Drunk driver rear-ended a car at 98 mph. Wrongful Death case follows. $1.1 Million Settlement Awarded.
A Wrongful Death Suit
A driver was traveling along the Route 220 bypass in Henry County, with the owner of the vehicle in the back seat. The car was rear-ended by the driver of an F350 Ford pickup truck towing a trailer. The impact forced the car off the road and caused it to crash into a tree. Both of the car’s occupants were killed. This resulted in a Wrongful Death case.
The accident was investigated by Virginia State Police officers. It revealed that the pickup truck was a corporate vehicle and that the driver of the truck had a blood alcohol level of .190. As the investigation progressed, state police officers checked the truck’s black box. It revealed that two seconds prior to impact (and deployment of the truck’s air bags), the truck was traveling at 98 mph.
The limits of the pickup driver’s employer’s insurance were established. Additional insurance was available from the pickup driver’s personal auto insurance. Attorneys for the deceased plaintiffs made a demand for $1,100,000. The two decedent attorneys had agreed early in preparation of the legal case that the two estates would split the amount equal to the insurance policy limits equally. Policy limit amounts were tendered and accepted.
Virginia Crash Data for 2017
During the first six months of 2017 there were 3,477 alcohol related crashes in Virginia. These crashes caused 2,150 injuries and 97 deaths.
During the first six months of 2017 there were 11,386 speed related crashes in Virginia. These crashes caused 6,200 injuries and 137 deaths.
During the first six months of 2017 there were 1,216 crashes involving both speed and alcohol in Virginia. These crashes were responsible for 825 injuries and 41 deaths.
Compared to the first six months of 2016, there was only a marginal decrease in these statistics.
How Do We Change the Story?
Although there is a reported decrease in the number of drunk and speed related crashes, we are not achieving the improvement most would like to see. Clearly, 200+ crashes every month involving speeding drunk drivers is too many.
Perhaps we need to do a better job of impressing upon the public the tragedies that result from drunk driving and from excessive speed and particularly from the combination of the two. Perhaps what people fail to understand before driving drunk and speeding
is not just that both are illegal. Perhaps they need to understand that the outcome of these crashes will always be tragic. We need to help them understand that not only will they cause tragedy, but that they will have to live with the knowledge that they caused the tragedy for the rest of their lives.
Meanwhile, when driving, every Virginia driver must remain alert to their surroundings and to the behavior of other drivers. The beginning of defensive driving is alertness and awareness. To protect our lives and our loved ones we must constantly hone our defensive driving skills.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile or vehicle crash of any kind, through no fault of your own, the trusted attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C., are here to help. You can count on our knowledge, experience and skill to represent your interests and to win the best possible outcome for your case.