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Auto Accident – Running Red Light

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Auto Accident

Brien Roche

In 2017 Tomasa Cuevas was traveling in her SUV with her two children.  The two children were 16 and 11 years of age.  An employee of Rai Transport, Inc. drove his tractor trailer through a red light and T-boned the Cuevas’ vehicle.  Ms. Cuevas suffered skull and facial fractures and a significant brain injury.  Her son also suffered skull and facial fractures and a brain injury.  Her daughter was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of the crash.  The son had previously been a successful high school cross country runner.  He was unable to return to that.

The driver of the tractor trailer had been involved in 14 previous collisions.  At the time of this crash he was driving on a suspended license.

A jury in Kern County, California awarded the three (3) plaintiffs a total of $70.5 million.

Auto accident lawsuits are the most common form of tort claim asserted. Auto crashes involve some careless or reckless act by one person resulting in a collision with another motor vehicle or pedestrian. Whether the use of the car involves actual fault depends on whether the driver’s conduct is contrary to the Rules of the Road. These rules are in the Virginia State code or the local Code of traffic regulation. The Rules of the Road or traffic regulations set the standards for use of motor vehicles. A breach of these rules is negligence.

How Will I Be Paid For My Auto Accident Losses

When you are involved in an car crash in Northern Virginia you have a right to know who will pay your treatment bills, who will pay your lost income, how will you support your family during your period of recovery and what other rights you have as far as a money recovery. Your damages may consist of:

  • Treatment bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

How We Can Help With Your Auto Accident

If you’ve been involved in an car crash that causes serious injury then you need to retain counsel.  My practice is to tell clients not to even think about settling their injury claim until such time as they have reached what doctors call “maximum medical improvement”.  This is the point where either you have returned to your pre injury health or you have gotten as well as you’re going to get.  At that point you can think about settling. 

If your car accident case cannot be settled then you have a right to file suit against the at-fault motorist and anyone else who caused your injury.  That lawsuit in Virginia has to be filed within two (2) years of the date of the injury in most cases.  It is not prudent to wait until the last minute to file such suit as there may be some unknowns about who is truly at fault.  On the other hand, you don’t want to file suit too early because it may be that the trial date comes up before the full extent of your injury is known.

If you do not retain counsel in a timely fashion for a serious car accident injury then you lose the benefit of having someone objective who can steer you through some of the complex steps you must follow. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Auto Insurance

Auto crashes produce a number of questions as to insurance coverage and may provide chances for several forms of coverage to be used:

  • Accident liability insurance.
    This is the coverage that protects the driver being sued.
  • Medpay or personal injury protection.
    This form of coverage protects every person in the car. It pays medical bills for any person in the vehicle without regard to fault.
  • Uninsured or under insured motorist coverage
    This coverage protects the injured party if the at fault driver either did not have insurance or had low limits.
  • Collision coverage.
    This coverage protects you for damage to your vehicle.

Potential Causes Of an Auto Accident

Car Accident-Drunk Drivers

Drunk driving is still at high levels. Although drunk drivers are sometimes punished through large court awards those awards may go unpaid.  Many people carry minimum policy limits.  In many areas drivers are not even required to have coverage.  For instance in the state of Virginia, insurance coverage for an auto is not required.  If however you do not have coverage then you must pay an uninsured motorist fee to the state.

That results in a number of drivers on the road who are not covered.  If you have the bad luck of being struck by a drunk driver who is not covered then your recovery is limited to whatever is your uninsured limits. The odd thing about an uninsured motorist claim is that it puts you adverse to your own insurer.  That is you are seeking money from your carrier based on the conduct of a third party.  Any payment for that misconduct of the third party is coming from your own insurer.  The purpose of this coverage is to provide you (the insured) a source of payment in the event that at-fault driver does not have enough coverage. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Auto Accident-Drunk Driving May Be The Basis For Punitive Damages.

Drunk driving auto accident claims may be for compensatory damages and punitive damages. Across the country thousands of people die every year because of alcohol involved car accidents. In Virginia almost a third of all traffic deaths are alcohol involved.

The injured party can claim what are called “compensatory damages” as a result of a tort injury. If the party causing the injury was a drunk driver, then you may claim punitive damages in some cases. These damages go beyond compensatory damages and are designed to punish the drunk driver for that person’s conduct.

In Virginia if the drunk driver has a blood alcohol content that exceeds .15 and at the time of the crash that driver knew or should have known that he was or would be impaired and his conduct caused injury to you then you may receive punitive damages.

Car Accident-Drunk Driving Deaths

Drunk driving deaths in 2013 increased for the first time in six years in Virginia.

The Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving profiles those victims showing them in better times. These profiles contain stories about the victims written by their loved ones.  The goal behind Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving is to deter future drunk drivers from even getting on the road.

Governor McAuliffe said, “Given that drunk driving is a 100% preventable crime, even one death is too many.I am committed to reducing drunk driving deaths informing all that we must work to keep our state safe.  With this new site with portrayals of people lost to drunk driving and the tragic burden it brings our aim is to save lives and stop drunk driving before it starts.”

Two Virginians die every three days due to drunk drivers. In 2013, 253 Virginians were killed in traffic crashes that involved alcohol use.  That was an increase of nearly 10.5% in 2013 compared to the prior five years that had declines in deaths due to drunk driving.

Car Accident-Drunk Driving Srikeforce

In 2002 Virginia began Checkpoint Strikeforce designed to get drunk drivers off the roadways. The program uses checkpoints, patrols and education about the dangers and fallout of drunk driving.  While the goal is to target all drunk drivers, the campaign focuses on males aged 21 to 35.  This group is an estimated 1/3 of all Virginians killed in alcohol involved crashes.

Car Accident-Alcohol Detectors

Alcohol detectors are now able to detect the presence of alcohol in a person’s body when that person gets behind the wheel.  This has been developed in the last few years as a result of the need for sniffing out bombs.  Auto makers and safety regulators are making such sensing devices that keep a car from starting if the driver had too much alcohol. Many states now require the placement of a locking system for people convicted of DWI/DUI. In Virginia there is a required one year loss of license with the right to have a restricted license. In addition the lock is required to get the restricted license.

Alcohol was a factor in over 10,000 highway deaths in the year 2009.  In the past 20  years it has accounted for over a quarter million deaths.  In recent surveys nearly 10% of the people in the U.S. have admitted to being drunk behind the wheel during the one year prior to the survey.

This  sensing device could be set at the prohibited level of alcohol content and if the driver was at or above that level then the auto will not start.

For more information on drunk drivers, see the pages on Wikipedia. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

For more information about your car crashes see the other pages on this site.

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Auto Accident – Running Red Light

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Auto Accident

Brien Roche

In 2017 Tomasa Cuevas was traveling in her SUV with her two children.  The two children were 16 and 11 years of age.  An employee of Rai Transport, Inc. drove his tractor trailer through a red light and T-boned the Cuevas’ vehicle.  Ms. Cuevas suffered skull and facial fractures and a significant brain injury.  Her son also suffered skull and facial fractures and a brain injury.  Her daughter was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of the crash.  The son had previously been a successful high school cross country runner.  He was unable to return to that.

The driver of the tractor trailer had been involved in 14 previous collisions.  At the time of this crash he was driving on a suspended license.

A jury in Kern County, California awarded the three (3) plaintiffs a total of $70.5 million.

Auto accident lawsuits are the most common form of tort claim asserted. Auto crashes involve some careless or reckless act by one person resulting in a collision with another motor vehicle or pedestrian. Whether the use of the car involves actual fault depends on whether the driver’s conduct is contrary to the Rules of the Road. These rules are in the Virginia State code or the local Code of traffic regulation. The Rules of the Road or traffic regulations set the standards for use of motor vehicles. A breach of these rules is negligence.

How Will I Be Paid For My Auto Accident Losses

When you are involved in an car crash in Northern Virginia you have a right to know who will pay your treatment bills, who will pay your lost income, how will you support your family during your period of recovery and what other rights you have as far as a money recovery. Your damages may consist of:

  • Treatment bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

How We Can Help With Your Auto Accident

If you’ve been involved in an car crash that causes serious injury then you need to retain counsel.  My practice is to tell clients not to even think about settling their injury claim until such time as they have reached what doctors call “maximum medical improvement”.  This is the point where either you have returned to your pre injury health or you have gotten as well as you’re going to get.  At that point you can think about settling. 

If your car accident case cannot be settled then you have a right to file suit against the at-fault motorist and anyone else who caused your injury.  That lawsuit in Virginia has to be filed within two (2) years of the date of the injury in most cases.  It is not prudent to wait until the last minute to file such suit as there may be some unknowns about who is truly at fault.  On the other hand, you don’t want to file suit too early because it may be that the trial date comes up before the full extent of your injury is known.

If you do not retain counsel in a timely fashion for a serious car accident injury then you lose the benefit of having someone objective who can steer you through some of the complex steps you must follow. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Auto Insurance

Auto crashes produce a number of questions as to insurance coverage and may provide chances for several forms of coverage to be used:

  • Accident liability insurance.
    This is the coverage that protects the driver being sued.
  • Medpay or personal injury protection.
    This form of coverage protects every person in the car. It pays medical bills for any person in the vehicle without regard to fault.
  • Uninsured or under insured motorist coverage
    This coverage protects the injured party if the at fault driver either did not have insurance or had low limits.
  • Collision coverage.
    This coverage protects you for damage to your vehicle.

Potential Causes Of an Auto Accident

Car Accident-Drunk Drivers

Drunk driving is still at high levels. Although drunk drivers are sometimes punished through large court awards those awards may go unpaid.  Many people carry minimum policy limits.  In many areas drivers are not even required to have coverage.  For instance in the state of Virginia, insurance coverage for an auto is not required.  If however you do not have coverage then you must pay an uninsured motorist fee to the state.

That results in a number of drivers on the road who are not covered.  If you have the bad luck of being struck by a drunk driver who is not covered then your recovery is limited to whatever is your uninsured limits. The odd thing about an uninsured motorist claim is that it puts you adverse to your own insurer.  That is you are seeking money from your carrier based on the conduct of a third party.  Any payment for that misconduct of the third party is coming from your own insurer.  The purpose of this coverage is to provide you (the insured) a source of payment in the event that at-fault driver does not have enough coverage. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Auto Accident-Drunk Driving May Be The Basis For Punitive Damages.

Drunk driving auto accident claims may be for compensatory damages and punitive damages. Across the country thousands of people die every year because of alcohol involved car accidents. In Virginia almost a third of all traffic deaths are alcohol involved.

The injured party can claim what are called “compensatory damages” as a result of a tort injury. If the party causing the injury was a drunk driver, then you may claim punitive damages in some cases. These damages go beyond compensatory damages and are designed to punish the drunk driver for that person’s conduct.

In Virginia if the drunk driver has a blood alcohol content that exceeds .15 and at the time of the crash that driver knew or should have known that he was or would be impaired and his conduct caused injury to you then you may receive punitive damages.

Car Accident-Drunk Driving Deaths

Drunk driving deaths in 2013 increased for the first time in six years in Virginia.

The Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving profiles those victims showing them in better times. These profiles contain stories about the victims written by their loved ones.  The goal behind Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving is to deter future drunk drivers from even getting on the road.

Governor McAuliffe said, “Given that drunk driving is a 100% preventable crime, even one death is too many.I am committed to reducing drunk driving deaths informing all that we must work to keep our state safe.  With this new site with portrayals of people lost to drunk driving and the tragic burden it brings our aim is to save lives and stop drunk driving before it starts.”

Two Virginians die every three days due to drunk drivers. In 2013, 253 Virginians were killed in traffic crashes that involved alcohol use.  That was an increase of nearly 10.5% in 2013 compared to the prior five years that had declines in deaths due to drunk driving.

Car Accident-Drunk Driving Srikeforce

In 2002 Virginia began Checkpoint Strikeforce designed to get drunk drivers off the roadways. The program uses checkpoints, patrols and education about the dangers and fallout of drunk driving.  While the goal is to target all drunk drivers, the campaign focuses on males aged 21 to 35.  This group is an estimated 1/3 of all Virginians killed in alcohol involved crashes.

Car Accident-Alcohol Detectors

Alcohol detectors are now able to detect the presence of alcohol in a person’s body when that person gets behind the wheel.  This has been developed in the last few years as a result of the need for sniffing out bombs.  Auto makers and safety regulators are making such sensing devices that keep a car from starting if the driver had too much alcohol. Many states now require the placement of a locking system for people convicted of DWI/DUI. In Virginia there is a required one year loss of license with the right to have a restricted license. In addition the lock is required to get the restricted license.

Alcohol was a factor in over 10,000 highway deaths in the year 2009.  In the past 20  years it has accounted for over a quarter million deaths.  In recent surveys nearly 10% of the people in the U.S. have admitted to being drunk behind the wheel during the one year prior to the survey.

This  sensing device could be set at the prohibited level of alcohol content and if the driver was at or above that level then the auto will not start.

For more information on drunk drivers, see the pages on Wikipedia. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

For more information about your car crashes see the other pages on this site.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation