In Virginia, like elsewhere in the country, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. However, despite the known dangers and potential criminal consequences of drunk driving, there are approximately 7,500 Virginia DUI car accidents each year. Not surprisingly, roughly half of these accidents result in injuries and about 250 result in at least one fatality.
Virginia’s Wrongful Death Statute
When someone is killed due to the negligence of another, the surviving family members of the accident victim may be able to pursue a claim for financial compensation against the at-fault parties. This is referred to as a Virginia wrongful death claim.
Under Virginia Code § 8.01-53, a wrongful death claim is brought by the personal representative of the accident victim’s estate for the benefit of the statutory beneficiaries of the accident victim. The statutory beneficiaries are the surviving spouse, any children of the deceased, as well as any grandchildren of the deceased (if the accident victim’s child is also deceased). If no person fits in the above category, the claim can be brought on behalf of parents, siblings, or any other relative who lived with the victim and relied upon them for support.
The beneficiaries of a successful Virginia wrongful death claim may be eligible for damages based upon the loss of their loved one. This may include compensation for:
- loss of the accident victim’s income;
- funeral expenses;
- emotional pain and suffering;
- medical and care expenses; and, in some cases,
- punitive damages
Woman Arrested after DUI Accident Claims Two Lives
Earlier this month, two women were involved in a Virginia Beach drunk driving accident near the 4800 block of Providence Road. According to a local news report, a woman driving a Chevrolet SUV collided with a Toyota Camry. One of the women in the Camry was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other taken to the hospital in critical condition. She later died due to the injuries she sustained in the accident.
The driver of the SUV sustained minor injuries, and was treated at the hospital. Afterward, police determined that she may have been intoxicated and arrested her for driving under the influence. There have not been any chemical test results released at this point.
Have You Been Injured in a Virginia DUI Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Virginia DUI accident, contact the dedicated injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent injury victims across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. in all types of claim, including Maryland and Virginia DUI accidents. We provide free consultations to all prospective clients in which we explain the recovery process and how we can help. To learn more, and to speak with a dedicated Maryland injury attorney about your situation, call 410-654-3600 today.
More Blog Posts:
Expert Witness Testimony May Be Necessary in Some Maryland Car Accident Cases, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published February 19, 2019.
Maryland Employers Can Be Held Liable for the Negligent Acts of Their Employees, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 4, 2019.