Whether one drives through Northern Virginia’s bucolic suburbs or the region’s more urban cities, there are always pedestrians to watch out for when behind the wheel. In the suburbs, there are often people engaging in recreational activities such as jogging or biking; in the urban areas, there is the presence of commuters via bike, as well as individuals who are constantly crossing city streets. In both types of areas, there can also be children, either going to school or playing near the roads.

Recently in Virginia, a six-year-old child was struck by a car in Front Royal, which is located about an hour west of Fairfax. Per witness accounts, the little boy was hit by an SUV as he ran out into the road. The child had apparently been confused as to the location of his family and was heading for home, when he was abruptly hit by the vehicle.

Before the accident, the kindergartner had been shopping with his family in a nearby grocery store, became separated from his family and wandered outside toward his home. Running into the street, he was hit by a Toyota 4-Runner and died immediately. According to police, a fight erupted near the site of the incident; the fight was related to the accident, but no arrests were made. Authorities were ultimately able to break up the dispute.

Sadly, whenever there are unattended children, there exists the potential for fatal car accidents such as this one. After a traumatic pedestrian accident, police generally will review the driver’s actions during their investigation. If officials find that speeding, distraction or intoxication were factors in a pedestrian accident, then there is a strong possibility that the driver was negligent in his or her behavior.

Negligence or recklessness in a deadly accident can merit a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia. While some may assume that wrongful death suits are only appropriate if the deceased was a breadwinner, these types of suits can be appropriate even if the victim was a child or a senior citizen, although the damages awarded tend to be smaller. An untimely death still brings funeral expenses and mental pain and suffering, both of which may be devastating to a family after a wrongful death at any age.

Source: Northern Virginia Daily, Front Royal child dies in pedestrian-vehicle accident ,” Joe Beck, April 21, 2014