Not all car accidents can be prevented. But some can. Often some of the most tragic loss of life from car accidents occurs when teens are behind the wheel. This was the case for three West Virginia high school students. 16-year-old Krystan Butcher was driving a vehicle southbound when she pulled into the northbound lane attempting to overtake another vehicle. She slammed head-on into a fire truck, killing herself and her two sixteen-year-old passengers as well as injuring three of the six firefighters.
More than 5,000 teenagers die in car accidents every year. That’s why as Virginia (VA) personal injury attorneys we do everything we can to help reduce the loss of life that we are so acutely familiar with. Part of that effort includes talking about the dangers, and deadly consequences, of distracted driving. Attorney Richard Shapiro and myself participate in a nationwide program called “End Distracted Driving.” We visit high schools and give presentations to students that included videos of families and friends who suffered the death of loved ones in a variety of distracted driving circumstances.
In addition to educating teens about the dangers of distracted driving our firm also consults with family members about the legal ramifications of a distracted driving wrongful death claim. We know that many at-fault drivers deeply regret their actions, but still must be held liable for compensatory damages.
Due to the horrific loss of life most families are very unfamiliar with the types of damages recoverable under state laws for wrongful death that results from negligent conduct, including that type of behavior behind the wheel of a car. In other cases, it is common that friends or family members are in a car together and some families are hesitant to bring a claim, but this is why we all collectively carry insurance policies–to protect us and step up and pay in difficult circumstances.