Drunk driving is responsible for severe injuries and deaths every day. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in Hampton, VA, contact the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. Call (833) 997-1774 or send us a message online to arrange a free consultation today.
Who Is Responsible for Drunk Driving Injuries?
When a drunk driver causes an accident, their insurance company is most often responsible for paying for any resulting damages. However, although it is often assumed that a drunk driver will be 100 percent at fault for a collision, that is not always the case. Virginia courts apply the theory of contributory negligence to drunk driving accident cases.
Under this rule, each party involved is assigned a percentage of fault for the collision based on the evidence, and you cannot recover compensation if you are even one percent to blame. As a result, if you contributed to causing the accident at all, then the drunk driver may not be entirely to blame, and you will be unable to collect compensation. Therefore, you will have to rely on your own insurance policy or pay out-of-pocket for your losses.
Additionally, Virginia dram shop laws state that a bar or restaurant that provides alcohol to an intoxicated driver who causes an accident is not liable. Unlike many other states, establishments that over-serve a patron who then chooses to drive cannot be held responsible for any damages or injuries they cause.
Why You Need a Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer
Since contributory negligence is a factor in your case, consulting a Hampton, VA drunk driver accident lawyer is critical. This law can make it extremely challenging for accident victims to recover the compensation they need for their injuries. An attorney will help you understand how negligence rules may apply in your case, gather evidence that you need to build a strong claim against the defendant (at-fault party) and handle negotiations to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Compensation for a DUI Accident in Hampton, Virginia
When a drunk driver is one hundred percent to blame for an accident, you have the right to recover compensation. Injury victims can generally seek compensation for
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Rental car costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
Your case’s worth will depend on its unique circumstances, such as the evidence you have against the drunk driver, the severity of your injuries and other losses, and whether you were partially to blame. After looking over the details of your case, a drunk driver car accident lawyer will have the ability to calculate an estimate of your claim’s value.
Civil vs. Criminal Drunk Driving Cases
Victims of drunk driving accidents have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver regardless of whether the defendant has been convicted or is facing criminal charges. A civil lawsuit allows victims to recover compensation for their injuries and financial losses caused by the accident. In criminal drunk driving cases, victims are not awarded compensation but may feel that a sense of justice has been served. A district attorney chooses to prosecute the defendant who may face jail time, hefty fines, license suspension, and other harsh penalties if found guilty.
Our Accident Attorneys Can Help
Reach out to Shapiro, Washburn, & Sharp if a drunk driver in Hampton, VA has severely injured you or a loved one. Our car accident lawyers offer free consultations; call (833) 997-1774 or message us online today. We’ll help you recover the maximum compensation.