The passenger in a car that crashed into a pillar supporting the I-264 overpass above Lynnhaven Parkway in Virginia Beach, VA, sustained critical injuries. The driver of the car that wrecked at around 1 am on January 7, 2015, also suffered injuries, and police later determined that he was impaired by alcohol. After being treated at a hospital, the at-fault driver was charged with second offense DWI and maiming. The injuries to his passenger were severe enough to have the in-depth investigation assigned to the fatal crash team.
Under Virginia law, evidence of reckless behavior is required to merit a criminal charge of maiming another person while driving and a person must display any of a number of signs of intoxication to draw a DWI charge. Both are significant for insurance purposes. While criminal convictions cannot be used to support claims of civil liability in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, the physical evidence and testimony collected by police to make the state's case for prosecution can also be used by plaintiff's lawyers when pursuing claims on behalf of people who got injured or killed. Establishing recklessness can help a plaintiff secure punitive damages over and above settlements or judgments for medical expenses.
Another significant aspect of the drunk driving accident on Lynnhaven Parkway is that the person blamed for causing the crash had already shown himself to be someone who gets behind the wheel after drinking too much. DWI is rarely a negligent and reckless act a person takes just once, and second-offense drunk driving (or many more) puts people's health and lives at unnecessary risk every day. Eliminating such danger is a simple as not driving after driving.