Getting behind the wheel while drunk is not only a crime that can lead to jail time, heavy fines, and a license suspension, but it’s a reckless act that places the driver’s life, the lives of any passengers, and the lives of everyone on the road around them at risk. If you’ve been injured in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver, you need the help of a Charleston drunk driving accident lawyer. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we make justice and recovery obtainable.
West Virginia and federal laws prohibit drivers from getting behind the wheel with an alcohol level at or above 0.08% BAC, but everyone knows someone who insists on driving after having a few drinks. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem in the United States and destroys lives. By holding the guilty party responsible for their decision to drive while intoxicated, you can save the lives of other potential victims—as well as receive peace of mind and much-needed financial compensation.
Sobering Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
Did you know that drunk driving is the most frequently committed crime in the U.S.? On an average day, 28 people die in an alcohol-related crash. That amounts to one fatality every 51 minutes. Drunk driving accidents claim more than 13,000 lives every single year. These fatal car accidents cost the United States roughly $52 billion yearly.
In West Virginia, alcohol is one of the top causes for car accidents. In 2015, there were 268 drunk driving fatalities in our state alone. This amounts to 1.35 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This number is far less than the numbers seen on a national level, of course, but they are still significant considering drunk driving crashes are 100% preventable.
If we all did our part to stop ourselves from sitting in the driver’s seat after consuming alcohol and stopped those we knew from doing the same, West Virginia’s roads would be substantially safer.
West Virginia Drunk Driving Laws
It’s illegal for West Virginia residents to drive a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%. For drivers aged 21 and younger, West Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy. If any driver under 21 is caught with a BAC of 0.02% or higher, they can face severe penalties.
West Virginia residents can face various criminal and DMV charges when they are caught driving under the influence and convicted of a DUI. State courts, in conjunction with the DMV, may decide to suspend a guilty driver’s license, impose heavy fines, mandate an ignition interlock device, and/or assign jailtime. The exact penalties will depend on the nature of the incident that occurred as well as the level of intoxication at the time of the incident.
In addition to these penalties and any criminal charges in place, a victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver can file a personal injury lawsuit against the guilty party. Lawsuits are civil claims and are designed to help an injured victim obtain the compensation they need to completely recover from an accident or incident that should not have occurred.
A drunk driving claim can award a family with compensation that can go towards past, current, and future medical bills, therapy and other recovery-associated costs, loss of wage costs, pain and suffering costs, lost quality of life costs, and emotional distress costs. Filing a claim can be difficult in the state of West Virginia. You’ll need the expertise of a skilled and knowledgeable legal team to succeed.
Common Alcohol-Related Accident Injuries
Drunk driving accidents tend to be serious in nature and can cause a large variety of injuries. These crashes are often caused by drivers who are recklessly traveling at unsafe speeds, which can make a resulting wreck especially devastating.
Our sympathetic and experienced Charleston drunk driving accident attorneys can assist you in receiving compensation for any manner of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Burn injuries
- Serious bodily injures
- Post-traumatic stress
- Wrongful death
In the case of a wrongful death claim where a loved one dies in an unfortunate crash caused by a drunk driver, the deceased’s family members will file the lawsuit on behalf of the victim and receive compensation that can go towards funeral costs, loss of income costs, and loss of protection, comfort, and care costs.
Our West Virginia Attorneys Have Recovered Millions
At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, our firm is committed to making our roads safer. With nearly 150 years of combined experience, we know the devastating impact a drunk driver can have on you and your family. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an alcohol-related crash, you should get in touch today.
At our law office, our Charleston drunk driving accident lawyers work together as a team. This approach means that you can have nine lawyers working on your case, not just one. This method enables us to provide the compassionate and consummate support your injury case deserves.
There is no time to waste when seeking compensation. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation.