Driving a car is a great privilege. But as always, great privileges come with great responsibilities — and too often, car accidents can result in injury, or even tragedy, as two recent accidents show.
One multi-car accident happened after 47-year old Fitzgerald Wise ran into two cars on West Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia. He then backed into a police car and hit a utility pole. A police officer and driver received non-threatening injuries, and Wise was charged with reckless driving. It is unknown whether other factors affected Wise, such as drugs and alcohol. A second recent crash happened to a West Virginia resident, and unfortunately, the result was a fatality. A 60-year old man, Charles Herald, was driving a Dodge Ram Charger with a camper through Kentucky. The camper started to fishtail, causing Herald to lose control of the truck. The truck careened off of the right shoulder, hit a tree, and finally came to a rest. Although Herald was flown to a hospital, he was pronounced dead an hour later.
It is estimated that 5.5 million car crashes take place each year. They are common along several routes in West Virginia, especially on Interstate 79 and Interstate 68. A car accident can result in injuries that range from serious — such as injuries to the neck, spine, or brain — to “mild,” such as whiplash. In too many cases, car accidents can even result in death. Even those with “mild” injuries can still face a lifetime of problems. That is why you should take any injury from a car accident seriously, no matter how minor it seems at the time.
We at the Wolfe Law Firm have seen quite a number of car accident victims over the past 20 years. Often, these people are fed up with trying to get money from the insurance company to pay for their injuries and need help from an experienced West Virginia car accident attorney. A jury verdict in their favor could give them money for medical bills and pain and suffering. How a person injured in a car accident proceeds depends upon the nature of the accident.
If you or your loved one were injured by a driver like Fitzgerald Wise, you would most likely sue that driver for negligence. You would argue that the other driver owed a duty to you and other occupants of the roadway to drive safely according to the law. By using alcohol, or by simply ignoring road safety laws, the other driver breached that duty. The other driver’s breach caused you injury, and you suffered damage as a result. As a remedy, you would seek damages, or a monetary award.
On the other hand, if you are a loved one of someone like Charles Herald, you might consider filing a product liability/wrongful death lawsuit due to the failure of the camper to stay straight. In product liability suit, you would argue that the camper had a manufacturing flaw, was designed to be unreasonably dangerous (its design causing it to fishtail when it should have remained stable), or the camper came with an inadequate warning label. As a result, the camper caused your loved one’s death. Just as with the above lawsuit for negligence, you could receive money damages for loss of support and services and pain and suffering.