An Experienced Richmond, Virginia Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Helping Victims of Impaired Drivers
Despite public campaigns discussing the risks of drunk driving, each year thousands of people are hurt and injured in Virginia in car accidents involving alcohol. If you are a victim of a drunk driver, car accident lawyer Corey Pollard can help.
Call Corey Pollard now or e-mail us to get a drunk driving accident attorney in your corner. We’ll help you recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Virginia Personal Injury Cases Involving Drunk Drivers
Driving drunk can lead not only to severe criminal penalties for the drunk driver but also civil consequences in personal injury lawsuits.
If you were hurt in a car accident or injured by a drunk driver this will have an impact on your personal injury case. Other persons, and even companies, may be held liable for your injuries if they served alcohol to the driver under certain circumstances.
You Must Get Proof that the Other Person was Drinking and Driving
You have a better chance of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries if you have evidence that the driver who caused the accident was drinking or using drugs.
A police report stating that the driver was intoxicated or had an open alcoholic beverage or container in the car at the time of the accident is a key piece of evidence you can use to negotiate a higher settlement or to win at trial in your case.
Other signs that a driver may have been drinking or smoking marijuana are:
- The use of eye drops;
- The driver tries to go to the bathroom immediately after the accident;
- The driver starts throwing trash out of the vehicle before the police arrive;
- The driver starts using breath spray, chewing gum, or a breath mint;
- The driver says that someone else in the car was driving
Make sure that you pay attention and document who was driving the other vehicle at the time of the accident. Also take note of where the driver put trash if he or she tries to get rid of things in their vehicle. If the other driver is acting suspicious, or you smell alcohol or marijuana, make sure you tell the police officer what you observed so that the officer can investigate.
If the other driver is convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), you can use the conviction to increase the value of your personal injury settlement. In Virginia a person commits a DWI if driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher. A minor with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system may be charged with a DWI.
You do not necessarily need to prove that the other driver had a BAC above the legal limit to win your negligence case. If you can prove that he or she was too impaired to operate their vehicle safely and made bad choices because of this, you have a stronger case.
How Can I Use Evidence that the Other Driver was Drinking and Driving in My Personal Injury Case?
During settlement negotiations you should provide a copy of the police report to the insurance company. If it show that the other driver was drunk at the time of the accident, you have substantial leverage to negotiate a top-dollar settlement.
The insurance claims adjuster will review the police report and try to determine how a judge or jury would view their driver. If the driver is unlikeable and has other factors working against him or her, the adjuster will want to avoid trial.
If you do not receive a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney will use the police report, the police officer’s testimony at trial, and your testimony regarding your observations to try to win your case and receive a fair verdict that compensates you for all your damages. Your attorney may try to receive an award of punitive damages against the defendant driver for being drunk at the time of the accident.
Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuits Involving Drunk Drivers
If you have a family member who was killed in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver you may have a wrongful death action against the drunk driver in Virginia. If your family member would have been able to bring a lawsuit against the drunk driver for personal injuries if he or she had lived then a family member may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver. A Virginia wrongful death action seeks monetary damages to cover medical bills, loss of earning capacity, loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death claim based on drunk driving.
Let a Newport News and Richmond, Virginia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help You and Your Family Recover
Auto accidents involving a drunk driver can be awful, however, proving that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs often leads to a higher settlement or jury verdict for damages.
Do not accept the insurance company’s first offer. Talk with a Virginia drunk driving accident attorney if someone under the influence caused you injuries in or near Richmond, Newport News, or Virginia Beach. Your consultation is free and there is no obligation to use our services.