Soft tissue injuries only
Atkinson Law recently settled a punitive damages claim for a client injured in car accident by a drunk driver. The drunk driver, who also had no car insurance, was attempting to make a right turn onto a one-way street. He even attempted to flee the scene but passed out.
The client suffered back and neck pain. Thankfully, through chiropractic care, he was able to make a full recovery.
Because of the uninsured motorist’s intoxication, our client was entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages exceeding simple compensation (medical cost reimbursements, loss of wages, even pain and suffering) and are awarded to punish the defendant for unusually reckless behavior.
Recent amendments to Virginia Code Section 8.01-44.5 added language creating a rebuttable presumption that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of an accident was at least as high as the test result as shown in a valid breath-test.
In presenting a punitive damages drunk driving claim, evidence of similar conduct by the same defendant after the date of personal injury or death arising from the operation of the motor vehicle, is admissible for determining the appropriate amount of punitive damages to deter the defendant and others from similar action. In other words, a judge or jury can consider the question of how much money it would take to teach the defendant a lesson.
Atkinson Law has extensive knowledge and understanding of Virginia personal injury law including the application of punitive damages and drunk driving accidents. Many victims of drunk drivers may be entitled to punitive damages and not even know it. If you or a friend is in an accident with a drunk driver, call Atkinson Law and discuss the case to see what its real monetary value is. Car insurance companies will not simply tell you this without an attorney helping you.