A man who had lived in South Boston, Virginia (VA), lost his life when an out-of-control SUV struck his vehicle in Chesterfield County. The at-fault driver wound up on the wrong side of Courthouse Road near Hull Street, and both she and her passenger required hospital treatment for injuries.
A little after 12:45 pm on August 10, 2017, the woman behind the wheel of a Toyota Highlander ran off the road to her left. She hit a tree in the median and continued on into the path of the deceased victim’s vehicle. The man died at the scene.
Police could not immediately determine why the at-fault driver lost control. Traffic laws and the Virginia Driver’s Manual make it clear that people must keep off medians unless they experience an emergency and can bring their vehicle to a safe stop after pulling into the center divider.
If investigators find that the SUV driver acted negligently or recklessly before entering the median, the family of the man who lost his life would have strong grounds for filing a wrongful death insurance claim or civil lawsuit. Virginia gives family members the right to seek compensation and damages while acting as the plaintiff in place of the person who died.
Specifically, section 8.01-50(A) of the Virginia Code states:
Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation, or of any ship or vessel, and the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action, or to proceed in rem against such ship or vessel or in personam against the owners thereof or those having control of her, and to recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who, or corporation or ship or vessel which, would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, or, if a ship or vessel, to a libel in rem, and her owners or those responsible for her acts or defaults or negligence to a libel in personam, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances, as amount in law to a felony.
Consulting with an experienced and caring Virginia wrongful death attorney will help the family so terribly affected by the fatal crash in Chesterfield County navigate the legal process while trying to hold the at-fault driver accountable. A plaintiff’s lawyer could also provide essential advice and representation to the injured SUV passenger.