When fatal car accidents occur in Northern Virginia, they don’t always make the news. While loss of life is always significant, the region is a heavily-populated area that is also crisscrossed by multiple busy interstates. Still, when a fatal motor vehicle accident involves a famous person, the publicity given to the case can highlight important legal issues.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, two vehicles and a tractor-trailer were involved in a deadly wreck. The identity of the allegedly drunk driver may come as a surprise to some: U.S. author Donovan Webster. The writer is currently being held without bail. According to local police in Albemarle County, the 55-year-old was driving while drunk and may be responsible for the accident that killed a 75-year-old man. Court documents indicate that he is scheduled for a hearing in October.

Reports note that there may be additional charges as the investigation progresses. The driver of the tractor-trailer involved in the accident did not receive any charges. In any fatal crash, the family of the victim is often put in an agitating position where they seek for answers. The results of an official investigation can take time, and even then may not answer every question. Who was at fault? Why did it happen? Did their loved one have to die?

A wrongful death attorney may be able to help a family obtain solid answers to these and other lingering questions. In the emotionally volatile period following a loved one’s death, it can be very helpful to have a third party working to obtain answers while a family grieves. At the same time, a civil lawsuit can help ensure a negligent driver does not escape accountability if the criminal justice system lets them down. Finally, through a wrongful death suit the victim’s ones can pursue things not available through a criminal case, such as compensation for loss of companionship or funeral expenses.

Source: Reuters, “Writer Webster held on DUI charge after fatal Virginia accident,” Aug. 18, 2014

Source: Reuters, “Writer Webster held on DUI charge after fatal Virginia accident,” Aug. 18, 2014