A teenager may feel like a grown up but to their parents they will always be a wide eyed sweet little baby. When a parent loses a teenager suddenly and violently as in a fatal car accident the grief can be overwhelming. Sadly in Virginia Beach, Virginia an 18-year old passenger, Paul Edward Mailman, (Virginian Pilot, 2013) lost his life when the 17-year-old driver of the car he was riding in lost control and hit several trees. Paul had just graduated two months ago, from Landstown High School. The investigation is pending as to what caused the crash but we clearly know that for some reason the driver lost control of the vehicle.
As Virginia car accident attorneys we have seen the grief that haunts parent’s eyes after losing a child. This is one of the reasons the lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton participate in the “End distracted Driving Program.” Since teenagers are particularly susceptible to distracted driving, personal injury lawyers Richard Shapiro and Kevin Duffan have already traveled to two local high schools, First Colonial and Jamestown High School to talk about the dangers, and deadly consequences, of distracted driving.
In addition to educating teens about the dangers of distracted driving our firm also consults with family members about the legal ramifications of a distracted driving wrongful death claim. We know that many at-fault drivers deeply regret their actions, but still must be held liable for compensatory damages.
Due to the horrific loss of life most families are very unfamiliar with the types of damages recoverable under state laws for wrongful death that results from negligent conduct, including that type of behavior behind the wheel of a car. In other cases, it is common that friends or family members are in a car together and some families are hesitant to bring a claim, but this is why we all collectively carry insurance policies--to protect us and step up and pay in difficult circumstances.