Drunk Driver Accidents

Petersburg Drunk Driver Injury Lawyer

Expert Legal Assistance for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents in Virginia 

Drunk driving is a serious crime, one that can result in jail time and hefty fines for the guilty party. But in cases where driving under the influence (DUI) leads to an accident, there’s another party—an innocent one—that the legal system also needs to address. How do their financial damages get covered? And what is the actual value of those damages? An experienced Petersburg drunk driver injury lawyer can be invaluable in answering these questions fairly. 

Cuthbert Law Offices has been fighting for fair settlements since 1977. From our Petersburg office, we serve clients across Virginia. Call today at (804) 485-2555 or reach out here online to set up a consultation. 

An Experienced Petersburg Drunk Driver Injury Lawyer

Cuthbert Law Offices understands the procedure involved in litigating a DUI case, and negotiating a fair settlement. We’ve been doing it since 1977 and we want to help you next.

Negligence in Drunk Driving Cases

Strictly speaking, a case involving an injury due to drunk driving is like other personal injury cases, whether that’s a slip and fall, a burn injury, or anything else where the injury is caused by someone else’s negligence. But there is one way a DUI injury case is different from most others—this case also involves an actual crime. 

What that means for the legal process is that the District Attorney’s office may pursuing criminal charges against the driver. This may be going on concurrently with the personal injury lawsuit that our Petersburg drunk driver injury attorney can file in civil court. While criminal and civil processes are separate, the outcome of the former can have an impact on the latter. 

Winning any sort of personal injury lawsuit means proving that the defendant acted negligently—that is, they failed to exercise the care that a reasonable person would have in a given situation, and that failure led to the injury. If a driver pleads guilty, or is otherwise convicted of a DUI charge, that can all but settle the negligence question right there. It is possible though, that a driver might be acquitted or have charges drop for reasons ranging from a flawed breathalyzer test to an inaccurate blood test. 

A person can still have acted negligently even if it can’t be proven they were intoxicated, but any hiccup on the criminal side may call for more investigation on the civil case. We can advise clients on whether this is likely in their specific lawsuit. 

Seeking Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Victims

Being in a drunk driving accident can have severe consequences, both physically and emotionally. If you or a loved one has been hurt in such an incident, it's crucial to seek the legal advice and representation of a skilled Petersburg drunk driver injury attorney. At Cuthbert Law Offices, we're devoted to aiding victims of drunk driving accidents in seeking the compensation they're entitled to. Our legal professionals can assist you in navigating the complexities of drunk driving cases and tirelessly pursue accountability from the negligent party. We comprehend the physical, emotional, and financial strains that such accidents can cause, and we're committed to advocating for your rights and interests.

By seeking compensation for your injuries, you may be able to cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Property damage

Don't hesitate to contact our team for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options. We are here to support you every step of the way.

Understanding Compensation in DUI Cases: Exploring Punitive Damages in Virginia

Presuming negligence is established, the final step is settling on a fair financial settlement. There are a wide range of factors that go into determining a dollar value. The costs of physical recovery, repair of car damages, and compensation for lost income are a starting point. In the event an injury was catastrophic, these costs may have to be projected out over a period of years. The intangible costs of pain and suffering are also an appropriate part of any financial settlement.

There’s also another factor, one that can be particularly relevant in DUI cases. That’s punitive damages. Everything else included in the settlement is referred to as compensatory—it exists to repay the victim for what has been lost. Punitive damages, as the name implies, exist to punish. While paid to the injured plaintiff, punitive damages exist to send a message to both the defendant and society as a whole about the complete unacceptability of their actions.

In the state of Virginia, punitive damages can apply in DUI cases if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) came back at .15% or higher—which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08%. If the driver were to refuse a BAC test, those are also grounds for seeking punitive damages, which can go as high as $350,000.

Put over 45 years of legal experience on your side by calling Cuthbert Law Offices at (804) 485-2555 or by filling out our online contact form today