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| Chaffin Luhana LLP

The WUSA 9 News reported recently that an Arlington, Virginia, woman was killed on Monday, February 24, 2014. She was trying to put her child into her minivan when a dump truck backed into her, striking her and the van and killing her. The child escaped unharmed.

Now, authorities are conducting an investigation to see if there was any fault in this accident.

Driver Liability

This case isn’t clear-cut because the woman was close to the road as she was trying to secure her child into the car seat in the back of the van. She was parked on Little Falls Road near the Nottingham Elementary School when the accident occurred. Reports say the truck collided with the woman and the van, tearing the passenger door completely off.

Investigators will look first into the driver. According to the Washington Post, in this case, he is cooperating with the investigation. So far, he has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but there is some question about how fast he was driving.

NBC Washington reports that some parents with children who attend Nottingham Elementary School stated they often see drivers going too fast down Little Falls Road. Since cars are often parked on both sides, it makes the passing area narrow, increasing risk for accidents like these.

Was the Victim Standing Too Far Into the Road?

Another factor in the investigation will be to determine exactly where the woman was standing when the accident occurred. Though drivers must exercise care while on the road, and watch out for pedestrians (particularly in school areas), drivers parked on the side of the road are also responsible for acting reasonably in terms of staying out of the way of traffic.

Whether the truck may have malfunctioned in some way will also be a factor in the investigation. The Washington Post noted that investigators will be performing a “full commercial-vehicle inspection” of the vehicle. If any malfunction or equipment defects are found that may have contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could potentially be held liable for Lawson’s death.

Other Truck Accidents that Ledd to Wrongful Death

It will take time to determine all the factors involved in this accident. An Arlington County police spokesman, noted that while the accident seems simple initially, “it gets complicated when you start trying to figure out speeds and where they were on the roadway.”

Unfortunately, accidents like these are not uncommon. According to the LA Times, a jury awarded $150 million to a girl whose family died tragically after their SUV hit a truck that was parked illegally on a freeway. She and her brother were able to escape through a broken rear window, but their parents and another brother were burned before they were able to get out.

The prosecution argued in this case that the truck’s driver was illegally parked in an emergency area without his emergency reflectors on. The money will be kept in a trust fund for the girl. Her brother tragically died of suicide after the accident.

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