Roanoke Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Fights for Full Compensation
Holding drunk drivers accountable for your injuries
All auto accidents are regrettable, but accidents that result from drunk driving are simply outrageous. When an inebriated person makes the decision to get behind the wheel and winds up causing harm to another person, the victim’s cry for justice must be heard. At Johnson Law PLC, we hear and we’re ready to respond. We have served the good people of Roanoke, Virginia and vicinity for 35 years, providing quality legal representation for victims of drunk driving accidents and for the families of loved ones killed in fatal crashes. Attorney Neal S. Johnson is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, so you can rely on his experience, professionalism and high ethical standards.
Our firm has a history of success and has obtained a $5 million dollar verdict against 2 drunk drivers for the victim’s family.
Injuries sustained from drunk driving accidents
According to statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 2015 saw 7,591 alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes in the commonwealth, representing six percent of all crashes. However, 32 percent of all fatal crashes were alcohol related, accounting for 241 deaths, while alcohol consumption was involved in 7.6 percent of injury accidents, producing 4,917 injuries.
DUI accidents are often exacerbated because impaired drivers tend to operate vehicles at excessive speeds where they lose control. High-speed crashes can inflict serious bodily injuries:
- Broken bones
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ damage
- Severed limbs
Such severe injuries cause intense suffering and require long recovery periods. Many times, victims suffer a catastrophic injury that changes their life forever. Johnson Law is determined to see that you get ample compensation for the full extent of your injury.
Can you sue a drunk driver for your injuries?
Friends sometimes give friends a pass for the stupid and outrageous things they do when they’ve been drinking, but the law does not. If anything, the law deals more strictly with DUI accidents than it does with simple negligence. When a drunk driver hurts or kills another person, he faces criminal charges. The driver is also liable for personal injury damages in civil court.
Virginia also allows for exemplary or punitive damages in extreme cases, where a defendant’s conduct is “sufficiently willful or wanton as to show a conscious disregard for the rights of others.” Punitive damages are a completely separate category, because the intent is not to compensate the victim, but to make an example of the defendant and punish his behavior to discourage others from doing the same thing. Under Virginia Code § 8.01-44.5, punitive damages are permissible if:
- The defendant driver had a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of 0.15 or greater.
- The defendant driver knew or should have known his ability to operate the vehicle was impaired.
- The defendant driver’s intoxication was a proximate cause of injury or death to another person.
These points may seem straightforward, but the proof can be highly technical. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you prove the elements and make a compelling argument that could add substantially to your recovery. Of course, when the facts don’t support an award of punitive damages, you can still recover standard personal injury damages, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Get the assistance you need from an auto accident lawyer in Roanoke, VA
If you are the victim of a drunk driver, contact an attorney who puts your pursuit of justice first. Call Johnson Law PLC at 540-685-0136 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located within walking distance of downtown Roanoke. Evening and weekend appointments are available, and if your injuries prevent you from visiting us, we can come to you.