Norfolk, VA Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer
Alcohol and social drinking is a core part of American culture. Unfortunately, the availability of alcohol sometimes leads individuals to drive under the influence. With delayed reaction times and worsened judgment, these drivers could cause severe car wrecks.
If you have been injured in a vehicle collision caused by an intoxicated motorist, a Norfolk drunk driver accident lawyer could help you hold that motorist accountable and recover compensation for the resulting damages. Reach out to our team of dedicated car wreck attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers.
Common Fact Patterns of Drunk Driver Car Wrecks
In many drunk driving scenarios, the at-fault driver has been at a bar or venue in which the high consumption of alcohol is more likely, or someone was just sitting at home drinking and decides to drive. The drunk driver will have a slow reaction time, which could lead to rear-end accidents, failure to yield collisions, and other car crashes.
To prove the at-fault driver was intoxicated, a Norfolk drunk driver accident attorney needs to show that the blood alcohol level of the drunk driver was over 0.08 and that the driver knew they were going to be driving at the time they started drinking. If there was no blood alcohol test, the injured party would have to show evidence indicated the driver was drunk, and that it would have been obvious to anyone that the person was drunk.
Relevant Damages in a Drunk Driving Accident Case
In a drunk-driving accident, the claimant can seek compensatory damages if they were injured. Economic damages may include reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, any future medical bills or treatment, and permanent injuries. Non-economic damages, which are harder to quantify, may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. A dedicated lawyer could help one with recovering damages following a drunk driving car collision.
Virginia law allows a person who is injured by a drunk driver to ask for punitive damages in addition to recovering for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for the poor behavior of driving under the influence.
Legal Steps Following a Drunk Driving Accident
The injured party in a drunk driving accident will be very involved in the legal process. They will be the claimant in any lawsuit and will have to describe how the accident occurred and, in laymen’s terms, the treatment they went through. Also, they may testify about how their life was affected as a result of the drunk driver’s negligence.
Normally, whether to press charges against a drunk driver is a law enforcement decision, not something someone would have to decide in a civil case. The police or the prosecutor generally has the decision-making power about criminal or traffic charges. Norfolk frowns on driving drunk and takes those types of cases very seriously.
A DUI criminal case and an injury case resulting from it would be handled separately. The DUI case would be handled in the traffic court and possibly the criminal court, depending on what happened in the collision. The injury claim would be handled in civil court.
Retain a Norfolk Drunk Driver Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident due to the recklessness of a drunk driver, you should not have to bear the burden of medical costs and other expenses on your own. A Norfolk drunk driver accident lawyer could investigate the circumstances of the accident and build the strongest possible case to pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact our team of legal professionals today to learn more.