One Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash on I-264 Near First Colonial Rd

One man was killed and three more were injured during a traffic crash on Interstate 264 on Sunday, May 7th in Virginia Beach. 

Can I file a wrongful death suit if my deceased family member was in the same car as the at-fault driver?

According to Virginia State Police, the incident took place on the westbound side of the interstate, in the area of First Colonial Road, at about 2:20 a.m. when a 2013 Subaru Impreza traveling at a high rate of speed lost control, left the paved portion of the roadway and slammed into a tree.

A passenger in the back seat of the vehicle died at the scene. Two other passengers as well as the vehicle’s driver were transported to area hospitals in unknown conditions.  

No additional information has been made available at this time. 

Fatal accidents, especially those that could have been avoided, are utterly devastating for the victim’s surviving relatives. If you lost a member of your family in a fatal negligence-based accident, contact a Virginia wrongful death lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp as soon as possible so we can conduct an investigation and get to work on filing your claim.

Standing to Bring a Wrongful Death Action After a Car Crash

To have standing to file a legal action with the court means that you are legally allowed to do so. While a lot of states grant standing in a wrongful death case to any surviving relative of the decedent, Virginia does not. In the state of Virginia, standing to file a wrongful death suit is only granted to the executor or personal representative of the victim’s estate. The executor is usually named in the victim’s will if they had one. If the victim died intestate, the probate court will designate an executor to perform the necessary duties. In many cases, the personal representative or administrator is a beneficiary of the estate.

Criminal vs. Civil Proceedings

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that demands compensation for damages. A wrongful death suit is not a criminal case that can lead to arrest and imprisonment. If your family member’s death arose from the commission of a crime, such as drunk driving, there will most likely be felony charges brought against the guilty party. These charges will be filed by the state, and the defendant will then be prosecuted.

Any criminal proceedings will be entirely distinct from a civil suit, which can be pursued concurrently. Due to the fact that a criminal case could potentially drag on for an extended period of time, and Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations, you do not want to wait for any criminal proceedings to conclude before you file your lawsuit. However, a guilty verdict in a criminal trial will prove that the defendant was liable for the death of your family member, and in turn, will strengthen your wrongful death claim.

The Need for Legal Representation

Since a wrongful death case combines elements of both estate law and personal injury law, working with an experienced lawyer is strongly recommended when it comes to working out the legal intricacies of the action, ensuring you adhere to the statute of limitations,  and many other procedural requirements as well. Your attorney will also know the best way to monetize your damages in order to demand maximum financial compensation.

In a wrongful death award, lost anticipated income usually accounts for the largest portion of damages, particularly if the victim was young. Your attorney will investigate the deceased’s past income and consult with professionals in order to determine what their future income would have been had they not been killed. Your lawyer will also know how to assign a dollar value to the sorrow and mental anguish that your family member’s passing has caused and will continue to cause you in the years to come.

Are You Considering Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Car Crash?

An experienced Virginia wrongful death lawyer will have access to the resources that are needed to fully investigate the crash that led to the death of your loved one. They can also answer any questions you have regarding the legal process, explain your rights to you, and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses.  

If you lost someone you love to wrongful death, reach out to a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free assessment of your potential claim by calling (833) 997-1774.  

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