A driver’s failure to maintain control of her car is being blamed for sending two men to the hospital in southwest Virginia on the afternoon of October 9,2017. The pedestrian crash happened in the 400 block of Oakview Avenue a little before 3 pm.
The injured men were identified as construction workers from Radford and Salem. They had crossed the street from their worksite to a parking lot when the car that would strike them ran off Oakview Avenue. Both were transported from the scene in serious condition, and police issued multiple charges against the driver.
She was found to lack a valid driver’s license and to have no current auto insurance coverage. She was also cited for failure to maintain proper control, which section 46.2-853 of the Virginia Code defines as a reckless driving offense. The charge can indicate a general loss of control or operating a vehicle with faulty brakes. News reports on this pedestrian crash in Bristol do not indicate which situation applied.
The men injured by the allegedly reckless driver must be concerned by the fact that the driver who hit and hospitalized them is uninsured. Virginia is among the states that requires all licensed drivers to carry up-to-date insurance that includes provisions for uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. As explained in the Auto Insurance Consumer Guide published by the state’s Bureau of Insurance:
The Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) provides bodily injury and property damage protection to you if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a “hit-and-run” driver. If your vehicle is damaged by a “hit and run” driver who cannot be identified, you must pay the first $200. Every policy which offers motor vehicle liability coverage must include this coverage. Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage protects you directly in the event you are injured by a driver whose liability limits are not high enough to cover the damages and not as high as the UM/UIM liability limits on your policy. This minimum amount of coverage required by law is $25,000/$50,000/$20,000.
Partnering with a dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyer who has helped many pedestrians hold the drivers who hurt them accountable will make it easier for the men injured in Bristol access their uninsured motorist coverage. Their attorney will also explore ways to hold the woman who lost control of her car personally responsible for paying as much of her victims’ medical bills and other crash-related expenses as possible.