An evening rush hour wreck in northwestern Suffolk, Virginia (VA), on December 12, 2014, left one women dead and two other drivers injured. The fatal accident occurred on a stretch of U.S. Route 460 that is also known as Pruden Boulevard and near the intersection with Old Myrtle Road. One of the injured individuals remained in the hospital throughout the weekend in serious but stable condition.
Police could not immediately determine why the three cars crashed or which driver deserved primary responsibility for causing the collisions. The rural highway where the accident occurred has three lanes, a high speed limit and multiple turnoffs onto side roads and private properties. Speeding, driver distraction, failure to slow or yield for a turning vehicle, and impairment by drugs or alcohol must all be considered.
Regardless of why the cars crashed, or who gets found at fault, the results of the accident are tragic. Friends and family members of the deceased woman likely remain in shock and grief at the sudden, unexpected loss of their loved one. The man who incurred critical injuries faces weeks, months or even years of expensive medical treatments and grueling physical therapy. Even the third driver who, according to reports, refused transportation to an emergency room following the wreck, must cope with his own injuries and vehicle repair expenses.
Insurance should eventually take care of some of the financial issues created by the crash, but navigating the claims process and securing payments that reflect the reality of each victim's situation are practically guaranteed to prove difficult. Without a clear, early determination of liability, insurance company representatives can delay claims processing and try to avoid their obligations by invoking defenses such as contributory negligence, lack of medical evidence and so-called "set offs," which can prevent accident victims from receiving maximum payments from multiple insurers.
Consulting with an experienced Virginia wrongful death and personal injury lawyer can help the people affected by the Suffolk wreck protect their rights and interests. For now, however, the injured and grieving should focus on their own personal recoveries.