A Virginia car accident lawyer notes that alcohol may have been a factor in fatal car accident in Norfolk. Law enforcement authorities in Virginia are reportedly pressing charges of driving under the influence against a motorist who rear-ended another vehicle, killing one of the vehicle’s occupants and injuring the other two. In addition to criminal charges, people who drive under the influence may be liable to the others they harm, and victims of negligence, as well as the families of those killed, may be eligible to recover compensation with the help of a Virginia personal injury lawyer.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Virginia. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated Virginia car accident lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Suspected Drunk Driver May Face Additional Charges
Authorities believe that alcohol may have been a factor in a rear-end collision that claimed a woman’s life in Norfolk, Virginia. The accident occurred when the suspected drunk driver rear-ended a minivan that was waiting at a red light, pushing the vehicle into the car that it was stopped behind. All three of the minivan’s occupants suffered injuries and were transported to a local hospital, according to ABC News. The driver of the minivan and one passenger were treated and released, but sadly, the other passenger passed away due to her injuries.
Authorities are still investigating the circumstances of this tragic accident. To date, they have charged the suspected drunk driver with refusal to submit to a blood sample and with driving under the influence. Based on the results of an ongoing investigation, authorities may opt to file additional charges later.
Criminal Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents is Different Than Civil Liability
Regardless of the outcome of any criminal action against the driver, the determination of the criminal court is different than any civil case that may be brought against the driver. In a criminal matter, a person is accused of a crime and, if convicted, can be sentenced to jail or probation. Sometimes monetary fines and restitution are imposed on the guilty party.
However, the outcome of a criminal matter is often not relevant to a civil matter that could be brought against the person committing the wrongful act. A person who drives drunk commits a crime, but if that person also injures or kills another person while driving drunk, he or she may face civil liability in addition to criminal charges.
In a civil case, a person’s actions are not judged on whether they were illegal, but instead on whether they constituted negligence, reckless or malicious behavior, or other fault. If those actions are found to constitute fault, and if those actions caused injury to another person, then the wrongful actor may be held liable to the injured party for the payment of money to compensate for the injuries and other damages caused.
How a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Drivers or passengers who are injured in car accidents may be able to file a lawsuit with the help of a Virginia car accident lawyer and recover compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
If the actions causing injury are malicious or so reckless that intent to harm can be inferred, the responsible party can be liable for punitive damages to punish wrongful conduct and deter similar conduct in the future.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Virginia. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.