Drunk Driving and Car Accidents

WAVY – Channel 10 in Portsmouth, Virginia reported, on June 8, 2013 that a man was charged DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and Involuntary Manslaughter when his Toyota pickup truck entered the opposing lane and struck a Ford Taurus driven by an 84 year old man. The wife of the 84 year old man survived but was heartbroken. The accident happened in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

This is the worst kind of car accident. Drunk drivers kill and cause heartache. The driver is usually so out of control of his vehicle that another driver can’t anticipate the drunk driver’s motions. Drunk driving is easily preventable – drivers can watch their alcohol intake and those who serve drunk drivers can reasonably tell if the driver is intoxicated.

Who can bring a claim?

  • The Personal Representative or administrator of the man who was killed. In many cases, this is the spouse. For more on Virginia Wrongful Death Claims – CLICK HERE.
  • The wife can bring her own claim if she was physically hurt in the accident. For more on Virginia car accident claims – CLICK HERE.

Who can be sued?

Driver – The driver of the accident is the most logical person to be sued. In the Virginia Beach case, the criminal charges for DUI would probably be first. In many cases, a DUI conviction could be directly used against the driver in the two civil claims (the husband’s wrongful death claim and the wife’s own claim).

Owner – Often the owner of the car owns the car with his/her spouse. Sometimes, the owner of the car may be a friend or an employer. If the owner or co-owner of the car had any knowledge that the driver was intoxicated before driving or had any history of intoxication, the non-driver owner can also be sued.

Bar – Many states have a “Dram Shop” law which provides that a bar or tavern can be held liable for a drunk driving accident if they served the driver knowing or reasonably knowing the driver was not intoxicate. North Carolina has a “Dram Shop” law. Virginia does NOT have a “Dram Shop” law. In the Virginia Beach accident a bar/tavern which served the driver could not be sued if the bar/tavern was in Virginia. BUT, if the bar/tavern was in North Carolina, then it could be sued.

Social Host – The same laws/logic for social hosts (people who give parties) applies. A Virginia host who served an intoxicate driver could not be sued. But a North Carolina host could be sued.

How Our Firm Can Help

If you know someone who was died through the wrongful death of another, in Virginia, OR who was in a car accident in Virginia – make sure that you really do contact an attorney. It is easy to do.

When it comes to wrongful death cases or car accident cases in Virginia, make sure you visit www.JoeMillerInjuryLaw.com or call Wrongful Death Lawyer Joe Miller at 888-694-1671 to get all of the information that you need.