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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Car Accident / Filing a Traffic Accident Claim After the Eclipse

Filing a Traffic Accident Claim After the Eclipse


When traffic increases on roads around Richmond, the likelihood of a motor vehicle collision increases. Typically, we associate a rise in car crash risks due to heavier traffic with holidays and motor vehicle travel, especially during the holiday season and in the summer months when families plan road trips and nearby weekend getaways. Yet any event that leads to more cars and trucks — regardless of the time of the year — can result in more collisions and injuries. According to a recent report from CNN, data gathered in the aftermath of the 2017 total solar eclipse showed that a rise in car traffic resulted in an increase in more serious and fatal car crashes at that time. The report suggests that data from April 2024 ultimately could reveal a similar rise in debilitating and deadly crashes linked to the 2024 total solar eclipse.

Can you file a traffic accident claim that occurred in eclipse-related road traffic? In short, regardless of the event that gave rise to an increase in traffic, collision claims typically require the same elements that prove a motorist’s negligence. Our Richmond motor vehicle injury lawyers can explain in more detail.

Eclipse Traffic and Serious Collisions 

The data discussed in the CNN report revealed that traffic injury risks increased by more than 30 percent at the time of the 2017 total solar eclipse due to the rise in traffic. Researchers estimate that approximately 20 million Americans drove to another location to view that eclipse, and the numbers could have risen significantly for the 2024 total solar eclipse.

Not only does more traffic on the roads increase the possibility of a collision due to congestion, but there are additional risk factors as well. Indeed, as the CNN report clarifies, “people are more likely to be distracted, driving on unfamiliar roads and speeding to arrive at their destination on time.” Moreover, “they may also be intoxicated from eclipse-related celebrations or may choose to view the event from unsafe roadside locations.”

Filing a Claim for a Car Crash During Eclipse Traffic

 Just like any other car accident claim involving a negligent motorist, you may be able to obtain compensation after an eclipse-related collision if you can show that the motorist who you believe caused the crash was negligent. Examples of negligence for which a motorist can be liable include but are not limited to:

  • Drowsy or fatigued driving;
  • Aggressive driving, including speeding or following too closely;
  • Distracted driving; and
  • Intoxicated driving.

Your lawyer can discuss the types of evidence that will be most valuable in your case. It is also important to know that Virginia law gives most people filing a negligence claim two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit, but the sooner you begin working on your case with an attorney, the easier it will be to obtain the evidence that will be most helpful to support your claim.

 Contact a Richmond Car Accident Attorney for Assistance

If you were injured while traveling before or after the eclipse, it is important to know that highways and local roads alike saw far more traffic than usual, and many of those motorists were fatigued and intoxicated. Even if a motorist was not driving after consumer alcohol or getting too little sleep, the sheer fact that there was significantly more traffic means that collisions were more likely. You may be able to seek compensation by identifying a driver whose negligence caused the crash in which you or a family member sustained injuries. One of the experienced Richmond car accident attorneys at Latham & Martin can assess the facts of your case today and can discuss your options with you. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.




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