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Virginia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Drunk driving accidents take a severe toll on victims and their families. If you wish to seek compensation after an alcohol-related crash, partner with a Virginia drunk driving accident lawyer at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers. We are committed to helping people like you seek justice and fair compensation when someone else decides to drive while impaired and causes an accident.

Contact us today by calling (757) 333-3333 or completing our online contact form to schedule your free consultation with a skilled Virginia drunk driving accident lawyer. Do not wait to take legal action.

How an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help

Over the last three decades, Virginia has seen a decrease in alcohol-related traffic deaths. However, impaired drivers still pose a significant threat. In 2022, more than 14,000 drivers were convicted of DUI in Virginia. Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 27 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities.

Cases in which the other driver was impaired may appear cut and dry for victims, but that is not always the case. Due to Virginia’s contributory negligence standard when determining fault in a car accident, you cannot recover damages if you contributed even one percent to the cause of the accident. Unscrupulous defendants and insurance companies will use this harsh rule to avoid compensating you for your injuries and losses.

There are numerous ways a drunk driving lawyer can help you fight to overcome the high burdens and complexities of a Virginia DUI accident case, including:

  • Providing legal expertise – Our experienced DUI accident attorneys can use their knowledge of the law and experience to navigate the legal complexities of your case.
  • Investigation – Your case requires a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the accident. This includes gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and accident reconstruction analyses to determine who was responsible for the crash.
  • Establishing liability – Demonstrating the other driver’s intoxication and reckless driving caused your accident is critical to winning your case.
  • Fighting for fair compensation – Our personal injury attorneys can pursue full and fair compensation, including for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
  • Dealing with insurance companies – We can handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies in pursuit of fair compensation. Our attorneys can fight back when insurance adjusters try to diminish or deny the true cause of your claim.
  • Representation in court – When negotiations do not yield a fair settlement, our attorneys can advocate for your rights and interests in court. We are skilled litigators and will not back down against even the most combative defendants.
  • Providing emotional support – You and your family deserve unwavering support and guidance from an experienced attorney who understands what you are going through during a challenging time. Our compassionate legal team will stand by your side every step of the way.

Why Choose Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for Your Case

Our Virginia car accident lawyers have over 120 years of combined experience securing high-value compensation for our clients. Our case results speak for themselves. John M. Cooper, a founding partner at our firm, is a native Virginian with over 30 years of experience. Founding partner Jim Hurley has handled over 100 jury trials and has helped hundreds of clients protect their rights.

Every attorney in our firm shares an unwavering commitment to our clients, offering individualized legal representation and outstanding customer service. All we do is personal injury law. Over the years, we have developed a strong reputation as The Car Crash Experts, and our hard work has resulted in numerous awards and accolades, including:

  • Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lawyers of Distinction
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers

We strive to be the premier personal injury law firm in Hampton Roads by offering exceptional service in every case. Consultations are free, and you pay nothing unless we win your case.

Available Damages in Drunk Driving Accident Cases

If a drunk driver has hurt you in a crash, you have to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath. Our experienced Virginia DUI accident attorneys can help you pursue damages from the drunk driver who caused your crash, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement and disability
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident (e.g., rental car fees, transportation to medical appointments)

No amount of money can make up for the death of someone we love. However, if your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, our wrongful death attorneys can also help you pursue a legal claim to recover legal compensation for loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and more.

Punitive Damages in Virginia Drunk Driving Cases

Virginia also allows drunk driving victims to recover punitive damages in specific circumstances. These damages punish offenders and deter others from driving while impaired. If the drunk driver had a BAC of .15 or above, a judge may allow you to pursue punitive damages.

Drunk Driving Accident FAQs

Understandably, an accident with a drunk driver can leave you grappling with a lot of questions. Below are answers to some of the most common questions our DUI accident attorneys receive in the cases we handle.

DUI infographic
Image by Janaye

What Should I Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver?

Follow these steps after an accident with a drunk driver:

  • Call 911 immediately to get medical help and police to the scene. Do not leave the scene.
  • If you suspect the other driver is intoxicated, let the 911 operator or the police know.
  • If it does not endanger you, take pictures and video of the accident scene and vehicles.
  • Go to all of your medical appointments and follow your doctor’s advice. This helps protect your health and strengthens your claim.
  • Do not discuss the accident with witnesses or the other driver, write about it on social media, or agree to speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Remember, saying something seemingly innocent, such as, “I was in a hurry, but the other person was drunk,” could cost you your case based on Virginia’s contributory negligence law. Let your attorney deal with talking to insurance companies. You should focus on getting better.

Further, the Virginia statute of limitations for filing these claims is two years from the date of the accident, so acting quickly is important to ensure no evidence is lost and that your case is filed before the all-important deadline passes. Subject to very few exceptions, your case will be dismissed if it is filed late.

Headshot of Griffin O'Hanlon

Ask The Car Crash Experts - What Should I Do If I've Been Hit by a drunk driver?

Griffin O'Hanlon,
Personal Injury Lawyer

“The first thing you should do if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver is attend to your medical needs and ensure your loved ones are okay. Collect the basic information necessary about the other driver, where the crash happened, and the police department, including the individual officer investigating. However, one thing that’s a little different when it comes to injury claims involving a drunk driver is that you probably want to get a lawyer involved earlier in the process, if you’re able to. There are certain things you want to track, specifically any ongoing criminal proceedings for the drunk driver. Having a lawyer involved can ensure that they monitor court proceedings, ensuring proper representation, and transcribe and type out what was said, which could later assist you in your personal injury claim process.”

What if the Drunk Driver Does Not Have Any Money To Compensate Me?

Virginia is an at-fault insurance state, so the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for damages when an impaired driver hurts you. However, if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance to cover you, you could turn to:

  • Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist insurance
  • Medical payments insurance (for your medical treatment costs)
  • Collision coverage insurance (for your property damage)
  • Health insurance

Virginia also has a victim compensation fund designed to help victims injured by criminal acts. Our attorneys will help you explore all potential sources of compensation to make sure you leave no money on the table.

Can I Still Sue if the Drunk Driver Refused To Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Absolutely, you can still pursue damages if the other driver refuses a blood alcohol test. Virginia law allows your attorney to prove through the driver’s conduct and condition that they were under the influence. Evidence may include the Virginia Declaration and Acknowledgement of Refusal form that police officers read to suspected impaired drivers to document their refusal to cooperate. It may also include police and witness testimony.

Rely on the Car Crash Experts at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

When you have been injured in an accident with an intoxicated driver, you deserve justice, accountability, and compensation. However, DUI accident cases are complex and often involve expert testimony from toxicologists, accident reconstruction specialists, and others to help prove your claim. We have the skills, resources, and experience needed to handle your case from start to finish.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, you are not just a file number—you are a valued client, and we are committed to providing you with the high-quality, individualized legal representation you deserve. We have meeting locations throughout Hampton Roads, including in:

If you cannot visit us due to your injuries, we can arrange an in-person meeting at a location convenient to you. Contact us today by calling (757) 333-3333 or completing our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

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