What Should You Do if Your Loved One Was Involved in a Fatal Accident on I-95 Today in Virginia?
Statistics from 2022 show that a total of 1,005 people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents on Virginia roadways that year. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, this number was approximately 3.8% higher than in 2021. In addition to the number of fatal accidents reported, more than 160 people were injured every day as a result of crashes that occurred in the commonwealth. Unfortunately, Interstate 95 is a dangerous road in our state where many of these accidents occur.
If you are currently dealing with losing a loved one as a result of a fatal crash on Interstate 95 in Virginia, you are likely feeling overwhelmed with grief, confusion, and frustration. Dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one is extremely challenging. Please know that while nothing can bring your loved one back, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to help get you the compensation you need to avoid financial strain during this challenging time for your family.
Common Liable Parties Following Fatal I-95 Accidents in Virginia
In Virginia, there are multiple parties who can be held liable following a fatal car crash on Interstate 95 today. Some common parties that are identified in wrongful death claims include:
- Other travelers sharing the road
- Commercial truck companies
- Part manufacturers
It is important to identify the party who is responsible for the crash in order to be able to file a successful wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents on I-95 in Virginia
There are an array of reasons why motor vehicle accidents take place on Interstate 95. Regrettably, the majority of these accidents involve some form of negligence. Common causes of fatal crashes include:
- Drivers who follow too closely
- Drivers who fail to yield
- Drivers who make improper lane changes
- Drivers who run red lights
- Lane closures leading to traffic congestion
- Reckless driving actions
Ultimately, a thorough investigation is needed to determine who is at fault for the accident.
Who Will Investigate a Fatal Car Crash on I-95 in Virginia?
After a fatal car accident on Interstate 95 today in Virginia, the Virginia State Police will typically be involved in the crash investigation. In some instances, the county sheriff’s office or local police may also be involved. For example, if the crash occurred in Warren County, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office will assist in the investigation. If the crash occurred in Stafford County, the Stafford County Police Department may assist in the investigation.
What Does a Fatal Car Crash Investigation Involve in Virginia?
Car accidents that take place on Interstate 95 are often devastating. They leave surviving family members with so many questions surrounding what happened. In the aftermath of a fatal accident on Interstate 95, a thorough investigation is crucial to determine the causes and hold responsible parties accountable. The importance of a comprehensive investigation cannot be overstated.
A thorough investigation helps establish the facts surrounding the accident. Moreover, a meticulous investigation can uncover hidden factors contributing to an accident that may not be immediately apparent. For instance, it may reveal mechanical failures or road conditions that played a role in causing the crash. Identifying these underlying causes can prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. Given the importance of investigations after fatal car crashes, the process will typically begin before the site of the accident is even cleared.
Immediately after a crash on Interstate 95, authorities will respond to the scene and secure the perimeter. This is done to prevent further damage to the involved vehicles, prevent further injuries to surviving victims, and ensure no one tampers with the evidence.
Law enforcement will take pictures of the scene of the crash and take statements from anyone who witnessed the incident take place. Debris and skidmarks located at the scene will be documented, as well. Law enforcement will determine whether there were any signs of impairment that may have contributed to the accident. They will also review the driver’s license status of all involved parties and their driving history.
Authorities will use their findings from the scene to sketch a diagram that illustrates how the vehicles were positioned before and after the collision. Investigators may be able to access the event data recorders (EDRs) located in newer vehicles if they are available. These devices provide insight into braking patterns, speeds, and other factors.
Once all of the relevant information is gathered and analyzed, law enforcement investigators will compile a comprehensive crash report that details the findings of their investigations. This report can play a critical role when it comes to taking legal action against the responsible party. However, it is important to know that there are instances where evidence of your loved one’s involvement in the accident may conflict with the law enforcement reports. If this happens, hiring an attorney may be your best move when it comes to protecting your legal rights.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia After a Fatal I-95 Crash
Whenever a person loses their life as a result of the neglect, wrongful act, or default of another party, it is considered a wrongful death. Following a wrongful death in Virginia, those affected by the loss are able to pursue a legal claim against the responsible party. This type of legal action is designed to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
Virginia state law Va. Code § 8.01-50 states that there are specific parties who have the legal right to file a wrongful death claim following a fatal accident on Interstate 95 today in Virginia. In general, these parties include the survivors of the deceased victim. This can include:
- The victim’s surviving spouse
- The victim’s surviving children
- the victim’s surviving grandchildren
If none of the aforementioned parties are available to file a claim, the right to file a wrongful death claim can be assumed by the surviving parents or the surviving siblings of the deceased. Additionally, any relative who depended on the deceased victim for financial support or shared a home with them prior to their passing is able to file a claim for wrongful death.
If none of these parties exist, any surviving family member who had a right to inherit any of the estates of the deceased under the intestacy laws in Virginia has the ability to file a claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?
In Virginia, a person interested in filing a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one due to a fatal Interstate 95 crash must pursue legal action within the statute of limitations. State law Va. Code § 8.01-244 provides a period of up to two years from the date of the decedent’s passing. If the legal claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, it will not be considered timely, and, therefore, the claimant will be unable to recover compensation for their losses.
Damages Available For a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal I-95 Crash in Virginia
If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal crash on I-95 in Virginia, you may be able to recover compensation for several types of damages.
Economic damages seek to compensate for any financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the victim’s death. This can include medical expenses related to the accident, funeral, and burial costs, as well as any loss of income or financial support that the deceased would have provided.
Non-economic damages are also available and generally account for the loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium resulting from the untimely death. Punitive damages may also be pursued if it is found that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or malice. The specific factors surrounding your loved one’s fatal accident on Interstate 95 today will play a critical role in determining how much money you will be able to recover for your losses and damages.
In Virginia, wrongful death claims follow the rule of pure contributory negligence. If the deceased victim contributed to their accident in any way, it could prevent their family from recovering any compensation for their damages.
Consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney who has knowledge and experience handling fatal accident claims will help ensure that all potential forms of compensation are considered and pursued during your legal proceedings.
Protect Your Rights After a Fatal Accident on I-95 in Virginia
Losing a loved one due to an accident is an unbearable tragedy, and it can impact your life in many ways. That’s why we are here to help you find the right legal representation that can assist with filing a wrongful death claim on Interstate 95 today in Virginia. Our team has extensive experience providing essential guidance while ensuring all rights are protected along the way so that justice may be served and some level of financial stability can be attained during this difficult time.
No matter how difficult it can be to lose a loved one due to a fatal accident on Interstate 95 today in Virginia, you do not have to face this challenge alone. Contact i95accidentalerts.com today for more information, and let us help you get started on getting the justice that your loved one deserves.