After two vehicles crashed near the intersection of S. Centerville Turnpike and Beaver Dam Road in Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), one driver died and the other driver survived with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. Days after that fatal collision on the afternoon of March 1, 2017, those details remain all that is known.
Police did not release the name of the 60-year-old man who lost his life after being transported to the hospital. Nor have crash investigators given reporters any indications of why the vehicles collided. This leaves essential questions regarding fault and liability demanding answers, along with specifics on what each driver did in the moments leading up to the collision. The injured survivor and the family of the deceased driver will need to press members of the Crash Reconstruction Team and the Central Records Unit for information so they can move forward with filing insurance claims.
As personal injury and wrongful death attorneys with offices in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, my law firm colleagues and I know that traffic accidents take a terrible toll on local residents. In fact, the Virginia Highway Safety Office recorded 2,685 crashes in Chesapeake during 2015, which is the last year for which complete data are available. Eighteen people died in those wrecks, while hundreds of other individuals required medical treatment for injuries they suffered due to someone else's negligence or recklessness.
The victims of crashes in Chesapeake who succeeded in receiving insurance settlements or awards from civil lawsuits almost all did so while relying on information from official reports prepared by law enforcement investigators. Working with a plaintiff's attorney can help crash victims not only receive complete and unredacted police reports, but also get statements and notes from the police, detectives and forensics personnel who visited the scene and interviewed witnesses.
Securing assistance from a dedicated personal injury and wrongful death attorney could prove especially beneficial in the wake of this wreck on Centerville Turnpike because insurance companies can erect high barriers to claims in which one or more driver loses their life. Virginia recognizes the legal principle of contributory negligence, so having as much evidence that someone else caused a wreck -- as well as a legal expert who can respond to challenges to such evidence -- is key to clearing hurdles put in place by insurance company representatives.