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At the Manchin Injury Law Group, our West Virginia drunk driving accident lawyers are strong advocates for personal injury victims of DUI accidents. We work hard to obtain full compensation for our clients — and justice for the wrongs they have suffered. Call us today at (304) 367-1862 for a free consultation with a West Virginia DUI accident attorney.
A drunk driving accident lawyer will protect your rights at every stage of the legal process. While others involved in your claim, including the drunk driver’s insurance carrier, will want to minimize your financial recovery, your lawyer will work tirelessly to maximize it. This involves negotiating with a claims adjuster for you, proving your losses and taking your case to trial, if necessary.
When representing you, our West Virginia drunk driving accident attorneys will act quickly to initiate legal action. We will thoroughly investigate your drunk driving collision to search for signs and evidence that the other driver is at fault. Prompt action will give us the power to obtain video from the bar and parking lot and other evidence important in your case.
We will also seek to interview and depose bartenders, wait staff, patrons of the establishment and other parties. We will document the sequence of events leading to the crash, establish liability, and work diligently to build a strong personal injury case for you. Our goal will be to obtain maximum compensation for you.
As is the case in all 50 states, drunk driving is against the law in West Virginia. State law defines drunk driving as being in physical control of a motor vehicle with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent for ordinary drivers, 0.04 percent for commercial drivers and 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21. For ordinary drivers, however, driving with a BAC above 0.05 percent can result in a DUI conviction.
A criminal conviction for driving under the influence can result in fines ranging from $25 to $5,000, as well as time spent in jail and administrative sanctions, such as the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. If the drunk driver caused a car accident with serious bodily injuries or deaths, the sentence will increase. The driver will also be responsible for paying restitution to victims.
Drunk driving car accidents often cause severe to life-threatening injuries. In many DUI collisions, the drunk driver is speeding, driving the wrong way, running a red light or making other serious mistakes that can increase the severity of the crash. This can result in more drastic injuries for victims. Some of the most common examples of injuries associated with drunk driving accidents in West Virginia are:
No matter what types of injuries you or a loved one suffered in a drunk driving accident in West Virginia, our lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group can help you fight for fair financial compensation. We understand how dramatically injuries from a drunk driving accident can affect individuals and their families and are passionate about holding DUI drivers responsible.
Bars, restaurants, and other hospitality establishments that serve drunk patrons who then cause injury or death can be held liable. In West Virginia, that responsibility also applies to private individuals who serve alcohol in social settings.
When they fail to do so and a drunk driver causes injury or death, a hospitality establishment or individual can be held liable for losses. Commercial establishments carry dram shop insurance for this purpose, and an individual’s umbrella insurance coverage may provide a source of compensation. We will also target the drunk driver when seeking compensation.
Our West Virginia car accident attorneys will identify all possible sources of compensation and seek the best possible settlement or jury award for you. If you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If you believe that you were partially at fault for the car accident, don’t let this stop you from consulting with a DUI accident attorney about your right to bring a claim. West Virginia uses a comparative negligence law, meaning that you can still recover financial compensation even if you share fault with the intoxicated driver. The courts will simply reduce your financial recovery by your percentage of fault.
If the courts allocate 20 percent of fault to you for cutting a driver off, for example, but 80 percent to the other driver for speeding and driving while intoxicated, your financial recovery would be reduced by 20 percent. Instead of receiving $60,000 in financial recovery in this example, you would receive $48,000. If the courts find you more than 50 percent at fault, however, you will lose the right to recover any financial compensation. This is why it is important to have an attorney help you prove the drunk driver is to blame.
When a drunk person gets into a vehicle and drives, it endangers everyone on the road. The result can be a devastating accident that kills or injures another driver, motorcyclist, pedestrian or bicyclist.
As the victim of a drunk driver, you may be able to claim compensation from the driver and driver’s insurance company. You may also be able to claim compensation from the bar or social host who served alcohol to the driver. The financial compensation that may be available to you as a victim or surviving family member includes:
Punitive damages are also a possible avenue for compensation. Punitive damages serve to punish or penalize a drunk driver for gross negligence or a wanton disregard for the safety of the public. These damages are awarded by a judge when a case involves a serious example of negligence by the defendant. Such cases, however, can involve complex issues and require careful investigation by an experienced West Virginia drunk driving accident lawyer.
Although no amount of money will ever make up for the significant losses you suffered because of a drunk driver’s reckless decision, achieving a fair and full compensatory award can help your family move forward with less financial stress. A fair settlement or judgment award can also make the drunk driver take culpability for his or her actions. Work with an attorney for assistance maximizing your financial recovery after a DUI accident.
Drunk driving is unfortunately common in West Virginia and throughout the United States. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a type of reckless behavior that many drivers engage in, despite state laws prohibiting drunk and drugged driving. Some of the most recent drunk driving statistics are as follows:
Tracking drunk driving accident statistics statewide and nationwide can help you understand why most of these collisions take place, as well as other important facts that may help reduce your risk of encountering a drunk driver.
To schedule a free case evaluation with our West Virginia drunk driving accident attorneys, call the Manchin Injury Law Group at (304) 367-1862 or send us an email. A drunk driving accident lawyer from our law firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries or your loss of a loved one.
From our law office in Fairmont, we represent DUI accident victims in Charleston, Clarksburg, Morgantown, and throughout West Virginia.