In December, Impaired Driving Prevention Month reminds everyone of the dangers of impaired driving. And during December, it’s no surprise that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are also among the most dangerous dates during this awareness month. The number of drunk driving fatalities typically accounts for roughly a third of all traffic fatalities, but on December 24th and 31st, that number tends to increase to almost half. As of 2019, alcohol-related traffic deaths reached their lowest rate since 1982, when NHTSA first started reporting such data – yet 10,142 people still died. It was all preventable. The pain caused by one person’s choice to drive impaired is often permanent. Williams DeLoatche, P.C. urges everyone to take responsibility this holiday season by planning a safe ride home before the celebrations begin. Please designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver. If you cannot secure a designated driver, consider an Uber, taxi, or take a bus home. As a holiday party host, it is a great idea to provide festive, non-alcoholic drinks as an alternative for your guests.
If You Find Yourself Seriously Injured by An Impaired Driver, Here’s What You Need To Know
Everyone should be aware that driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) is a federal offense. If an individual is driving while impaired, they can be arrested and charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above the legal level of .08 in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Some would say that a person who survives a car crash caused by an impaired driver is fortunate. However, whether or not the person had the good fortune for surviving depends on the extent of the injuries they suffered. The consequences can sadly be catastrophic. Victims who receive severe injuries in an accident go through extreme pain and suffering. Their injuries often require extended hospital stays, expensive medical treatment, and significant lost time from work. Economic Injuries Ever-increasing hospital bills and inability to work may cause significant financial strain for the victim and their family. In some cases, those injured in an accident with a drunk driver cannot fully recover. They may be unable to return to work, or they may be unable to return to the type of work they were doing before their injuries—resulting in a pay cut. Emotional Injuries Being involved in a car accident of any kind is scary. But being involved in a car accident caused by someone under the influence can lead to several emotions. Emotional pain can consume a survivor or the family of a loved one killed in the crash. This emotional turmoil can lead to behavior that is out of character. Some survivors may seek the help of a professional through counseling or a survivor’s support group. Types of Damages the Victims Could Receive Holding an impaired driver responsible can be done in criminal and civil court. Injured parties and their families may be eligible to receive compensation for their losses. They may have an interest in pursuing a civil lawsuit against the driver because criminal courts don’t have the power to make a person whole again. Victims may be entitled to damages for the following: · Property damage · Medical expenses (past, ongoing, and future) · Lost wages and/or future employment capacity · Pain and suffering · Emotional distress · Permanent disability · Wrongful death Punitive Damages in DWI Cases In many drunk-driving car accidents, a victim can seek punitive damages for the dangerous conduct on the part of the defendant driver. Punitive damages are intended to serve as a deterrent when the defendant’s misconduct was sufficiently offensive. These damages are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter the driver and others from similar conduct in the future. It is important to note that punitive damages are in addition to actual damages.
Make the Right Choice Contact Williams DeLoatche today. Unlike larger firms, we provide personalized attention for all of our clients. Our attorneys are involved in all facets of your case and are equally accessible to you.
If you or a loved one have been injured by someone driving under the influence, our accident attorneys have the experience you need on your side. In addition, if a death occurs because of the accident, family members may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one.
We can schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation to discuss your next steps.