February 27, 2015- Chesterfield, VA
A man in his 50s is dead after a van drove into his home on Thursday night. NBC 12 reports that the driver of the van was experiencing a medical emergency at the time that he drove off of Robious Road onto Greenfield Drive, eventually colliding with the home.
Chesterfield police are not certain whether the victim died from being struck by the van or from falling debris. The driver and a passenger in the van both suffered minor injuries and were taken to Johnston Willis Hospital.
When the death of a loved one is caused someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, family members of the deceased may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. Wrongful death compensation can be awarded for sorrow, mental anguish, and solace; compensation for reasonably expected loss of income of the decedent; expenses for the care, treatment, hospitalization of the decedent; reasonable funeral expenses; and punitive damages for willful or wanton misconduct.
In this case, the driver of the van appeared to be suffering from a medical emergency at the time of the collision. The “sudden emergency doctrine” relieves a person of liability if, without prior negligence on their part, that person is faced with a sudden emergency and acts as an ordinary prudent person would act.
In the case of a medical emergency, the courts look to whether the driver in question had a medical history of the condition that caused the accident. If there is no evidence that a driver should have been aware that a medical emergency would occur, then there is no evidence that the driver was negligent.