A collision between a car and a AAA flatbed wreck in Virginia Beach, VA, on the afternoon of July 22, 2015, left an 18-year-old high school student dead. The driver and a second passenger in the car in which the teen lost her life also suffered serious injuries in the wreck at the intersection of Princess Anne Road and Kempsville Road. Those injured survivors were identified as the deceased victim's mother and sister.
News reports note only that the tow truck and the smaller vehicle collided, giving no indication of which driver was at fault. Completing the investigation into the fatal crash my take weeks or months, but determining which errors or reckless acts created the deadly situation is necessary. First, police must know whether filing charges against one or both drivers is appropriate. Second, assigning legal responsibility also amounts to setting insurance liability.
Should the tow truck driver be found at fault, the family in the car could file personal injury and wrongful death claims against the wrecker operator and AAA. Conversely, if the driver of the car ran into the tow truck while turning, approaching a stop light or changing lanes, she would need to settle claims from the automobile club worker and the organization. The car driver's insurance would also need to be asked to provide compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses and property damage. As heartbreaking as that outcome would appear, one of the main reasons people carry car insurance is to avoid paying the financial costs of accidents out of their own pockets.
Whatever the crash investigation reveals, my Virginia Beach plaintiff's attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the young woman who died.