A man from New Kent, Virginia that was driving the wrong way on Interstate 295 near in Hanover County near Richmond, VA was involved in a fatal accident last week.

A witness to the accident said Nicholas R. Sickal, 19, of Barhamsville was driving north on 295 when he pulled his 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck off on to the shoulder and then made a u-turn and started driving south in the northbound lanes.

Sickal collided head-on with a 1992 Cadillac DeVille being driven by William E. Goode of Norfolk, who died at the scene. Goode’s daughter Alysha was also injured.

Sickal was charged with involuntary manslaughter and drunk driving. It should also be investigated as to who sold this underage person alcohol.

Alysha’s mother died in 2007 of cancer, so she was orphaned by this tragic accident. Luckily it seems she has an older sister so she is not totally alone in this world.

Alysha probably can make a wrongful death claim against Sickal for this accident. I hope she finds a good Virginia car accident attorney or wrongful death lawyer to help her recover some money to help her when she turns eighteen.

In legal terms, an infant is anybody under the age of eighteen. Generally when there are infants involved that are entitled to monies from a settlement regarding a death case, the judge will appoint a trustee for the benefit of the children to watch out for the children’s interests and typically when the wrongful death case is settled the trustee for the children, the lawyer for the administrator for the estate and the lawyer for the insurance company will get together and agree on an insurance company to provide an annuity to pay certain sums of money at certain periods of time.

For instance, there might be an annuity to pay a beneficiary $5000 when they turn 18, $5000 when they turn 25, $5000 when they turn 30. Or you could have something where beginning on their 21st birthday they would get $2000 a month for the rest of their life. Depending on how much money is involved you can just buy an annuity and it will pay in accordance with the terms of the annuity and this is generally agreed upon by the parties involved and they choose an insurance company to provide the annuity so that the monies are paid in accordance with the final court order that the judge enters to settle the case.

In an ordinary case, say where an infant is a passenger in a vehicle and is injured in the accident, there is a special procedure where the parties have to go before the judge and the judge has to approve the settlement just as he does in a wrongful death case. In the settlement the judge will provide for payment of the lawyer, payment of expenses incurred (like doctor’s bills, hospital bills and that type of thing), and then whatever is left over is generally put into a trust fund to be held for the benefit of the child. Not necessarily an annuity, although you can have an annuity in a regular injury case if you want to. The insurance companies are anxious to sell you an annuity because that’s the business they’re in. One of the things the judges look at in picking the company to provide the annuity is their strength and longevity and the fact that they’re going to be around for a long time because the annuity may not be paid out for ten or twenty years.

Generally whenever there is an infant involved in a case the judge is always going to have to approve the settlement and then the judge will usually appoint the trustee for the infant. Sometimes that trustee can be the parents. Other times it might be the lawyer. If they have a sibling who is an adult, they might be appointed. Generally anybody that is an upstanding citizen the courts will consider. The main concern of the judge is always going to be the well being of the child.

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