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Northern Virginia Personal Injury, Business, Family Law, Consumer and Estate Blog

Nurse with traumatic brain injury settles accident claim

The effects of brain injuries on a victim's life are usually severe, even if the victim has suffered only slight physical trauma. A traffic accident case involving a traumatic brain injury in Newport News was heading into its fifth day when the parties finally reached a settlement. According to those close to the trial, the injured driver will receive $8 million from the defendant.

An environmental services company based in Massachusetts was engaged in a year-long contract in Newport News. On August 27, 2014, one of its employees driving a company pickup truck crashed into a car near Newport News. The driver of the car was slowing for a stop light, and the collision pushed her car into another vehicle. The pickup truck wound up about 250 feet from the collision. Subsequent investigation showed that the driver of the pickup was drunk when the accident happened. According to the driver's attorneys, she suffered serious brain injuries. They also asserted that she suffered a closed-head traumatic brain injury that virtually destroyed her ability to earn a living and to participate in other activities that most people take for granted.

Chain reaction crash kills one, injures six near Appomattox

Police officers in Appomattox County are trying to untangle the events that led to a four-vehicle accident that killed one person. The car accident occurred on Red House Road near Appomattox.

Emergency workers were summoned to the scene of the accident at about 4:00 p.m. They encountered an accident scene involving four vehicles, six injured people and one fatality. Police investigating the accident said that a pickup tried to avoid hitting a car at the intersection of Red House Road and Robinson Road. The truck missed the car but hit another pickup truck head-on. A Jeep struck one of the trucks, hit a tree and overturned. The driver of the Jeep died in the collision. A fourth vehicle received minor damage in the accident.

Driver found and arrested after fatal hit-and-run accident

Hit-and-run accidents are crimes, and they can cause excruciating heartbreak to the victims or the victims' families. The pain resulting from the inability to identify or, if appropriate, sue the driver who caused the accident can be partially ameliorated if the fleeing driver is apprehended. A recent fatal car accident on I-66 in Fairfax County may have had an unsatisfying outcome but for the sharp eyes of a witness.

The accident occurred in the westbound lanes of I-66 at about 4:00 a.m. One vehicle overturned in the collision and its driver was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The driver of a second vehicle died at the scene. A passenger in this vehicle was also hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of a white SUV, who was apparently at fault for the accident, fled the scene.

Coast Guard member killed in DWI accident

Fatal traffic accidents that involve alcohol always have an especially harsh emotional impact on the victim's family. A recent car accident near Virginia Beach which killed a U.S. Coast Guard Technician abounds in painful irony that will haunt the victim's family for many years.

The victim was on his way to pick up his wife and her friends after they had celebrated her birthday. He had offered to act as chauffeur because he did not drink and he wanted his wife and her friends to be able to enjoy themselves without worrying about their alcohol consumption. As he was driving on Interstate 264, a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the median strip and hit the Coast Guardsman's vehicle head on. The Coast Guardsman suffered major spinal cord and brain injuries and died at the hospital one day after the accident.

Semi driver blamed for fatal multi-vehicle accident

The driver of a semi-truck appears to have been the cause of a six-vehicle collision near Fredericksburg, Virginia, that resulted in one fatality. The truck accident injured several people and killed a woman as they were waiting for a traffic light to change.

At about 11:55 a.m., five automobiles appear to have been stopped on Route 3 waiting for a traffic signal to turn green. According to witness accounts, a semi-truck was headed east on Route 3 when the driver attempted to move from the center lane to the right lane. The tractor-trailer cab hit the five vehicles from the rear. One driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and three other people, including the driver of the truck, were hospitalized for treatment of their injuries.

Ignition switch settlement to pay out $2.39 million to Virginia

Virginia was one of dozens of states that investigated General Motors over allegations that the company was aware of and deliberately hid evidence of defective ignition switches. In one of the largest products liability settlements in recent years, General Motors has agreed to pay $120 million to 49 states and the District of Columbia.

According to several of the plaintiff states, GM employees first became aware of the defects in 2004, but it knowingly delayed recalling vehicles with the defective ignition switches. The defective switches failed to remain locked in the "run" position. When such a switch moved out of the "run" position, the vehicle would lose power, including power steering and power brakes. The malfunction would occasionally prevent airbags from deploying in an accident.

Accident reconstruction, black boxes help police understand crash

Traffic accidents can occur in the blink of an eye. The task of understanding how and why an accident occurred often requires the technical sophistication of forensic experts and event data recorders. This blog recently explained the techniques of accident reconstruction used by Virginia law enforcement officers, and the conclusion of a recent accident investigation provides a useful example of how the two techniques were used to understand the sequence of events in a deadly truck accident.

A tractor-trailer truck loaded with canned goods was southbound on I-77 when it crossed the median and struck an SUV. The big rig rolled over and quickly began to burn. The four people in the SUV, all members of the same family, were killed in the collision. The driver of the semi-trailer truck suffered multiple broken bones.

Driver killed attempting to pass slow-moving big rig

Slow-moving semi-trucks can try a driver's patience, especially on Virginia's curvy rural highways. Car drivers are often tempted to pass a big rig even when road conditions and road markings dictate prudence. A recent car accident near Purcellville demonstrates how a moment of bad judgment can create a tragic accident.

A semi-trailer was traveling east on Purcellville Road when three vehicles pulled into the westbound lane and attempted to pass it. Lane markings indicated that all four vehicles were in a no-passing zone. The first two vehicles were able to pass the big rig and return to the eastbound lane, but the third vehicle collided head-on with a westbound vehicle. The driver of the eastbound vehicle died at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was flown to a hospital in Fairfax for treatment of serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Big rig collision on I-295 kills two in Henrico County

Changing lanes on a highway can quickly turn dangerous. A recent truck accident in Henrico County demonstrates how a lane change and a few seconds of inattention can lead to a fatal collision.

According to police, a 2000 Jeep Cherokee was traveling north on I-295 when the driver slowed to merge right into the exit lane. Instead of completing the merge, the Jeep was rear-ended by a northbound tractor trailer. The impact caused the driver of the Jeep to lose control and his Jeep was pushed into the inside northbound lane, where it crashed into another car. The impact of this collision forced both cars into the median strip, where both vehicles overturned.

What is accident reconstruction?

Traffic accidents usually happen in a few seconds. As a result, people in the colliding vehicles do not accurately perceive what is happening. For the same reasons, witnesses' accounts can be unreliable. Many media accounts of car accidents end with the statement that police are continuing their investigation. What, exactly, are they investigating?

Post-accident investigations ordinarily focus on "reconstructing" the accident; that is, describing the events that caused the accident, the events of the accident itself and any significant post-collision events, such as roll-overs and flips. Accident reconstruction is the use of various scientific techniques to understand and describe the exact series of events that comprise the accident.

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