There are many rules that restrict your activity while driving for your safety and the safety of the general public. Despite mandatory driver’s education programs and public awareness efforts, many drivers still break some of the most crucial safe statutes, including the law against impaired driving.
In Virginia, it is against the law for someone to get behind the wheel while under the influence of a mind-altering drug or while over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Drunk drivers frequently cause crashes that can have devastating consequences for the people involved.
Even if you stay sober, you could still end up hurt by someone who doesn’t follow the law. Who will pay for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle?
The drunk driver’s insurance
In a scenario where you only suffered minor injuries or require compensation for damage to your vehicle, the insurance policy of the other driver could cover your costs. Although some people worry that insurance won’t reimburse them when someone has clearly broken the law, in all but the rarest of cases, a driver’s policy will apply even if they were drunk at the time that they caused a crash.
The drunk driver
Some drunk drivers might have canceled insurance coverage, which means they don’t have any financial protection to limit their own liability or reimburse the other people involved in the crash. Others do have insurance, but their policy is small enough to leave the affected people without adequate compensation.
Virginia law does allow for both personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits brought against drunk drivers, regardless of whether or not the state charged them with impaired driving or was able to convict them.
Unfortunately, there typically are no third-party options for drunk driving crashes in Virginia. The state does not have a dram shop law that would make a business liable for serving more drinks to someone who is clearly drunk and who then causes a crash. In rare scenarios, such as when someone was working at the time of their crash, there may be a business with partial liability for the wreck.
Most of the time, however, drivers will need to seek compensation directly from the person who caused the crash or their insurance company. Some people affected by drunk driving crashes may also be able to bring a claim against their personal insurance if they have uninsured or underinsured motorist protection. Looking into all of your options to cover the costs generated by a drunk driving collision.