Virginia law provides certain criminal penalties on drivers who injure others, but criminal penalties are not the only way to hold careless drivers accountable after they have injured others. In this post, we will discuss some of the differences between criminal charges and civil lawsuits.
According to news reports, a man was killed earlier this summer after the driver of a Ford F-150 crashed into his Lexus sedan at a Prince William County intersection. Police said the pickup truck’s driver caused the accident when he ran through a stoplight. The 76-year-old Lexus driver later died at an area hospital. His passenger, a 73-year-old woman, was left with injuries that were described as life-threatening.
Recently, the authorities charged the Ford driver with reckless driving. This charge can apply a broad category of dangerous driving behaviors, from failing to use a turn signal to killing another person when engaged in an illegal street race. Generally, these charges are treated as misdemeanors, meaning that a person convicted will likely face no more than one year in jail. Virginia also sometimes applies charges such as involuntary manslaughter to defendants who have allegedly killed someone in a motor vehicle accident.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, it may give you some sense of justice if you learn that the negligent driver will face criminal charges. However, this news wouldn’t necessarily help you and your family deal with all the ways the accident has changed your life. For that, you may want to consider filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
These civil lawsuit actions can help the injured and their families recover compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of an accident. These damages may include medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and more.
Although no one can turn back time, the goal of such a lawsuit is to put the injured and their families back in the position they would have been in if not for the accident. What these individuals and their families have suffered is very real, and this compensation can be absolutely essential. It can also help hold a careless driver accountable.