Independence Day is just days away and Virginia Beach officials say they are expecting larger than normal crowds at the city’s Fourth of July celebrations, thanks to the predicted good weather and recently lifted pandemic restrictions. Officials are urging the public to plan for heavy traffic congestion and lots of people who will be attending the events at Oceanfront and Mount Trashmore Park. While this is good news in terms of celebrating, more people also means a higher risk of car and pedestrian accidents.
Fourth of July Travel
It is estimated that more than 47 million Americans will be traveling for the holiday. More than 90 percent of them will be traveling by vehicle. And many people who are staying home for the holiday will still be jumping in their cars to drive to cookouts, parades, the beach, and firework displays.
This increase in commuters on the road also means more car accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are more fatal car accidents on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. The National Safety Council is predicting there will be more than 480 people will die in car accidents this holiday and another 55,000 will suffer injuries serious enough to require medical treatment.
Drunk Driving Accidents
National data reveals that the majority of Fourth of July car accidents involve alcohol. Virginia drunk driving accidents are already responsible for more than 30 percent of all traffic deaths in the state, and the risks become even more alarming during this holiday, when many people include alcohol in their Independence Day celebrations and then attempt to drive home, putting other commuters and pedestrians in danger of being injured or killed because of their decision to drink and drive.
Victims of drunk driving accidents often suffer serious to severe injury because of the force of the impact from a vehicle being driven by a person too drunk to realize they are about to hit someone and fail to react. A Virginia personal injury attorney can help DUI accident victims obtain financial compensation for the losses their injuries cause, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income from being unable to work while they recover from their injuries.
- Loss of future income if the injuries leave the victim unable to return to their prior profession
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
- Loss of life enjoyment
A drunk driver may also be ordered to pay the victim punitive damages. Punitive damages seek to punish the driver for their especially egregious actions and to send a message to society that this behavior will not be tolerated.
If the victim dies from their injuries, their family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver to obtain financial justice for the death of their loved one. Our personal injury law firm offers a free wrongful death guide for families who have lost a loved one in an accident. The guide provides a brief overview of topics such as the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and who can be appointed as a personal representative.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, or your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our dedicated Virginia Beach car accident attorneys and find out how we can help.
Rick Shapiro has practiced personal injury law for over two decades in Virginia, North Carolina, and throughout the Southeastern United States. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (ABA Accredited) and has litigated injury cases throughout the eastern United States, including wrongful death, trucking, faulty products, railroad and medical negligence claims. His success in and out of the court room is a big reason why he was named 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” in railroad law in U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers publication (Norfolk, VA area), and he has been named a “Best Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer” by those peer reviewed organizations for many years.