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Injured by a Drunk Driver in Virginia Beach? You Could Lose Your Right to Recover Damages

— May 13, 2022

If you were injured in a DUI crash, the contributory negligence rule is your worst enemy.

Virginia Beach, VA – Each year, over 200 people are killed and thousands more are injured in drunk driving accidents on Virginia roads. This is not surprising considering that one recent survey found that 1.4% of Virginia residents freely admitted to driving while under the influence. One percent may not seem like much, but if you look at the population this means that each month there are 100,000 drunk drivers on the road and you may be their next victim. The risks are considerably higher in large urban areas, like Virginia Beach, where you have more people and more bars. 

Local authorities, politicians, law enforcement, everybody is aware that Virginia has a serious drunk driving problem, but, unfortunately, the victims may easily lose their right to recover damages if they’re not very careful about what they do after a DUI crash. If you were recently involved in this type of crash, do yourself a favor and contact the best Virginia Beach DUI accident lawyers right away.

What is the contributory negligence rule in Virginia?

If you were injured in a DUI crash, the contributory negligence rule is your worst enemy. Most American states use some form of comparative negligence rule, which allows drivers to recover damages even if they were partially responsible for the crash. The contributory negligence in Virginia can be summed up as all or nothing. One small traffic rule violation is all it takes for you to lose your right to recover. The fact that the other driver was drunk and could barely stand on his feet, let alone drive, becomes irrelevant. 

Say you were a few miles over the speed limit or you were a bit distracted because your kid was crying. If the insurance adjuster finds out about something like that, they will show you to the door and you’ll have to pay your medical bills out of your pocket. 

How can you protect your rights after a DUI accident?

You can start by watching what you say after the accident. You’ll get out of the car and you’re going to be understandably angry at the drunk driver that hit your car. You need to keep calm no matter what and say very little. Don’t enter into an argument with the other driver and don’t talk too much to the other people present. Remember that someone may be recording the whole scene and whatever you say may be used against you.

Woman holding finger to lips to show silence; image by philm1310, via CC0.
Woman holding finger to lips to show silence; image by philm1310, via CC0.

Call the police right away and point out that the other driver seems drunk to you. The result of the breathalyzer can be very useful when you make a personal injury claim.

You’ll probably have to notify your insurance company of the accident, but it’s best to talk to some seasoned Virginia Beach accident lawyers before you do that. If you must talk to the insurance adjuster, keep it short. You don’t have to give them a recorded statement, no matter what they tell you. If they start asking questions, politely inform them that your lawyers will be in touch. It’s not rude, it’s the smart thing to do. 

Attorneys Near Me

If you’re looking for an accident lawyer or need professional help with other legal matters, you may be wondering “Where can I find Attorneys Near Me?” Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link to go to the extensive database on Select the legal area you’re interested in, your state and your city, and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer in your area. 

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