Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Concerned about Rise in State’s Traffic Deaths

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In light of recent stats showing a spike in Virginia car crash fatalities, Charles Cuthbert of Cuthbert Law Offices calls for raising awareness about risky driving practices.

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Charles H. Cuthbert, Jr.

To me, these recent numbers indicate that traffic safety advocates can never become complacent. We need to continue to raise awareness about risky driving practices that lead to accidents, injuries and deaths on our roads.

Virginia car accident attorney Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. expressed his concern today about recently released statistics showing that the state’s traffic deaths are on the rise.

According to preliminary reports from the Virginia State Police (VSP), 731 people were killed in Virginia car accidents last year, through December 22, 2011, marking an increase of 18 traffic fatalities from that same time a year ago. The VSP has not yet released crash statistics from the 2011 Christmas and New Year’s holiday period.

“In recent years, our state has experienced a marked decrease in traffic deaths, so it disturbs me to see that progress fade,” said Cuthbert, referring to VSP records showing that, after hitting a 10-year peak of 1,026 deaths in 2007, the state’s total number of traffic deaths had trended downward until this past year.

“To me, these recent numbers indicate that traffic safety advocates can never become complacent,” Cuthbert said. “We need to continue to raise awareness about risky driving practices that lead to accidents, injuries and deaths on our roads.”

Cuthbert is a National Board-certified civil litigator whose Virginia personal injury law firm represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state from its offices in Petersburg and Richmond.

His record of results includes a $2.045 million verdict (plus interest) that was the largest ever obtained in Petersburg Circuit Court. (Pulliam v. Coastal Emergency Services, 257 Va. 1, 509 S.E.2d 307 (1999)).

In Cuthbert’s view, Virginia motorists need to be reminded about dangerous driving practices such as:

  •     Speeding – One can easily lose control of a vehicle and fail to react when driving too fast, especially when road conditions are icy, wet or snowy, Cuthbert said. VSP statistics reveal that 34 percent of statewide traffic deaths in 2010 involved speeding.
  •     Fatigued driving – People cause accidents when they fall asleep at the wheel or when fatigue has substantially impaired their mental and physical faculties, according to Cuthbert.
  •     Distracted driving – Citing a series of recent studies, including one released last month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Cuthbert said it is clear that talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is a highly dangerous activity. He added that both hand-held and hands-free electronic devices take the driver’s attention away from the road and endanger other motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
  •     Drunk driving or drugged driving – In Cuthbert’s view, there is nothing more reckless than driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Since 2000, 346 people have been killed each year in alcohol-related wrecks on Virginia roads, VSP statistics show.

“All of these numbers represent a family member or friend who has been lost due to an accident that could have been prevented,” Cuthbert said. “Each number represents a tragedy.”

If one loses a family member to a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, that person may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, Cuthbert said.

According to the Virginia personal injury attorney, wrongful death damages typically include reimbursement for:

  •     Medical expenses incurred as a result of the negligence;
  •     Lost future income;
  •     Property damage;
  •     Future services normally provided by the person who has died;
  •     Loss of companionship, help and affection from the deceased; and
  •     Punitive damages if the negligence was willful or wanton.

“Although no financial recovery can replace a loved one, a wrongful death action can lead to compensation that provides a car accident victim’s survivors with security as they get on with their lives,” Cuthbert said.

About Cuthbert Law Offices

For more than 30 years, Cuthbert Law Offices has successfully litigated cases for clients and their families throughout Virginia. The firm handles personal injury claims, including car and truck accidents, medical malpractice and wrongful deaths. The firm also helps clients obtain disability benefits that the Social Security Administration has denied. To contact Cuthbert Law Offices, call the Petersburg office at (804) 733-3100 or the Richmond office at (804) 643-3100 or use the firm’s online form.

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