The loss of a loved one in a fatal auto accident is unimaginably painful, and even more so when knowing it could have potentially been avoided. In 2017, there were 783 fatal car accidents in Northern Virginia and 34,247 nationwide, leaving many families, friends and communities devastated.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, we can help. Fatal auto accidents are often caused by negligent behavior, which entitles you to financial compensation. Call to find out your legal options from one of our highly qualified fatal auto accident attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. Our personal injury legal team has a substantial amount of experience in handling fatal auto accident cases. Fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.
Why Choose Our Northern Virginia Firm?
- For more than 38 years we have been providing experienced and compassionate legal guidance to grieving families.
- You won’t have to worry about out-of-pocket expenses for our legal services, as we only collect a fee after we secure a recovery on your behalf.
- We focus on achieving a successful result and will search for the most effective means of doing so.
Five Leading Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Northern Virginia
- Speeding – The top reason for fatal auto accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Substance abuse – Alcohol-impaired driving was responsible for 29% of all fatal auto accidents in 2017.
- Failure to Yield – Drivers often fail to yield the right of way, causing a collision.
- Distracted Driving – A continuing issue across the U.S., even with laws being placed in many states banning cellphone use while driving. Eating, adjusting the radio, and passenger distractions also contribute to causing fatal accidents.
- Disobeying Traffic Signals – Running red lights or stop signs puts everyone else on the road at risk for a fatal crash.
Recovering Compensation After a Northern Virginia Fatal Car Accident
After losing a loved one in a car accident, surviving family members may go through the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy as the first option for recovery. A claim will need to be filed along with evidence proving that the driver’s negligent actions caused your loved one’s death and you have experienced losses as a result. Issues commonly arise with wrongful death insurance claims, such as being awarded a settlement that is limited by the at-fault driver’s amount of liability insurance, which may not be enough to cover expenses. A wrongful death lawsuit may also be filed with the local court. Evidence will also need to be shown to prove negligence on behalf of the at-fault driver.
Proving Negligence in a Northern Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The following four elements will need to be proven in order to establish negligence in a fatal auto accident:
- Duty of Care: The at-fault driver owed a duty of care to the deceased, such as driving safely and following the rules of the road.
- Breach of Duty of Care: The at-fault driver breached their duty of care, for example by driving distracted or speeding.
- Causation: The breach of the duty of care by the at-fault driver caused the victim’s death.
- Damages: The victim’s death resulted in financial losses, such as loss of income, medical bills, and funeral expenses.
When Do You Need a Fatal Auto Accident Lawyer In Northern Virginia?
A Northern Virginia fatal auto accident attorney experienced in wrongful death claims has the knowledge and money it takes to thoroughly investigate and gather the necessary evidence that it takes to win the case. Insurance companies will attempt to deny the validity of the claim and blame the decedent for their death. Under Virginia’s rule of contributory negligence, if the decedent is found to be even partially at fault for their death then beneficiaries cannot recover financial compensation. A lawyer can hire accident reconstruction experts to determine fault and will handle all interactions with the insurance company for you. They will fight tirelessly and, if necessary, take the matter to court in order to recover damages on behalf of your grieving family.
Contact Our Northern Virginia Fatal Car Accident Attorney Office for a Free Consultation
Our team of fatal auto accident lawyers at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP understands how shattering the sudden loss of a loved one can be. Let us help you during this time of mourning by taking care of all of your legal matters so you may focus on your family. Fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer today.