Our Virginia personal injury client was leaving a gym in Chesapeake, VA, when a car ran up onto the sidewalk and struck him. The crash left the pedestrian with serious lower leg injuries, and he required four surgeries to repair all the physical damage.
Police who responded to the scene discovered that the at-fault driver was extremely intoxicated. Lab tests on the drunk driver’s blood and urine revealed her blood alcohol concentration to be .17, which is more than twice the legal limit for a Virginia driver’s BAC.
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Key Legal Strategy
The injured pedestrian lived in Norfolk, but we pursued the personal injury case in Chesapeake where the DUI crash occurred. We immediately found ourselves in a good news/bad news situation.
Fortunately, the drunk driver’s insurance company did not try to defend the woman and contest liability. We could move immediately into the process of negotiating a maximum settlement for our Virginia personal injury client.
Unfortunately, the drunk driver carried only $100,000 in coverage for causing bodily injuries. We first explored the possibility of increasing our client’s financial recovery by seeking punitive damages, but that would require going through a civil jury trial. The injured man rejected that option.
We also looked into whether the injured pedestrian could file an underinsured motorist claim with his own car insurance company. That turned out not to be possible because the man had declined that type of coverage. Underinsured motorist and uninsured motorist coverage are now required for Virginia drivers, but neither was at the time of this DUI accident.
The case ended quickly with our client receiving the full $100,000 available under the at-fault drunk driver’s insurance. While different circumstance would have enabled us to secure more money to help the DUI accident victim pay medical bills, replace lost wages and penalize the reckless driver who inflicted pain and suffering on him, we are glad we obtained as much as we could.
Court: Chesapeake Circuit Court, Chesapeake, VA
Staff: Staff attorney