If a drunk driver caused you to suffer injuries in a drunk driving accident, you can file a civil lawsuit against him for compensation for your injuries. In many states, you can also file an action against other parties who served the intoxicated person alcohol. Do you have a right to pursue these claims in Virginia?
Dram Shop and Social Host Laws in Virginia
A dram shop law allows a victim of a drunk driving wreck to pursue a claim against the bar, restaurant, or retail business that sold alcohol to the driver when they knew, or should have known, that the person was intoxicated. Many state laws allow accident victims to pursue these claims. Unfortunately, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that these civil claims cannot be filed against a vendor of alcohol in our state.
Social host laws permit claims against social hosts who serve alcohol to intoxicated persons at parties, their homes, or other locations who then drive and cause an accident. As with dram shop laws, these claims are not permitted in Virginia. However, a social host who provides alcohol to a minor under 21 years of age can face criminal charges for doing so.
Who Is Liable for Compensating You in a Drunk Driving Accident?
While it is harsh that Virginia does not allow accident victims to sue those that serve alcohol when they should not, the drunk driver who caused your accident is fully responsible for your injuries if you can prove that his intoxication caused your wreck. Drinking after driving can impair driving in many ways that can lead to a driver to cause a wreck including:
- Reduced vision
- Slowed reaction times
- Inability to properly judge distances
- Impaired judgment, which can lead drivers to engage in reckless driving behaviors
You could suffer catastrophic injuries in a drunk driving accident, such as traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage, burns, and paralysis, which could require you to be off work for long periods of time or cause permanent disability. You can hold the drunk driver accountable for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, and more—with the help of an experienced car accident attorney. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation to learn about your legal options and how our experienced legal team will fight for the settlement that you deserve.