Our firm writes daily about the tragic accidents that happen on the roads outside our back doors in Virginia, but Virginia residents aren’t just at risk of being in a car accident in Virginia. Virginians travel to neighboring states all the time and are sometimes in serious or even fatal car accidents far from home. Sadly, this was the case for one Virginian last Friday.

Ki Sung Lee, a Fredericksburg resident, was traveling in Severn, Maryland on September 26 when he was hit head-on by another vehicle. According to The Baltimore Sun, Mr. Lee was driving a 2004 Kia Optima northbound on Ridge Road in Severn, Maryland when a 73-year-old woman driving an Audi SUV hit him head-on. Anne Arundel County Police say the woman hit Mr. Lee when she crossed the center-line while navigating a curve in the road.

Mr. Lee was transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. He was only 29-years-old.

Police said they believe the crash was caused by driver error; specifically the woman’s failing to stay in her lane throughout the curve in the road.

I extend my sincere condolences to Mr. Lee’s family. The shock of learning a loved one was killed in a car accident can be paralyzing, and even more so when that loved one died far from home.

“Driver error” is a very general term. Driver error could be the result of speeding, inattentive or distracted driving, or compromised driving skills due to age or inexperience. We may never know exactly what kind of error occurred in this accident, but authorities appear confident that Mr. Lee was the tragic victim of a fatal car accident that was another driver’s fault.

When a person loses a loved one in an out-of-state car accident, “What do I do now?” becomes a more complicated question immediately after the tragic news and in the days and weeks that follow. After the reality of the loss sets in, a spouse or child may want to know if they have any legal recourse against the driver who caused the accident.

Regardless of where a car accident happens, it’s important to seek an attorney close to home. Having a local lawyer makes traveling to their office for meetings more convenient. An experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney can easily communicate with local law enforcement to obtain the documentation needed to evaluate the claim and will be familiar with the laws in nearby states.

After the loss of a loved one, life can feel stressful and uncomfortable. In this difficult time, it’s important to have a lawyer who understands how to work through this stress and discomfort while also working toward a legal resolution.