Our Virginia personal injury client was a college student and young mother who worked as a personal aid to mentally disabled individuals. When a drunk driver ran off the road in Virginia Beach and hit her, she lay in a ditch for 25 minutes before a passer-by discovered her and called 9-1-1.
At the emergency room, our client was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury classified as a “closed head injury.” She also suffered a large, deep cut to her scalp, multiple other lacerations and bruises, and a broken finger.
The at-fault DUI driver initially fled the scene on foot, but police tracked the intoxicated woman down and charged her with driving under the influence and causing a hit-and-run accident with serious bodily injuries.
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Know Your Rights if You Get Injured by a Hit-and-Run Driver in Virginia
Why Licensed Drivers in Virginia Must Carry Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Key Legal Strategy
The hit-and-run drunk driver’s car insurance company did not contest liability and almost immediately agreed to settle all our Virginia personal injury client’s claims for the maximum amount available under the DUI driver’s policy. Sadly, this good outcome proved insufficient to pay the injured woman’s medical bills and compensate her for the long-term problems inflicted by her TBI.
While we helped our client recover as much as she could in this DUI/DWI case, we would have liked to do more for her and her family. That would have happened had she carried underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM. under her own car insurance policy. Virginia now requires UIM provisions in all car insurance policies sold in the state, but such coverage was optional at the time of the hit-and-run collision case summarized here. With uninsured motorist coverage, accident victims protect themselves from suffering financial hardships after a negligent driver who carries minimal insurance hits and injures them.
Court: Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Virginia Beach, VA
Staff: Staff attorney