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Holding drunk drivers accountable for accidents they cause

You understand that there's a risk involved with getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, so you take steps to minimize that risk. You make sure your cellphone is out of your hands when you drive. You use a designated driver or a cab service if you've had too much to drink. You slow down when there's snow, ice or water on the road, and you try to be a safe and careful driver.

Sadly, not everyone on the road takes the responsibility associated with driving as seriously as you do. It only takes one person making a major mistake, like driving while texting or while exhausted, to put you and everyone you love at risk of severe injury or even death. When you experience a motor vehicle collision caused by a drunk driver, you have every right to pursue justice and compensation for your losses.

Drinking and driving is against the law in West Virginia

According to state law, anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, even a boat, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or high commits a crime. Even those with lower BACs could face drunk driving charges if it's obvious the alcohol impaired their ability to drive. Similarly, anyone under the influence of illegal drugs or prescribed medications could face criminal charges if they cause a crash.

Sadly, there isn't always sufficient evidence for a conviction. Even if there is, the criminal penalties the other driver faces will do little to help you personally in the wake of a crash. You have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver who harms you or your passengers. In cases where the drunk driver kills someone in your family, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Car accidents can cause massive financial issues

After a collision with a drunk driver, your finances can quickly end up a mess. Not only will you have to worry about the expenses associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle, you will very likely have to worry about substantial medical bills. Ambulance rides, trauma medicine, surgery and physical therapy are all quite expensive. Many times, the costs associated with a crash can quickly exceed the coverage offered by your motor vehicle policy.

You may also find yourself unable to work due to your injuries. Combining lost wages with medical bills is a recipe for financial disaster. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will receive adequate compensation for your losses. Similarly, you can incur substantial debt paying for a funeral in the wake of a crash. Sometimes, a civil lawsuit is the only way to recover the financial losses you experience after a collision with a drunk driver.

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