The winter holiday season is historically a dangerous time on Virginia’s roads, as well as the roads across the country. This period begins on what is referred to as “Blackout Wednesday,” which is the day before Thanksgiving, a day when many people get together, often at bars and restaurants, and “celebrate” with large amounts of alcohol. This trend carries through the month of December, as people get together with family, friends, and co-workers, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. All of this celebrating tragically leads to a great increase in drunk driving crashes, resulting in injuries and death.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many people celebrating the holidays a bit differently, many choosing not to travel and to gather in smaller groups. And while state restrictions and the risk of catching the virus has led to the cancellations of many employee work parties, holiday concerts, and other events, there will still be people who insist on drinking and getting behind the wheel of their vehicles. If you or a loved one have been injured in a drunk driving crash, contact a Virginia drunk driving attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.
Drunk Driving Accident Liability
In the majority of car accidents, the victim – usually through their Virginia accident lawyer – needs to show that the alleged at-fault driver acted in a negligent or reckless way and that behavior resulted in the accident, injuries, and the losses the victim has suffered. Once an attorney has proven the other driver’s negligence, the victim can be financially compensated for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. If the victim dies from the injuries, their family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. Damages that can be recovered in this type of legal action include bills from the victim’s medical treatment, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income the victim provided, loss of companionship, and the mental anguish the victim’s death has caused the family.
Car accidents caused by drunk drivers, however, are a little different because it is often unnecessary for the attorney to prove that the drunk driver was negligent since drinking and driving is against the law and a blatant negligent act.
How to Avoid Drunk Driving Crashes
For people who venture out to a holiday get-together, there are some steps to take that can help decrease your risk of being in a deadly crash. One of the best things you can do is to plan ahead. Depending on where you will be celebrating, make arrangements to stay the night, if possible. If you are going to a family member or friend’s house for a party, consider spending the night.
If you are going to be out drinking and will be going home, have a ride already lined up, such as a designated driver, taxi, or Uber. If you are not drinking and will be the person driving, it is best to stay off the roads between 10:00 pm and 4:00 am. However, if that’s not possible, make sure to be extra alert and vigilant of other drivers on the road. If you do see a driver that you suspect has been drinking, pull your car over and call 911 to report it.
Contact a Virginia Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you may take to stay safe, there are far too many other drivers on the road who fail to do the same. If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have.
The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Va. car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 or a free case evaluation.
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