Alcohol Related Driving Accidents
A car, which often weighs 2,000 pounds or more, can become a lethal weapon when a drunk driver is behind the wheel. Lives can be cut short or be burdened with the needless suffering of catastrophic disability and pain; children can be left without parents and parents can suffer the agony of burying their child. That is why we, at Brown & Jennings, PLC, have dedicated ourselves to the cause of helping to stop drunk driving by civil lawsuit.
The Virginia legislature has enacted a special law that empowers the victims of drunk driving accidents, under certain circumstances, to include in their suit for injuries or wrongful death, a provision that will allow the jury to assess against the defendant drunk driver punitive (also called exemplary) damages. The purpose of punitive damages is two-fold. The first is to punish the defendant, and the second- which is the cornerstone of civil punitive damages cases- is to serve as an example to others to deter similar conduct. Sometimes out clients are struck by a drunk driver and the injuries are fortunately not as great as they could have been. However, we like to point out that if the crash was enough to disable the drunk drivers vehicle or otherwise keep the drunk driver at the scene of the collision until the police arrived, our client has effectively stopped that drunk driver. That client did not set out to stop a drunk driver but in many cases effectively did, and prevented catastrophic injury or death. We then offer our clients the opportunity to act to stop drunk driving by including in their suit a claim for punitive or exemplary damages which, if awarded in the lawsuit, may serve the purpose of punishment, but perhaps more importantly deterrence.