Drunk driving seriously endangers motorcyclists and other drivers. If you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver, you need a lawyer who understands Virginia DUI law. The motorcycle accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Riding a motorcycle is a fun and exciting activity enjoyed by thousands of people throughout Virginia. It can be dangerous too, however, as some people on the road drive recklessly and even get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The slim profile of a motorcycle means that an impaired driver could easily miss seeing a motorcyclist when changing lanes or turning, causing a catastrophic accident. Bikers usually have no protection in an accident, and their injuries can be severe.
When you’re suffering from the physical and emotional trauma of a DUI motorcycle accident, you shouldn’t have to face financial strain, as well. The seasoned, award-winning attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO can handle all the legal legwork and develop a strong case on your behalf, so that you get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Call us to schedule a free case review – we’ll answer your questions and review your legal options. Call (703) 538-1138 today.
Why You Need A Lawyer to Handle Your Claim
In a drunk driving case, conducting a thorough accident investigation is crucial in order to prove that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your attorney will initiate an exhaustive investigation and gather the evidence needed to develop a strong case.
In addition, your attorney will make sure that all of your necessary documentation is complete and filed properly, and they will make sure every deadline is met so that your case can move forward. And most importantly, they will understand that compensation you rightly deserve, so that you don’t need to settle for the first offer you receive.
Insurance companies often prefer to avoid lawsuits in drunk driving cases, and they may offer a settlement amount that is much lower than what you should get for your injuries. A lawyer skilled in DUI cases will be able to negotiate assertively with the insurance company to secure the compensation you need, or file a lawsuit, if necessary, to fight for maximum compensation.
Why You Should Hire CHASENBOSCOLO
The motorcycle accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO have been helping clients throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. for decades. Our firm will provide you with the high-quality and personalized legal representation you deserve.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we have a vast network of resources and experts – such as medical experts, financial experts, and accident reconstruction specialists – that we’ll leverage to support your case. We understand the steps we must take to build a strong case, and our case results speak to the successes we’ve achieved on behalf of our clients.
We’ve been honored by numerous groups for our work: We received the Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating for the highest level of professional excellence, and we’ve additionally been named to Super Lawyers list, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we treat our clients like family. Your success is important to us, and we will work tirelessly to get the best outcome possible for your case.
Causes of DUI Motorcycle Accidents
Alcohol affects the brain in many ways that make it dangerous to operate a vehicle. It impairs mental function, diminishes one’s ability to reason, and reduces reflex time and muscle coordination. These abilities are all essential to driving, especially in the seconds before a crash occurs.
The amount of alcohol in a person’s blood can make a difference in their behavior and ability to reason. As the alcohol level in the system rises, its effects on the central nervous system increase. Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, is measured by the weight in grams per deciliter (g/dL) of blood. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration details the effects on a driver of an increasing blood alcohol level:
- .02 – some judgment loss, mood alteration, decline in multitasking ability and visual tracking
- .05 – loss of small-muscle control, inability to focus eyes, reduced judgment and alertness, loss of inhibition, lowered coordination, steering difficulty, inability to avoid emergency situations
- .08 – poor muscle coordination, affecting abilities like balance and reaction time, reason and memory are diminished, reduced ability to process visual information like signs and warnings.
- .10 – poor coordination, slowed thinking, driver is less likely to stay in a lane and operate brakes effectively.
- .15 – extreme lack of muscle control, loss of balance, inability to control vehicle or pay attention to driving
Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Even if a driver’s BAC is lower than .08, however, their ability to drive safely may still be impaired, and may be considered negligence in an accident.
Driving under the influence of medication or controlled substances is also potentially dangerous. Painkillers and anti-anxiety medicines, among others, can increase a driver’s drowsiness and lower their ability to pay attention to the road. Virginia has “per se” drugged driving laws, which establish limits for certain intoxicating medications in a driver’s system.
Injuries in Drunk Driving Motorcycle Accidents
The open nature of a motorcycle and the lack of protection for the rider mean that the injuries resulting from an accident with another vehicle can be devastating and even deadly. Some of the injuries motorcyclists often experience include:
- Road rash, or skin abrasions from skidding along the pavement
- Broken and fractured bones or ribs from heavy impacts with a car, the ground, or a stationary object like a post or a building
- Concussion resulting from impacts
- Traumatic head or brain injuries, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage
- Whiplash from sudden stops and rear collisions
- Neck and spinal cord damage, which could cause partial or full paralysis
- Lacerations from jagged metal or glass debris
- Burns, sometimes causing permanent scarring
Any combination of these injuries is possible. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is imperative that you get immediate medical attention. In addition to being necessary to file a claim or a lawsuit, you may actually have hidden injuries that you’re unaware of, which may cause serious problems later if not treated right away.
Besides this, insurance companies are looking for any excuse they can find to avoid paying compensation, and if you don’t have a medical diagnosis, they may try to argue that your injuries were minor or nonexistent.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Here are a few facts related to drunk driving:
- The NHTSA reports that there were 10,511 deaths from drunk-driving crashes in 2018. That’s almost 30 people per day, or one person every 50 minutes.
- On average, a person who drives drunk will do so 80 times before their first arrest.
- Between 50 and 75 percent of people who have had their licenses revoked for drunk driving will get behind the wheel anyway.
These numbers demonstrate that drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs present a serious risk to motorcyclists as well as those driving other vehicles. Bikers must be aware of the dangers and need to know their legal options in the event of an accident.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve just been in an accident caused by a driver under the influence, you probably have a lot of questions. Your attorney is the best source for advice right now, but here are some answers that may help.
What is the difference between DUI and DWI?
Federal law doesn’t make a distinction between these terms. The difference in state law can vary by state. DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is sometimes treated differently than DWI, or Driving While Impaired (sometimes known as Driving While Intoxicated).
Virginia does not make a distinction—a BAC of .08 or higher is prohibited. In Maryland, DUI is the more serious charge, used for drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher. Those with a BAC below .08 may be charged with DWI, if they show other signs of impairment when pulled over. Washington, D.C. makes a similar distinction, but uses the term DUI for the less serious charge.
How does contributory negligence work? Can I still sue if I was partly to blame?
Contributory negligence is a legal rule used in only a few places, including Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Courts will assign a level of negligence to each party in an accident. In most states, a person who is partly to blame for the accident may still receive compensation. The contributory negligence rule, however, bars a party from collecting damages if they are found to be even slightly responsible.
This is one trick that insurance companies use to get out of paying compensation. If they can successfully argue that you were even a little bit negligent, you won’t be able to collect anything. An attorney who is well-versed in Virginia accident law can defend against this sort of tactic so that your right to compensation for your injuries is protected.
What can I be compensated for in a drunk driving accident?
Every accident is different, and your compensation will depend on whose negligence caused the accident and how bad your injuries are, among other factors. Here are a few of the types of compensation you may receive in your own case:
- Payment of hospitalization and other medical bills
- Reimbursement for long-term treatment and home care
- Prescription drug reimbursement
- Replacement of wages lost due to time in recovery
- Property damage reimbursement
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Replacement of household income or loss of consortium due to permanent disability or death of a family member
- Help with funeral or burial costs
Your attorney can help you get a better idea of the type and amount of compensation available in your own case, based on the details of your accident.
Speak With a Virginia DUI Motorcycle Accident Attorney Right Away
If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving a drunk or drug-impaired driver, you need a seasoned team of legal professionals who will fight for your rights to compensation. Recovering from a motorcycle accident can seem like an overwhelming ordeal, but you don’t have to face it alone.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO help clients every day facing the same situation, and we can help you get through this so that you can move forward with your life. Call us at (703) 538-1138 or fill out our contact form as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.