A 48-year-old Virginia woman is dead following an accident that clogged-up traffic for several hours in Caroline County last month. On June 26, a little after 1:00 a.m., a woman driving a BMW X-5 somehow started traveling the wrong way, with her large SUV heading south in the northbound lanes. The 51-year-old Maryland woman’s car swiped a Nissan Sentra heading north, leaving one woman dead and four others injured.

The plague of fatal motor vehicle accidents has long affected I-95, especially during the late night and early morning hours. Fender-benders are an almost daily occurrence for the stretch near Arlington and DC, but fatal car accidents are not unusual, either. Most of the time, one or both drivers is at fault in any type of car accident, but in wrecks that result in the loss of a loved one, legal remedies can be found in both the criminal and civil arenas.

After the June 26 tragedy, the driver of the BMW was charged with several felonies, including one count of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of drugs. She also faces four counts of maiming while driving under the influence of drugs. When the driver is released from a local hospital, she will head to a jail in Hanover County.

While the criminal charges against the driver in this case are substantial, the surviving family members of the deceased may also try to hold her accountable in civil court as well. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than it is in a criminal case, which means family members should never assume a wrongful death lawsuit isn’t worth considering.

Source: WTVR, “Woman charged in deadly 2-vehicle crash on I-95,” Victoria Lushbaugh, June 26, 2013