Just recently, West Virginia enacted a law that imposes new, harsher penalties for certain drivers who cause serious accidents while drunk. It is hoped that by imposing these new penalties, it will reduce the overall number of motor vehicle accidents related to drunk driving. At this point, drunk driving causing death is now a felony in the state.
This new law is a result of the 2009 and 2011 drunk driving deaths of two young West Virginia residents. Every year, individuals sustain injury or lose a loved one because of the irresponsible and reckless actions of drunk drivers. The serious consequences of a felony DUI charge, up to 15 years in prison, reflect the serious nature of impaired driving.
Drunk drivers often swerve, drive erratically and display irrational behaviors behind the wheel. The unfortunate victims of these actions are often innocent passengers, other drivers and even pedestrians and cyclists. While compensation will not undo the egregious actions of a drunk driver, a victim or family of those killed have legal options by which they can hold the liable party accountable for his or her actions. Any civil action taken against a driver will be in addition to any criminal charges he or she faces.
After sustaining a serious injury or learning of the unexpected loss of a loved one due to drunk driving, it is important to reach out to a lawyer who is experienced in civil claims related to motor vehicle accidents. Compensation may be granted to victims to cover the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and even lost wages from missed work. To better understand available options, individuals will benefit from a case evaluation with a knowledgeable lawyer.
Source: wsaz.com, "Officials Crack Down on Drunk Driving; Stiffer Penalties Enacted", Michael Clouse, June 20, 2015