Can You Sue for Punitive Damages After You Were Hit by a Drunk Driver in Virginia?

Written by: Virginia Beach Injury Law

Certain holidays are associated with increased drinking and driving and New Years’ celebrations are certainly one of them. With the holidays behind us and the start of the year underway, the partying to ring in the new year may be over but the roads are not completely free of inebriated drivers. Every day of the year there is a risk that you could be hit by a drunk driver and the destruction that can ensue has the potential to be catastrophic. 

Punitive damages are meant to be a punishment for individuals who harmed others in a shocking and appalling manner. When a victim pursues compensation for the costs of their damages by a negligent party, depending on the details of the incident, Virginia punitive damages may be an additional amount tacked on the final settlement. Punitive damages do not happen in most personal injury cases, but when it comes to DUI accidents, there is the potential for victims to receive them.

How Do Punitive Damages Work in Virginia?

When a person makes the unlawful decision to drive while intoxicated they not only put themselves and others at risk of devastating destruction, but they also risk legal retribution for their behavior. Those arrested for a Virginia Beach DUI can expect the following repercussions:

  • First-time offenders face a fine of at least $250 and a license suspicion for one-year.
  • Second-time offenders face a fine of at least $500, a license suspension for three years, and potential jail time.

Individuals with multiple offenses and high blood alcohol content will receive the most strict punishments. If you were hit by a drunk driver in Virginia Beach and you were severely injured you may believe that you deserve punitive damages. When you work with a Virginia Beach catastrophic injury attorney at Virginia Beach Injury Law you will have the most experienced and effective legal counsel guiding you on what options you have for compensation. When your damages alter your ability to go back to daily life as you once knew it, have caused you long-term suffering, and negatively impacted your life, filing for punitive damages may be warranted.

In the state of Virginia, if a victim can prove that the careless party who harmed them did so with intent and disregard for others, punitive damages can be pursued. Consider the following:

  • A blood alcohol concentration of a driver is over .15
  • The driver was aware they were too intoxicated to drive
  • The driver was the sole cause of the incident

When any of these or a combination of these are true, victims are well-within-their rights to sue for all their damages including punitive compensation. Virginia allows victims to obtain up to $350,000 in punitive compensation. When you work with Virginia Beach Injury Law, you will have the legal counsel of a Norfolk personal injury attorney who has substantial experience helping victims obtain the highest amount of compensation possible for their damages.

Meet with a Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Today

You can meet with a Hampton personal injury attorney at Virginia Beach Injury Law during a free consultation to discuss the details of your unique personal injury experience. To schedule your free consultation please call (757) 802-4662.

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