Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Fairfax County
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The victims of drunk driving accidents often face high medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care costs, and a significant decline in quality of life. While the criminal case against the drunk driver who caused their accident can bring some emotional relief, most still struggle with financial problems and need compensation from the at-fault motorist to help them pay for the care, rehabilitation, and tools they need to recover as much as possible from their injuries.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash, you need the support and resources of a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer in Fairfax County on your side. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can evaluate your case and help you decide the best way to get the payout you deserve from the drunk driver’s auto insurance company. Call us today at 571-229-1800 to schedule a time to discuss your case with us.
The drunk driver already faces criminal charges. Do I need to file an insurance claim to hold him liable for my injuries?
This is one of the most common questions we hear. And yes, you need to file an insurance claim regardless of the charges pending against the driver. A criminal case really has nothing to do with the victim. If convicted, the driver may face jail time and even stiff fines. However, these fines do not come to you or help pay for your treatment. To get that compensation, we need to file a claim based on the driver’s liability policy or file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
To file this claim or suit, we need to collect evidence showing the driver acted negligently. Often the police report that indicates the driver had been drinking before the crash is enough to prove negligence. However, we gather all available evidence to build the strongest case possible in your favor.
Then, we calculate the full range of your damages and send a demand letter to the insurance company. Often, it is willing to negotiate a fair claim, although the original offer will likely be quite low.
If the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, we can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. We can even obtain compensation in a civil case without a drunk driving conviction in the criminal case (because the burden of proof in the injury case is lower than the burden in the criminal DWI case).
Can I win compensation if the at-fault driver refused to submit to testing?
It is still possible to win compensation even if the driver refused to submit to testing. We can use accident reconstruction, eyewitness statements, and the officer’s testimony to prove the driver was intoxicated at the time of your collision.
What damages are available from a drunk driving case?
Like most Virginia car accident cases, you can collect both economic and noneconomic losses through an auto insurance claim or lawsuit we file. Together, these two types of damages cover all your crash-related losses.
Economic losses include:
- Hospital bills and other medical care
- Ongoing nursing or in-home care costs
- Rehabilitation and required therapies
- Future care costs related to your injuries
- Lost wages
- Income lost because of ongoing disabilities
- Lost benefits if unable to return to work
- Property damage, such as the cost to repair your car
- Almost any other accident-related expense
Noneconomic losses are more difficult to calculate, because they do not stem from actual financial damages. Instead, they relate to your emotional health and the impact of your injuries on you and your family. They may include:
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of contribution to your marriage and family life
- Decrease in quality of life
We can use the bills, receipts, and other documentation of your expenses, in addition to expert witnesses and other specialists, to determine the value of your case. This gives us a good place to begin settlement negotiations with the drunk driver’s insurance company.
Is an insurance claim enough in my Fairfax County drunk driving case?
This depends on the specifics of your accident. In some cases, we might advise you that your best legal option for compensation is to file a personal injury lawsuit. Usually, this occurs either when the insurance company denies your liability claim against the drunk driver or because we believe you have a strong case for punitive damages.
Virginia allows drunk driving accident victims to file for punitive, or exemplary, damages in some situations. Under Virginia Statute § 8.01-44.5, the judge or jury can award this type of damages in a drunk driving case when the driver displayed a willful disregard for the safety of others.
If the driver in your case had a significantly high blood alcohol concentration, i.e., usually 0.15 percent or more, we can discuss this as an option for your case. We might also be able to recover punitive damages if the driver refused a chemical test as this can be evidence of a willful disregard for the safety of others. We litigate these cases often, and know what it takes to get you punitive damages.
Speak to a drunk driving accident attorney in Fairfax County for FREE.
At the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, we know how the insurance companies work and how to use their process to recover the compensation you need. We dedicate ourselves to your case, and choose the route that maximizes your payout. We are not afraid to face the drunk driver’s insurer or legal team. We will fight aggressively to recover the full amount of compensation due to you after a Fairfax County drunk driving accident.
Call us today at 571-229-1800 to schedule your complimentary consultation with Virginia drunk driving attorney, Jim Parrish.