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Drunk Driving Accidents

Virginia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Drunk driving accidents can be devastating for victims and their families. When a driver chooses to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, they are not only breaking the law, but they are also putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in Virginia or Washington D.C., you need an experienced attorney on your side to help you recover the compensation you deserve. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a drunk driving accident can take on victims and their families, and we are here to help you through this difficult time.

Legal Limits of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Virginia

In Virginia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is .04, and for drivers under 21 years of age, any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream can result in a DUI charge. The number of drinks it takes to reach these BAC levels can vary depending on factors such as weight, gender, and how quickly the drinks are consumed. As a general rule, however, most people will reach a BAC of .08 after consuming four to five drinks within two hours.

If a driver is found to have a BAC above the legal limit, they can be charged with DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated). These charges are separate from any civil claims for personal injury or wrongful death that may arise from the accident.

Why Are DUI Accidents Different

Unfortunately, DUI accidents are more likely to lead to catastrophic injuries than auto accidents with sober drivers. Drivers that are intoxicated have much slower reaction times, impaired motor skills, and blurred/tunnel vision.

  • Slower Reaction Times – Alcohol slows a driver’s ability to react. This leads to drunk drivers crashing into others at a high rate of speed because they were unable to press the brake before the crash.
  • Impaired Motor Skills – Alcohol impacts a driver’s cerebellum, which is the part of the human brain that controls motor skills and balance. A drunk driver will have trouble controlling the vehicle due to this impairment and that lack of control can lead to head-on collisions.
  • Blurred and Tunnel Vision– Alcohol slows pupil dilation, which means that the driver’s eyes will adjust to light slower than normal. This can lead to blurred vision and a lack of peripheral vision, which is known as tunnel vision. The delay in reacting to light can also lead to head-on and t-bone collisions as the drunk driver is unable to respond to the other driver’s headlights in time.

Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic and life-altering conditions. Some of the most common injuries that victims of drunk driving accidents may sustain include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A TBI can occur when the head is struck or shaken violently, causing damage to the brain. TBIs can result in a range of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and cognitive impairments.
  • Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury can occur when the spinal cord is damaged or severed in an accident, resulting in partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and other long-term impairments.
  • Broken bones: Fractures of the arms, legs, pelvis, or skull are common in car accidents.
  • Internal injuries: The force of a car accident can cause damage to internal organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, which can require surgery and other intensive medical treatment.

Recoverable Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Virginia, you may be entitled to recover compensation for a variety of damages. Some of the damages that may be recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim include:

  • Medical expenses: This includes the cost of emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and other medical expenses related to your injuries.
  • Lost wages: If you have to miss work due to your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your lost income.
  • Physical Pain This includes compensation for physical pain suffered in the past, and if ongoing, pain to be suffered in the future. mental anguish and inconvenience.
  • Mental Anguish-The law recognizes that with a crash and physical injury and pain comes mental anguish (worry and stress) and you are entitled to be compensated for mental anguish suffered in the past, and similar to physical pain, to be compensated for mental anguish suffered in the future.
  • Inconvenience-Injuries and needed treatment interrupt your busy personal and professional lives and you are entitled to be compensated for such inconvenience.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior and to send a message to others to not drive drunk.

Punitive damages

Since we can’t wave a magic wand to heal the injured, the civil justice system is set up to compensate those that were injured due to no fault of their own. In some situations, the behavior of the at-fault party is so egregious that in addition to compensating the injured, the civil justice system allows for punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and protect the public by providing an example to deter others from engaging in the same behavior. Drunk driving is a form of conduct that is so egregious that punitive damages can be awarded.

Punitive damages can be awarded in any situation where the wrongdoer acts with a willful and wanton disregard of other’s rights. In Virginia, the law is that punitive damages are to be awarded against any drunk driver that causes an accident with a BAC over 0.15.

Cases Involving Drunk Drivers That We Have Handled:

We have experience in maximizing compensation for our clients that have been injured by drunk drivers. Below are a few of the many cases that we have handled involving drunk driving:

– Drunk Driver thought he put his car in drive, but it was in reverse. As he pressed the gas, his vehicle traveled backwards in the parking lot of a grocery store and hit our client who was putting groceries in his trunk. The client was pinned between the two vehicles and had to have both legs amputated.

– Drunk Driver jumps the curb and crashes into the back of our client who was walking to work. The client unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

– Drunk Driver is pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. While pulled over he attempts to flee the scene and police officer follows him. While fleeing, drunk driver travels over 90 mph and runs multiple red lights. Drunk Driver ends up T-boning our clients at a high rate of speed.

– Drunk Driver travels northbound on the southbound lanes of the Interstate. Drunk Driver crashes head-on into our client and causes our client’s vehicle to flip and roll on to the roof.

– Drunk Driver speeds and runs red light causing a T-bone collision in Old Town

– Drunk Driver commits hit and run collision

Protect Your Rights and Recovery: Contact Us Today

If you, your spouse, kids, or family member is injured by a drunk driver, it is important to contact experienced personal injury attorneys like us at Curcio Law in order to maximize your recovery.

  • "$2,000,000.00 Pedestrian Hit by Car. Resulting in Brain Injury."

  • "$2,000,000.00 Pedestrian Hit By Bus. Broken Foot, Surgery Complications & Partial Choroidal Detachment."

  • "$2,000,000.00 Wrongful Death Settlement."

  • "$1,900,000.00 Pedestrian Hit By Truck. Fractured Pelvis & Multiple Surgeries."

  • "$1,500,000.00 Auto Accident / Wrongful Death"

  • "$1,200,000.00 Auto Accident. Broken Neck, Punctured Lung."

  • "$847,500.00 Dangerous Dog Bite. Facial Injury, Scarring."

  • "$600,000.00 Tractor Trailer Crash. Neck Injury, Requiring Surgery."

  • "$595,000.00 (Jury Verdict) Auto Accident. Broken Foot."

  • "$546,905.00 Auto Accident. Neck Injury, Herniated Disc."

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  • NTL-40-under-40
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