Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Alexandria
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What should you do if you or a loved one has suffered a drunk driving accident? Is it enough just to let the criminal justice system run its course? Do you wonder whether additional recourse is available? How to get your life back on track?
No one should have to go through the tragedy of a drunk driving accident. Despite society’s efforts to prevent accidents and punish offenders, casualties involving drugs and alcohol continue to blight our community.
To learn what your options are and what compensation you may be entitled to, schedule a free consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer in Alexandria by calling 571-229-1800.
Drunk Driving Accident Compensation
Debilitating injuries affect every aspect of the lives of victims and those around them. The physical trauma and emotional heartache victims experience take on the form of damages in a legal proceeding. The value of these damages affects the overall compensation that we fight for on your behalf. Damages with a direct financial impact are special damages, while those without specific financial costs are general damages.
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning potential
- Hospitalization, surgery, and other healthcare expenses
- Prescription or over-the-counter medication
- Long-term care needs
- Child care expenses
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
The Civil Claim Process
Estates and surviving family members can pursue both special and general damages in a claim or lawsuit for wrongful death.
A victim or victim’s estate (through a personal representative like an Administrator or Executor) can sue the offending driver in civil court. What typically happens first, though, is the driver’s insurance company begins to process a claim at the administrative level. Upon learning of the accident, an insurance company representative contacts the victim or a victim’s family member to understand more about the collision.
At this point, the insurance adjuster may seem sympathetic, kind, and on your side. Unfortunately, however, this is no reason to believe that the insurance company has your best interests at heart. Mr. Parrish used to train these kinds of adjusters when he worked for insurance companies and knows the tricks and strategies they use to take advantage of people during troubled times.
While insurance adjusters tend to frame their settlement offers as win-win, the only winner they want to see is the insurance company. The insurance company’s goal is to settle the case for as little as possible. An adjuster is not about to share the total amount of money that the company has set aside for your claim.
Establishing Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident
A person is liable for damages when he or she breaches a legal duty and damages are a result directly from the breach.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, drunk driving can result in a criminal conviction where there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was operating the vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
But the absence of a criminal conviction does not prevent you from pursuing a civil claim against the driver. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than that in a criminal case. In a civil case, the drunk driver is liable for the victim’s injuries if it is more likely than not that he/she breached his/her legal duty of care and caused damages or loss.
Other Potential Liable Parties
It is difficult to show that any third parties owed the victim a legal duty. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not have a “dram shop law,” which is a law that would otherwise create liability for bars, restaurants, or other sellers of intoxicating beverages. Adults who furnish minors with alcohol can be subject to criminal prosecution but typically are not liable to third parties when those minors then cause alcohol-related harm to third parties.
However, if it is known that an adult or parent provided alcohol to a minor who caused an accident, injury, or death, then it is certainly worth discussing a potential case against those parents with a veteran injury lawyer like Jim Parrish.
If it was foreseeable that entrusting someone with specific property would result in injury to third parties, the person who provided the property could be liable for those injuries.
The law uses the term “negligent entrustment” to refer to situations where someone gives an intoxicated or impaired driver use of a vehicle and should have known better.
Another issue that arises is called vicarious liability, meaning that a company could be liable if the impaired driver were an employee working in the course and scope of his/her employment at the time of the accident.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC is here to help Drunk Driving Victims
While no amount of money can erase emotional scars, heal permanent injuries or restore only happy memories, compensation may be available to you as a result of a drunk driving accident.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC offers complimentary consultations to victims of drunk driving accidents. Call us today at 1-571-229-1800 to schedule your introductory appointment. We look forward to hearing from and helping you.