When Alcohol Is a Factor in Your Virginia Personal Injury Case

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use in the U.S. costs the country about a quarter trillion dollars per year—and the real figure is likely to be even higher due to inflation and other considerations. In general, this number includes costs caused by the loss of workplace productivity, health care, criminal justice, and alcohol-related car accidents.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, alcohol is often a factor in personal injury cases, and many Virginians who are injured in alcohol-related accidents are eligible to receive compensation. With this in mind, it is important to speak with a Virginia car crash injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected.

Alcohol-Related Injuries

Although many people use alcohol responsibly, alcohol is a very powerful drug. When a person consumes alcohol, their body is affected in several significant ways. Their reaction time is often decreased and reflexes may become slower, their vision may become distorted or blurry, their ability to concentrate may be diminished, and they may find it hard to coordinate their movements. These side effects of alcohol make a person much more susceptible to injury.

Sometimes alcohol-related injuries are caused by something as simple as slipping and falling. This often happens in dimly lit bars or other places where alcohol is served and could be spilled. When a person has been drinking, he or she is less likely to be able to react to a slip as quickly as he or she might have been able to while sober. This makes serious injury a higher risk than if the person had not been drinking.

Alcohol is also often a factor in domestic violence cases. Alcohol can lower a person’s inhibitions and make them more likely to act aggressively. Perpetrators of domestic abuse tend to struggle with alcohol addiction and abuse concerns as well.

Drunk Driving Accidents

One of the most common instances in which alcohol causes injury is drunk driving. Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents nationwide. The CDC reports that around 10,000 traffic fatalities each are linked to alcohol use by at least one involved driver. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, more people are injured annually in accidents caused by drunk drivers.

Liability for a drunk driving accident is often fairly clear. A driver who overindulged and then got behind the wheel is usually found to be at fault for the crash and financial liable for any injuries caused as a result. Unfortunately, however, this does not mean that it is going to be easy to collect compensation for your injuries.

In many cases, defense attorneys and insurance companies are likely to try to shift some of the blame for the crash to the injured party. Under Virginia law, an injured person cannot collect compensation if they are found to have contributed in any way to the crash that caused their own injuries. This gives insurance companies an opening to allege that you might have been speeding, on your phone, or doing anything else that might have contributed to the accident occurring. Therefore, it is extremely important to work closely with a skilled personal injury attorney who can help you build the best possible case for full compensation.

Get Help from a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

At our firm, we believe that when another person’s negligence causes serious injuries, the negligent party should be held accountable. The skilled Virginia alcohol-related crash injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have many years of experience assisting injured victims in obtaining the compensation they deserve. We help victims of alcohol-related accidents receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, decreased future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. Depending on the situation, we may even be able to get you punitive damages, just as we did for our college-aged client who was injured by a drunk driver in Virginia Beach.

To learn how we can help you or a loved one, contact our office by calling (833) 997-1774. Schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team today.