Lawyers for impaired driving accident lawsuits in Virginia
Virginia’s penalties for impaired driving are some of the harshest in the country. Despite this, DUI (driving under the influence) accidents still happen often here in the Commonwealth. More than 7,600 alcohol-related crashes happened in Virginia in 2014, resulting in more than 3,400 injuries and 230 deaths. Over the past few years, the number dropped from 7,600 to over 7,000. Better, but not nearly good enough!
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys are always deeply saddened when a client comes to us after they’ve been hurt or lost a family member in an accident with an impaired driver. That’s why we do our best to reach out and share helpful information with our community. We want to keep you out of Riverside Walter Reed Hospital – or another hospital in our area – if an accident can be prevented.
But we always want you to know that you have rights, and that our Virginia car wreck attorneys will defend your rights. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a collision caused by an impaired driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
To find out more about filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against an impaired driver, call us at (804) 409-3538. We’ll meet with you for free to discuss your options. If you choose to hire our legal team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, it will cost you nothing upfront. We only get paid if we achieve a successful outcome in your case. That’s our Zero Fee Guarantee.
Choosing to get behind the wheel after too many drinks puts everyone on the road – you included – in danger.
Here in Virginia, we like to believe that our neighbors will follow the law, make smart decisions, and put the safety of others before themselves. But we know firsthand that alcohol helps people make bad decisions. One of our founders, Ken Gibson, was injured by a drunk driver and knows how difficult it is to recover from these collisions.
Our rural roads and highways require drivers to be focused and alert at all times – any mistake can cause a serious collision. More than 2,600 drunk driving accidents happened in Virginia over 10 years, and over 1% of all drivers have admitted to driving after drinking too much. In our home of Gloucester County, more than 40 drunk driving accidents occurred, with nearly 30 involving injuries and, tragically, one fatality. In the last few years, most of these collisions took place on Route 17.
While the legal limit for driving while impaired is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), any amount of alcohol is dangerous, because it can limit your:
- Ability to focus
- Reaction time
- Coordination, especially during rain and dangerous road conditions
- Ability to stay awake
We wish we could tell you. While normal traffic accidents spike in October and November in Virginia, impaired driving accident rates remain steady all year round.
Is there anything you can do? Yes. Here are some common-sense tips for protecting yourself from drunk or impaired drivers on the road:
- Buckle your seat belt.
- Don’t drive late at night.
- Be especially careful on "drinking holidays," like Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, and New Year’s Eve.
- Keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles.
- If you see a vehicle driving strangely, get away from it. Pull over and call the police to report the suspicious behavior.
Always promote sober driving among your friends and relatives, and do NOT tolerate any attempts to drive while impaired. Remember, it could be your loved ones on the road with impaired drivers.
If police come to the scene of your accident, they can test the other driver’s BAC. Any amount over 0.08% means there should be a criminal charge of DUI (driving under the influence) against that driver. That case will be handled in criminal court, and a drunk driver faces up to 12 months in jail if convicted. Although Virginia does require that a convicted drunk driver pay fines up to $2,500, that money will not go to help the victim.
To get the money you need to recover for your injuries and losses, you’ll have to file a claim in civil court. A DUI personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a regular car accident claim, but with a big exception. In both cases, you can be awarded compensation for medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and more.
However, in a drunk driving lawsuit, you can also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to not only punish the drunk driver, but also send a message to the community that such reckless behavior will not be tolerated.
If the intoxicated driver has a BAC of 0.15% or higher, a judge or jury can award punitive damages. Punitive damages can also be awarded if the intoxicated driver refused to take a sobriety test after the accident. Punitive damages are a big help in Virginia DUI accident lawsuits, because of the high cap on the amount that can be awarded: $350,000. Another advantage of punitive damages is they cannot be removed by the defendant if he files for bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, drunk drivers are not the only danger on Virginia roads. Like most other states, Virginia is facing an opioid addiction crisis. Opioids are a class of drugs that include morphine, fentanyl, and codeine, as well as heroin. The opioids being abused in the current crisis include prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, which are highly addictive. These medications may be legally prescribed for pain, but people who take them should avoid driving. Opioids can cause drowsiness, limit coordination, and limit a driver’s ability to respond to dangerous road conditions.
More than 16% of all car accidents in a recent year in the United States involved drugs. Among impaired drivers, over 19% tested positive for opioids, but other drugs such as marijuana can also cause serious crashes. Whether it is drugs or alcohol, impaired drivers are dangerous to other motorists, pedestrians, and themselves.
If you or a family member has been involved in an accident with an impaired driver, we are deeply sorry, and we understand what you’re going through. No one should have to live through that nightmare. These accidents are almost never minor, and you or your loved one may need medical attention, surgery, and physical therapy to recover. Most people these days cannot handle the costs of an emergency room bills, much less a long stay at the hospital. If you or your family member was injured by a drunk driver, you may need to file a personal injury claim to recover full compensation for your trauma.
Our partners, Ken Gibson and John Singleton, know firsthand what it’s like to be an injury victim. So we bring empathy and compassion to every client.
We’ve experienced the frustrations our clients face — pain, suffering, fear, difficulty dealing with insurance companies, pressure to settle without a lawyer. That’s why we do everything possible to make the legal process easy for our clients, so they can focus on getting better and getting their life back.
If you need legal assistance, GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys will listen to the details of your case and give you free advice. If you want us to help you, we can do that too. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777.
Recent Auto Accident Case Results
DISCLAIMER. Each case is handled based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case. These results are NOT indicative of the outcome of any potential case. All case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case, and these case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by our firm.
- $600,000 Compensation - Man was killed in a drunk driving crash and wife sustained injuries in the accident.
- $275,000 Compensation - Man suffered injuries when a drunk driver crossed the center line and struck the man’s car.
- $100,000 compensation - Man was injured when his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver.
See more case results here.
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- The opioid crisis in Virginia: what you need to know
- The new alcohol? Drugs cause driver impairment and wrecks
- Drunk driving IS reckless driving for teens
- Buzzed driving is drunk driving: Tips for driving safely during the holidays
It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more
Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.