As I write this on September 19, 2016, many details on who caused a fatal September 15 head-on collision in Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), remain unknown. The deadly two-car crash occurred on Battlefield Boulevard, leaving the northbound driver dead at the scene and the southbound driver hospitalized with serious injuries.
One of the drivers crossed the center line of the highway a couple of miles north of the border with North Carolina, where the deceased woman had lived. Police told reporters that they suspect alcohol use played a role in leading one of the drivers to leave their lane and enter the path of oncoming traffic. No further information has been made public.
When little is known about the cause of a car accident that leaves people dead and injured, all parties involved can benefit from hiring a Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney. Working with a legal adviser will ensure that family members and victims remain fully informed of investigators' findings while also ensuring that legal rights to maintain privacy and seek compensation are fully protected.
If the man who survived this head-on collision in Chesapeake is found to be at fault, the family members of the woman who died would have strong grounds for filing wrongful death claims. They might also be able to seek punitive damages against the man if he was driving under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving is considered reckless behavior that can merit a noncriminal monetary penalty.
If, however, the surviving driver is determined to be the innocent victim, he could file personal injury claims. Auto insurance policies remain in effect until legitimate claims are paid or otherwise resolved. A driver who harms someone by acting negligently or recklessly cannot escape liability just by dying in the crash.