A crash between a car and a van in Virginia Beach, VA, on the morning of July 26, 2017, sent six people to hospitals with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. In all, eight people required medical treatment after the collision at the intersection of Independence Boulevard and Shelton Road.
Police received the call about the wreck at 8:17 am. First responders found the van flipped onto its roof and resting on top of the car. Several individuals had to be cut from the wreckage.
Investigators determined that the van had pulled into the path of the car while attempting to cross Independence. Drivers on Shelton Road face a stop sign, so the car had right of way. This led police to charge the van driver with failure to yield.
The relevant law, section 46.2-861 of the Virginia Code, states
The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection on a highway controlled by a stop sign shall, immediately before entering such intersection, stop at a clearly marked stop line, or, in the absence of a stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, in the absence of a marked crosswalk, stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. Before proceeding, he shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of any vehicle approaching on such other highway from either direction.
Failing to yield right of way is only a moving violation, not a criminal offense. The citation does matter for insurance purposes, however. All the evidence gathered by police to support issuing the ticket can also be used to establish the validity of personal injury claims and civil lawsuits for compensation and monetary damages.
One concern the passengers and innocent driver may have is that the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy may not have coverage limits sufficient to pay all the medical bills, lost wages and other crash-related expenses for each of the victims. The people hurt in the wreck at Independence and Shelton Road in Virginia Beach may need to rely on underinsured motorist provisions of their own automobile policies.
A consumer guide published by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance explains what this is: “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.”
Submitting UIM claims is usually as complicated and contentious as asking an at-fault driver’s insurer to settle claims. Working with a dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyer will help the people injured in this Beach wreck clear obstacles put in place by any insurance company representatives.