other people’s safety.
Have You Been Injured in a Virginia Pedestrian Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a Virginia pedestrian accident, you may have a claim for relief. To talk through your options with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact The Schupak Law Firm today. Through every step of the legal process, our attorneys will handle your case with compassion and skill. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, call our office at (703) 491-7070.