Virginia Beach DUI Accident Injury Attorneys
Drinking and driving is never a good idea – drunk drivers pose a serious danger to everyone on the road, including themselves. In a recent five-year period, more than 33% of all Virginia Beach car accident fatalities were due to alcohol involvement. If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you suffered.
We can help you demand it. Invictus Law attorneys fight hard for the rights of drunk driving accident victims, helping our clients pursue full and fair compensation for all their losses, from medical care and repair bills to emotional trauma and diminished quality of life. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Virginia Beach DUI accident injury lawyers.
How Do I Know If the Driver That Hit Me Was Drunk?
If the police were called after the DUI accident, they might have noted that the other driver was drunk and administered a breathalyzer test. Or, the EMS techs may have detected the presence of alcohol in their blood. Absent this solid proof that the driver who hit you was under the influence, your attorney may need to rely on other ways to prove they were drunk, like:
- Witness testimony about how they were driving before the wreck
- Witness testimony of the other driver’s appearance and actions before or after the collision
- Evidence the other driver was drinking before getting in the car, like receipts from a bar or liquor store, or evidence from people who were with them
- An arrest or conviction of the other driver for DUI
Critically, the burden of proof in a civil case like your DUI lawsuit is lower than in a criminal case. Your attorney must establish only that it was more likely than not that the drunk driver was to blame for your injuries. The driver could still be liable for your injuries even if they are found not guilty of DUI.
Drunk Driving Crash Injuries Are Life-Changing
Drunk driving car wreck injuries can be serious, even fatal. Some of the most common injuries they result in include:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and bruising
- Internal organ damage
- Neck or spine injuries
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Many drunk driving accident victims require hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, and other aftercare to heal and regain their physical abilities. Some are left with permanent scarring or disfigurement, leaving them permanently disabled.
Drunk driving accidents cause emotional trauma, too. Many victims develop PTSD, anxiety, or depression or have a situational phobia of being in a car. Your psychological recovery may be just as lengthy as your physical recovery.
What To Do In the Days Following a DUI Car Accident in Virginia Beach
The moments after you’ve been hit by a drunk driver are scary and hectic. In the aftermath, though, there are several important things to remember if you’re planning on pursuing civil action against the drunk driver:
- Get medical attention. If you didn’t receive treatment at the scene, visit an emergency room or your doctor as soon as possible. Doing so creates a paper trail connecting your injuries to the DUI wreck.
- Note the daily effect your injuries have on your life. If you’re unable to care for yourself and your family, write that down. Keep a journal and rate your pain each day. Your attorney may use your journal as evidence of the pain and suffering your injuries cause and how your quality of life has deteriorated.
- Save all documentation from the wreck. This includes any correspondence from the other party, your medical bills, estimates to repair or replace your car, and documentation from your job stating how many days of work you missed due to your injuries.
- Talk to an experienced Virginia Beach DUI accident injury lawyer. An attorney can provide professional advice suited to your situation and then handle the lawsuit and settlement process on your behalf.
What Kind Of Compensation Can I Get From a Virginia Beach DUI Accident?
The financial consequences of a DUI accident someone else caused should not be yours to bear. As such, you could be entitled to compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Missed wages
- Vocational retraining, if you cannot do your job now because of a disability
- Property damage
Not every loss caused by a DUI accident in Virginia has a price tag attached to it, though. In fact, you could also be owed money for your:
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Emotional trauma
Additionally, § 8.01-44.5 of the Virginia Code allows victims of drunk drivers to seek punitive damages of up to $350,000 under certain circumstances, such as when the driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15 or above, refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, or behaved with “willful and wanton negligence.” Punitive damages are not meant to compensate a victim for particular harm they suffered but rather to punish liable parties for particularly egregious behavior. And while punitive damages can only be awarded at trial, evidence of an at-fault driver’s intoxication can serve as crucial leverage during settlement negotiations. In other words, evidence that a driver was drunk when they caused a crash can increase a victim’s payout even if their case never goes to court.
How Invictus Law Can Help You After You’ve Been Hit By a Drunk Driver
The aftermath of a DUI accident is an overwhelming time. While you may deserve compensation for what you’ve suffered, you also deserve to focus on your rest and recovery. Instead of pursuing your claim alone, let a DUI accident lawyer in Virginia Beach help you by:
- Filing paperwork. Filing a claim and a lawsuit involves a lot of complicated paperwork. Your lawyer handles all this, ensuring it’s filed correctly and on time.
- Meeting deadlines. A single filing mistake or missed deadline can cause costly delays in your case.
- Properly valuing your case. An experienced lawyer knows what your case is worth and fights hard to achieve maximum compensation. They won’t let a tricky insurance adjuster lowball you.
- Collecting evidence. Law firms have resources ordinary citizens do not and can investigate the other driver’s behavior to gather proof of their negligence.
- Providing legal guidance. While each decision in your case is your own, your lawyer may offer insight into your options and answer questions about the consequences of each decision you’re faced with.
- Negotiating tenaciously. Many DUI accident injury claims are settled out of court in mediated negotiations. Negotiating a settlement can be intimidating, and the other party’s insurance company isn’t interested in paying you much money. Your lawyer is your cool-headed negotiator, seeking the highest settlement on your behalf and backing up their negotiations with the threat of a lawsuit.
- Litigating your case. If the other party disputes the facts of the case or your lawyer cannot get a fair settlement offer in negotiations, your case goes to court. Your attorney defends your interests before a judge and jury, showing them that the other driver was to blame and that they must compensate you accordingly.
Virginia Beach DUI Accident Injury Lawyers Fight For Your Rights
Do you need an experienced Virginia Beach DUI accident lawyer to help you pursue compensation after a crash that wasn’t your fault? Then contact Invictus Law today for a free consultation!