Every driver in Virginia has to have a license, which means they had to complete driver’s education training and pass a test before driving on their own. Inevitably, that means they will have learned about the rules regarding alcohol use and driving.
Virginia has clear laws prohibiting driving while impaired or when someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.08%, regardless of whether or not they demonstrate impairment at the wheel. Younger drivers and those in control of commercial vehicles are subject to even stricter limits.
Unfortunately, while all licensed drivers should know that it is illegal to drink and drive, many will do so anyway. As someone dealing with property damage or injury-related expenses following a drunk driving crash, what options for compensation do you have?
Making a claim against insurance coverage
Drivers in Virginia typically need to carry liability insurance in case they cause a wreck. Provided that the driver who hit you has an active insurance policy, you can make a claim for property damage and injury-related losses against their coverage.
Unfortunately, drunk drivers tend to cause very severe crashes, and it is possible that your costs may be higher than what insurance will cover. Additionally, someone irresponsible enough to drive while drunk might also be the kind of person to drive with a lapsed insurance policy.
When there isn’t coverage or simply isn’t enough, then you may need to turn to the courts.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit
Virginia law allows those negatively affected by someone else’s negligence or bad behavior to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You can claim any economic losses not covered by insurance in such a lawsuit.
Drunk driving is not only a violation of state law, but it is also a clearly unsafe behavior. You may have grounds for a straightforward personal injury lawsuit against the driver who hit you. Although Virginia does not have a dram shop law that allows you to take legal action against a bar or restaurant, there could be a third party with liability if the drunk driver was on the job when they caused the crash.
Reviewing your different options for compensation after a drunk driving wreck will help you pay your bills and hold that drunk driver accountable.