Many people involved in motor vehicle accidents never see it coming until it is too late. They are unable to make the moves necessary to avoid the crash, and are left to deal with the aftermath of the collision. When the factors leading to the accident are examined, occasionally it is learned that one of the drivers involved is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In West Virginia, there are various initiatives in place to further crackdown on those drivers who are drugged driving. While the state has established a 0.08 percent limit for alcohol, there is currently no universal test in place to check a motorist for drugged driving. If these drivers cause a wreck, officers at the scene may have difficulty in establishing the level of impairment or the actual drugs that were used.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has proposed allowing law enforcement officers the ability to order motorists to submit to blood tests to check for the presence of drugs in a motorist's system. This would conclusively show if a motorist is impaired, and allow those injured in collisions with impaired drivers a potentially easier path when trying to recover damages.
In motor vehicle accident cases, those injured by a negligent driver may recover compensation for their injuries. This can include reimbursement for medical expenses, as well as for any vehicle repairs that may have resulted from the accident. Additionally, if the injured motorist needs to miss work while recovering, those lost wages may also be recoverable.
If the accident is caused by a drugged or drunk driver, additional damages may also be available. Motorists injured by those driving under the influence may recover punitive damages against the other driver. These types of damages are allowed in an effort to deter motorists from getting behind-the-wheel if they are too intoxicated to drive.
When alcohol is a factor in the crash, motorists may also have claims against the establishments that served the impaired driver. Like many other states, West Virginia has a dram shop act in place, which allows injured motorists to collect damages from bars or restaurants that provided the alcohol to the motorist.
Those injured in a car or truck accident should discuss their case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Often, insurance companies may reach out in an effort to resolve these cases very early in the process, before the true value can be established.
It is important to know these companies are not looking out for your best interests. They want to settle the case for as little as possible. When you agree to resolve your claim, you may prevent further recovery for any other damages that may arise due to the accident. Consider all of your options before simply agreeing to their offer.