Over the years, anti-drunk driving organizations and policymakers have done much to stem the tide of drunk driving in Virginia. However, the presence of intoxicated drivers in the state is still a substantial concern. Last year alone, there were nearly 8,050 alcohol-related crashes throughout the state. Also in 2013, there were over 250 fatalities related to drunk driving accidents.

The good news is that the statistics regarding drunk driving in Virginia point to a decreasing trend. For instance, in the year 2000, there were 11,085 alcohol-related crashes. In 1990, there were over 17,000. Drunk driving fatalities have also been decreasing over the decades; back in the late 1980s there were over 500 deaths in a single year. Finally, DUI-related injuries have also fortunately been on a downward trend over the past 20 years. In 1990 there were 14,070 injuries caused by drunk driving, whereas last year there were 5,288.

While the statistics point towards improvement, they still show that in 2013 thousands of individuals had to cope with unexpected medical expenses, the inability to work, physical injury and emotional pain and suffering. An accident victim must also find a way to answer the question: what next? Accidents caused by drunk drivers can have two separate legal phases: the potential criminal charges against a drunk driver and the potential civil lawsuit against the same individual.

In the civil phase, an accident victim can bring forth a personal injury suit against a drunk driver. Several elements must be demonstrated in a civil case, including the extent of damages as well as their causation. An experienced Northern Virginia personal injury attorney can offer a victim personalized attention that prevents a victim from becoming just another statistic.

Source: DMV.Virginia.gov, “Virginia alcohol-related motor vehicle statistics,” accessed on Nov. 15, 2014