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

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.

Four juveniles injured in ATV crash in Prince George County

Virtually everyone in Virginia understands that a person must be 16 years and three months old to obtain a driver's license and that the minimum age for a learner's permit is 15 years and six months. But, what about ATVs? Virginia law prohibits anyone under the age of 16 from operating an ATV, but the statute does not require a license. These laws will be under scrutiny following a recent ATV accident where three juveniles suffered serious injuries.

Two ATVs collided in a field in Prince George County. The people operating the ATVs were all under 16, according to police. One of the children was only 9 years old. The two juveniles who were seriously injured were taken to VCU Medical Center, where they were described as being in serious but stable condition.

Converted school bus misses stop sign, kills mother of three

Emergency workers approaching an accident scene in Leesburg thought at first that the driver of an old school bus had missed a stop sign and smashed into a guard rail. But, as they closed in on the scene of the car accident, the emergency responders saw the horrible truth: the bus had hit an Audi station wagon, and the crumpled remains of the station wagon were pinned beneath the bus. Five people were trapped inside the Audi.

First responders worked for more than three hours to saw through the wreckage to rescue the people in the station wagon. They found a female driver, her mother, and her three children. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother and her teenage son were taken to Fairfax Hospital, where they remain in intensive care. The two younger children are in stable condition, but they have not yet been informed that their mother was killed in the accident.

Dressers recalled due to tip-over hazard

Northern Virginia households contain numerous items that can be the cause of serious injury. Among the most obvious are knives and other cutting implements found in the kitchen and electrical devices of all kinds. One class of household furnishings, however, is hardly considered to be a threat of injury or death: the plain, unadorned bedroom dresser. Nevertheless, Walmart has taken a dramatic step to forestall numerous products liability lawsuits by recalling 1.6 million dressers because they are unstable and can cause injury or death if they tip over.

The dressers are manufactured by Ameriwood Mainstay and sold by Walmart from April 2009 to May 2016. They cost about $60.00. Soon after a four-year-old child was injured when an Ameriwood 4-drawer dresser tipped over, Walmart decided to issue a recall notice. The dressers are about 40" high, 28" wide and 15" deep. They have plastic drawer glides and a single handle on each drawer. According to critics of the product, the dressers do not satisfy the performance standards adopted by the furniture industry that have been incorporated into ASTM standard F2057-14.

Head-on collision in work zone leaves one dead, two injured

People who use the Interstate Highway System in Virginia are used to seeing signs asking for extra caution in work zones. Fines for traffic violations usually increase in work zones, and speed limits are reduced. But, what about vehicles used in highway construction work? A recent truck accident in Arlington raises several questions about the safe operation of vehicles involved in construction work.

A stretch of I-95 express lanes in Arlington County are being re-surfaced. In the early morning hours of August 22, a large dump truck entered the closed express lane and headed south to deliver a load of paving material. At the same time, a smaller pickup truck that was also involved in the construction work entered the express lane headed north. The two trucks collided just south of the 14th Street Bridge.

Virginia DOT to review causes of three-car crash that killed two

A stretch of I-264 in Virginia has been the scene of two fatal accidents in less than seven months. The Virginia Department of Transportation said after the second car accident that it will review the accident and the portion of the freeway where it occurred. In both accidents, an automobile crossed the grassy median and collided head-on with vehicles in the other lane.

The most recent accident occurred when a Ford Taurus crossed the median strip and hit a Toyota Corolla and then collided with a Suzuki Sidekick. The drivers of the Taurus and the Suzuki were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The driver of the Corolla was treated for minor injuries at Virginia Beach General Hospital and then released. The previous accident on this stretch of road occurred when a westbound minivan crossed the median and hit several eastbound vehicles. This accident caused two fatalities and injured six people.

Rear-end truck collision near Spotsylvania leaves one dead

Virginians who use the Interstate Highway system in the summer often encounter construction zones and signs that require drivers to reduce their speed. Occasionally, the construction bottleneck brings traffic to a complete halt. A recent truck accident on I-95 near Spotsylvania was the apparent result of a driver failing to heed the reduced speed limit in a construction zone.

According to police, traffic on this stretch of I-95 was reduced to a crawl and the occasional full stop when the accident happened. A tractor-trailer had stopped in the construction zone as traffic came to a halt. The big rig was followed by an SUV driven by a New York resident in which his wife was a passenger. A box truck slammed into the SUV and pushed it into the rear end of the tractor-trailer. The driver of the SUV died at the scene, and his wife, who suffered serious injuries, was taken to the VCU Medical Center in Richmond.

Helping you hold a negligent property owner accountable

Most days, residents in Virginia enter and exit the properties of others. Whether it is a grocery store, post office, clinic, gas station, department store or the home of another, most do not view these places as dangerous or prone to risks. However, when a property owner is negligent and dangerous conditions are not addressed, this could result in a visitor or patron being seriously injured.

While no one expects to be injured on private or public property, if an individual is harmed by a dangerous condition, this could result in much pain and suffering, serious injuries and damages. At Surovell, Isaacs & Levy, PLC, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping those harmed by negligent property owners, helping them successfully navigate a premises liability action.

What is a wrongful death action in Virginia?

Even a casual consumer of local news knows that accidental deaths are frequent occurrences in Northern Virginia. Such incidents frequently produce lawsuits by the decedent's family to recover damages from the party who is at fault. A common question about such suits is why does the family of someone who dies in a car accident or some other mishap have the right to sue someone else? The answer is provided by Virginia statute.

Under the common law, the death of an accident victim terminated the right of the decedent and their family to commence a lawsuit for damages. The unfairness of this rule prompted the Virginia legislature and the legislatures of the other forty-nine states to pass laws permitting such lawsuits. The Virginia statute is entitled "Action for death by wrongful act." The rule is straightforward: "Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default," the personal representative of the decedent may bring an action for damages against any party whose "wrongful act" caused the death.

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