Two people in Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), went to the hospital with injuries on the afternoon of February 15, 2017, after their car ran off the road and crashed into the garage of a house on Indian Cedar Drive. No one else got hurt, and, fortunately, nether the car’s driver nor his passenger sustained life-threatening injuries.
Police determined the person driving the car lost control when he was cut off by an SUV whose driver will face charges. News reports do not provide details on what that person did to cut off the car, but failing to yield right of way while turning into or exiting from a driveway seems likely. Indian Cedar Drive is an undivided two-lane residential road lined by single-family homes. Even in such locations, drivers must exercise caution and check their blind spots in the same ways they would in areas with more vehicle traffic.
Virginia personal injury lawyers like myself and insurance company representatives call a crash into a house “a fixed object collision.” Other fixed objects include trees, guardrails, stores and Jersey walls.
These types of collisions are more frequent than most people realize, and they often have terrible consequences. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute estimates that “about 20 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths result from a vehicle leaving the roadway and hitting a fixed object alongside the road.” Other data analyses show that operator error and confusing the gas pedal for the brake are the leading causes of fixed object collisions.
The intent of law enforcement officers to charge the SUV driver in connection with this wreck in Chesapeake indicates that he or she made the error that led to two people getting hurt. That legal determination should make the SUV driver responsible for settling property damage and personal injury insurance claims. Consulting with a plaintiff’s attorney will help both the homeowner and the injured people in the car receive compensation and damages. Importantly, all the crash report and crash scene evidence collected by the police can be used by the victims to support their insurance claims.