Drunk driving crashes are one of the biggest safety risks on Virginia roads. People who have enjoyed too many alcoholic beverages endanger themselves and others by deciding to drive after drinking. No matter how often someone drinks, an elevated blood alcohol concentration can affect their ability to pay attention, make the right choices or even stay awake while driving.
Alcohol plays a role in many of the worst crashes that occur in Virginia every year, including a large number of collisions that lead to injury or death. Someone affected by a drunk driving crash may want justice. They may also need financial compensation because of the injuries the crash generated.
Who is typically liable for a drunk driving wreck in Virginia?
The at-fault driver should compensate the people affected
Some states have laws that allow those involved in a drunk driving crash to file a lawsuit against a business. So-called dram shop liability laws make bars and restaurants responsible for violating alcohol service rules if a patron goes on to cause a crash.
Virginia does not have a dram shop statute at this time. Therefore, in most cases, the drunk driver is the only party who can provide compensation. The people affected by a drunk driving crash could file an insurance claim against the driver’s policy. When their losses are sizable, they may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver who put others at risk with bad decisions.
A civil lawsuit is often possible regardless of whether the state has prosecuted the drunk driver. Seeking legal guidance and learning more about Virginia’s liability rules may benefit those affected by an intoxicated motorist.