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Driver involved in head-on collision may face additional charges

After a serious car accident, one of the first things that may occur is an accident investigation. This is true regardless of whether the motor vehicle accident is relatively minor or a more serious collision. Investigating the scene of the accident can help authorities determine exactly why the accident happened and who was at fault for the accident. In some cases, the accident investigation may result in criminal charges for the at-fault driver.

After a fatal head-on collision involving two motorcyclists and a driver of a motor vehicle in Virginia, the driver of the car has been charged with two offenses and is being investigated by the Pittsylvania County Commonwealth Attorney's Office for potential additional charges. The accident occurred when the female driver crossed the center line and drove on the wrong side of the road, striking two motorcyclists and causing another one to ditch his bike to avoid the collision. Both of the initial two motorcyclists were killed. The driver of the automobile has currently been charged with driving on a suspended license and failing to drive on the right side of the highway.

Unfortunately, car accidents like the one described here are common. Many collisions are caused by someone's negligence, recklessness or complete disregard of traffic rules or laws. The law holds the driver responsible for the crash accountable for paying the damages that result from an accident. In many situations, this process is handled by insurance companies. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay the victim's medical bills and compensate the victim for property damage up to the point of the responsible driver's coverage.

When damages are very high or a fatality results, however, insurance compensation may be insufficient to cover a victim's losses. This is where a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may come in. These lawsuits assert that the driver who caused the accident should pay certain specified damages because of his or her role in causing the accident, which may include funeral costs, loss of income and pain and suffering. The first step in such a lawsuit generally involves proving liability. Having the results of a detailed accident investigation can provide useful evidence for this element. When a driver has been charged with a criminal offense as a result of the accident, it can also be easier to prove liability.

Source: Star-Tribune, "Prosecutor investigation fatal motorcycle crash," Susan Light, July 23, 2014

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