Northern Virginia Drunk or Drugged Driving Accident Lawyers
While most drivers in Virginia understand and appreciate the significant privilege involved in operating motor vehicles, there are other individuals who can be more reckless and get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or different kinds of drugs. Alcohol, prescription medication, and many illegal drugs can all significantly impair a person and cause their basic motor vehicle abilities to significantly decline, such that they frequently cause a wide variety of driving under the influence (DUI) motor vehicle accidents.
Virginia Code § 18.2-266 is the state driving while intoxicated (DWI) law that establishes minimum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and other levels for controlled substances, and the law specifies that a person could be under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol. Drunk or drugged driving accidents are often cause catastrophic injuries for all parties involved, and victims in these cases can include occupants of other motor vehicles, bicyclists, or even pedestrians.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a drunk or drugged driving accident in Northern Virginia? You deserve to have every single cost you are facing because of your crash covered by the negligent party.
CHASENBOSCOLO can fight to make sure that you get justice. We will discuss all of your legal options with you as soon as you call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Was Hit By a Driver Who Was Under the Influence?
The State of Virginia will usually prosecute a driver for a DWI offense, but they seek only punishments such as imprisonment or fines and do not pursue compensation for victims. You will want to have a personal injury lawyer who can assist you in obtaining all of the damages that you are entitled to. If a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs caused a severe injury accident, you have the right to hold them accountable through a civil action.
With an experienced attorney on your side, you’ll have the best chance at holding the driver accountable for their poor decision-making. While driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is clearly negligent behavior, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will still fight to either deny or diminish your injury claim. Their goal will be to save themselves as much money as possible, not to pay you what you’re owed. That’s why you’ll want to hire a lawyer who has handled these types of cases in the past, and who knows how to deal with aggressive insurance representatives and legal teams who will try to get you to accept far less than what your case is worth.
Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle My Case?
CHASENBOSCOLO‘s attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are committed to getting justice for those who’ve been hurt, and as a result, our firm has recovered more than $750 million for our clients since 1986.
Barry M. Chasen is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and American Association for Justice with more than three decades of legal experience. He has also received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, denoting the highest level of professional excellence.
Martindale-Hubbell also awarded Benjamin T. Boscolo with an AV Preeminent rating. He also served as a Workers Compensation Panelist for both the National Football Players Association and Major League Soccer Players Association.
One notable reason why people choose CHASENBOSCOLO is because of our No Fee Guarantee®. Simply put, you pay absolutely nothing unless you receive a financial award.
Types of DUI Alcohol or Drugs Cases We Handle
Drunk or drugged driving is negligent driving. Being under the influence can severely hinder a person’s ability to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly, and severe or fatal collisions could occur as a result.
Virginia Code § 18.2-266 establishes that a person commits a DWI offense when they have any of the following:
- a BAC of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test
- 02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood
- 1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood
- 01 milligrams of phencyclidine (PCP) per liter of blood
- 1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy, Molly, MDMA) per liter of blood
Keep in mind that drug use is not limited to just the statutorily defined drug limits. Drivers could also be under the influence of other prescription drugs or illegal drugs.
If a driver decides to drive while under the influence and causes an injury crash (or even worse, if someone dies as a result) they should be held responsible for the pain, suffering, and financial losses they cause. An experienced lawyer will build a persuasive case that shows how the intoxicated driver violated the law by driving under the influence, and how their decision and subsequent accident impacted the life of the victim and those close to them. They will also seek fair compensation for those who’ve suffered as a result.
What should I do after a drunk driving accident?
Medical attention needs to be your first concern after any motor vehicle accident. Always go to a hospital, even if you do not think you were hurt. You also need to contact police. Not only do you want a police report filed, but the drunk or drugged driver will likely be arrested and will face criminal charges. While you are at the scene of your accident, take pictures of everything involved and also obtain contact information for all possible witnesses. When you cannot take these steps yourself because of the need for medical care, then ask somebody you know to do these things for you. As soon as you are able, contact a lawyer. Try to do this before you speak to any inusrance company.
Can a driver still be held civilly liable if they are not criminally convicted?
Absolutely. A criminal case for DWI in Virginia is not the same as a civil case, and each case will have a different burden of proof. Whereas the prosecutor in a criminal case is required to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the plaintiff in a civil action only needs to prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is comparable to a feather on the scale of a justice while beyond a reasonable doubt is akin to a rock. It is always possible that a technicality could allow a driver to be acquitted of DWI but the same issue will not necessarily prevent a civil jury from finding that driver to be liable.
Are bars or restaurants responsible for overserving drivers who cause accidents?
Virginia is a rare state without any dram shop or social host liability laws, so vendors of alcoholic beverages are rarely responsible for motor vehicle accidents. In Williamson v. Old Brogue, Inc.., 232 Va. 350 (1986), the plaintiff argued that “‘dram shop liability’ was grounded in the common law of Virginia . . . and legislative fiat is not necessary to apply longstanding negligence principles to facts such as those in the case at bar,” but the Supreme Court of Virginia wrote, “On the contrary, nonliability of one furnishing intoxicants under these circumstances is a part of the common law of Virginia.”
Citing Felder v. Butler, 292 Md. 174, 176, 438 A.2d 494, 495 (1981), the Supreme Court noted “an innocent third party did not have a cause of action against a vendor of alcoholic beverages for injuries suffered as a result of the intoxication of the vendor’s patron,” and the “basis of the rule is that individuals, drunk or sober, are responsible for their own torts and that, apart from statute, drinking the intoxicant, not furnishing it, is the proximate cause of the injury.”
DUI Accidents in Virginia
The 2017 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) stated that the 7,285 alcohol-related crashes in 2017 was a 2.6 percent decrease from 2016. The 248 people killed was a 5.3 percent decrease and the 4,430 people injured was an 8.8 percent decrease while the average BAC in these cases was 0.145.
The 7,285 alcohol-related crashes included 233 fatal crashes, 3,098 injury crashes, and 3,954 property damage crashes. The 248 alcohol-related persons killed included 165 drivers, 28 passengers, and 55 pedestrians. The 4,430 alcohol-related persons injured included 3,354 drivers, 876 passengers, and 200 pedestrians. The 1,159 alcohol-related persons seriously injured included 849 drivers, 215 passengers, and 95 pedestrians.
The 2017 Virginia Traffic Crash stated that 218 alcohol-related fatalities (87.9 percent) occurred on non-interstate roadways while 30 alcohol-related fatalities (12.1 percent) occurred on interstates. There were 174 alcohol-related fatalities (70.2 percent) in single vehicle accidents and 74 alcohol-related fatalities (29.8 percent) in multi-vehicle accidents.
Contact a DUI Accident Attorney in Northern Virginia
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a drunk or drugged driving accident in Northern Virginia, turn to a firm that has the experience, resources, and skill to get you the compensation you’re owed. The driver who harmed you should be held accountable, and any criminal charges they face will not help you and your family pay your medical bills and other expenses. Be sure to hire an experienced injury attorney to make sure that they also pay financially for the harm they’ve caused you.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with a Northern Virginia injury attorney of CHASENBOSCOLO by calling (703) 538-1138 today.