Slaughter & Lupton Law
Your Drunk Driving Accident Advocates
Drunk driving remains a major cause of traffic fatalities in the US, despite numerous warnings and campaigns. Those who operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol not only put themselves in danger but also jeopardize the safety of others. The consequences of such irresponsible actions can be devastating, leading to physical and emotional distress for those impacted. However, if you have been injured by a drunk driving incident, you can demand financial compensation.
Establishing civil liability in a drunk driving collision can be a complex process. Different states have different laws pertaining to the admissibility of a defendant’s impairment or intoxication. Virginia and North Carolina have different state-specific standards for admitting evidence of driving under the influence, and the consideration and evaluation of punitive damages.
For example: in Virginia, in order for the jury to consider statutory punitive damages, the DUI defendant driver must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15 or higher at the time of the accident, while in North Carolina, a BAC of 0.08 or higher by the DWI defendant driver is enough for the issue of punitive damages to go to the jury. In certain such cases, it's critical to have an expert toxicologist or pharmacologist to analyze the evidence and provide opinions within the required degree of probability or certainty. These legal intricacies and complexities can make it difficult to get the full compensation you deserve. Therefore, it's essential to consult an experienced drunk driving lawyer to protect your rights and help you get the financial restitution you need.
Here for you when you need it most.
Slaughter & Lupton Law, PLLC is proud to service the following Virginia and North Carolina cities:
Virginia Areas We Serve
- Virginia Beach - To ensure easy access to our services, we have an office on Virginia Beach Blvd. near Newtown Road. Our Virginia Beach office is within 400 feet of the Norfolk city line and is centrally located near the Interstate 64/Interstate 264 interchange.
- Newport News
North Carolina Areas We Serve
- Edenton - Located within walking distance of Edenton's Historic District and less than 10 minutes off of Highway 17.
- Elizabeth City
- The Outer Banks
- The Inner Banks
Our firm is technologically proficient with comprehensive case management information systems in place to handle many transactions and documents electronically including signing and paralegals who are Virginia and North Carolina e-notaries.
Virginia Beach Location
Causes of Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving is usually considered a willful and wanton conduct due to public policy. The degree of impairment when a person drives under the influence can be critical in determining whether the conduct rises from negligent to willful and wanton behavior. Impaired drivers cause harm to other people on the roads and highways, affecting innocent individuals. In any motor vehicle accident, determining liability requires proving that the at-fault driver acted wrongly, whether intentionally, willfully and wantonly, or negligently. Negligence, in this context, refers to the driver's actions departing from what a reasonable driver would do in comparable circumstances. Evidence of negligence may include a defendant driver’s guilty or no contest pleas to traffic violations.
From a young age, most drivers are taught that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol significantly increases the probability of causing an accident and injuring themselves and others. Whether a driver is under the influence of drugs while driving can be more difficult to determine than whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. To establish pharmacological impairment from a drug or combination or drugs, an attorney must examine medical records and test results carefully and, if necessary, employ an expert pharmacologist. Often, the only testing of a driver impaired by drugs is found in the driver’s hospital or medical records where the driver has a blood test for drugs. Federal and state statutes and regulations require certain drivers. Often trucking companies have internal policies also setting out the procedures for testing one of their drivers who is involved in an accident and keep test results as part of a driver’s file.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving an impaired driver, it's essential to seek legal advice from a lawyer with significant experience and skill in handling drunk driving accidents promptly. You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and losses (damages) that you have incurred and experienced. In a civil lawsuit following a drunk driving accident, you can pursue monetary damages against the intoxicated driver.
These damages cover various expenses and losses, including:
Medical bills and costs of medical care
Expenses associated with future medical or therapeutic treatments
Lost wages due to missed work
Loss of future income if you are unable to return to work
Additionally, a successful DUI or DWI injury claim can provide non-economic damages recovery for losses such as:
Emotional distress, anxiety, or other mental health issues
Impairment of your ability to enjoy life and family
Physical pain and its impact on your overall well-being
Disruption of your daily routine due to post-traumatic stress disorder
As previously mentioned, if the evidence is sufficient, punitive (exemplary) damages to punish the conduct of driving while impaired and to serve as an example to society.
If you're facing legal issues due to drunk driving, enlisting the help of a seasoned attorney can be a game-changer. A personal injury lawyer can offer the guidance you need to navigate the legal system and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
By DUI/DWI Driver
Losing a family member in a drunk driving incident is a tragic event. Although no amount of money will ever replace the loss of your family member, the family is usually left picking up the pieces from their loss. The family members may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. A successful wrongful death claim can recover damages for medical and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and the emotional pain endured by the beneficiaries. Additionally, it can also recover funds that the deceased would have contributed to the family’s income (dependents) had the deceased family member survived.
It's important to note that wrongful death laws vary by state. Both Virginia and North Carolina have specific statutes that determine who are the beneficiaries and what damages can be recovered–even the process determining who can bring the claim or lawsuit (personal representative) and who can recover (the classes of beneficiaries). The personal representative who is authorized by the court to bring the claim or lawsuit may or may not be a beneficiary of any wrongful settlement or judgment. In Virginia, a individual can qualify as personal representative for the sole purpose of administering the wrongful death claim. In North Carolina, an administrator of the estate handles not only the death claim, but all matters of the estate.
Therefore, it's crucial to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable DUI/DWI accident attorney who specializes in these cases. They can guide you through the state's unique process and filing requirements to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Securing Your Justice
Following a Drunk Driving Accident
Recovering from a drunk driving accident can be an uphill battle, but you don't have to climb it alone. The attorneys at Slaughter & Lupton Law, PLLC understand the physical, emotional and financial strain you may be facing. We offer free initial case evaluations because we care about your well-being and are committed to getting you the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our compassionate team of attorneys.
- Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). § 64.2-454. Appointment of administrator for prosecution of action for personal injury or wrongful death against or on behalf of estate of deceased resident or nonresident. Lobbyist in a Box. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title64.2/chapter4/section64.2-454/