Clarksburg DUI Injury Lawyer
Demonstrating good judgment, being attentive, and having quick reflexes can help you avoid most collisions on the road. But for those people who choose to drive after drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs, the result is often a serious or fatal DUI accident.
Over the past several years, almost 40% of the car accidents in Clarksburg involved a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
West Virginia DUI Laws and Penalties
West Virginia DUI Laws call for steep penalties for those who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), including:
- Initial offense: up to 6 months in jail, a fine between $100 and $500, and a 15-day license suspension;
- Initial offense with a blood alcohol level of .15 or above: a minimum of 2 days in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and a 45-day license suspension;
- Initial offense with a person under 16 years of age also in the car: between 2 days and 12 months in jail, a fine of between $200 and $1,000, and a 15-day license suspension;
- Second offense: between 6 and 12 months in jail, a fine between $1,000 and $3,000, a 1-year license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock system on all vehicles; and
- Third offense: between 1 and 3 years in jail, a fine between $3,000 and $5,000, a 1-year license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock system on all vehicles.
Filing a Clarksburg Personal Injury Claim
It is important to remember that there may also be civil court proceedings associated with any DUI accident in West Virginia. These proceedings are not directly related to the criminal prosecution of a West Virginia DUI or its outcome.
This means that if you or a loved one wants to seek damages from the person responsible for your DUI accident injuries, a West Virginia personal injury claim must be filed. A Clarksburg car accident lawyer can help you file a claim for medical bills related to your injuries, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Preparing For Your Clarksburg Personal Injury Claim
You can begin the preparations for a West Virginia personal injury claim immediately after a drunk driving accident. If you are seriously injured in a DUI accident in West Virginia, you should concentrate on getting appropriate medical attention. However, if you are able to, there are steps that you (or another occupant in your vehicle if you are incapacitated) can take to strengthen your potential West Virginia personal injury claim:
- Observe the suspected drunk driver. Look for outward signs of intoxication, but do not engage the driver in conversation. Monitor whether they slur their speech, vomit, lose their balance, or try to mask their condition before the police arrive.
- Take pictures of the accident. Focus on the damage done to the vehicles involved. Note where on the road the collision took place (at an intersection, on a freeway, etc.). Be sure to photograph any skid marks, loose car parts, and nearby related damages.
- Get contact information from witnesses. Ask bystanders if they saw the accident and get them to describe what they observed. Write down their contact information and a few notes about what they saw. Remember that some witnesses may be inside nearby buildings and could have seen what happened through a window.
- Photograph your injuries. These pictures will help show the physical damage that you sustained after the accident. After seeking medical treatment, obtain copies of scans, X-rays, and other images of your injuries. Be sure to take additional photos of your injuries in the hours and days after your accident as well as during your recovery process.
Contact Our Clarksburg DUI Injury Lawyers today
West Virginia DUI laws are intended to deter drunk drivers. But, if you are the victim of a DUI accident in Clarksburg, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a Clarksburg personal injury claim. A qualified Clarksburg car accident lawyer can assist you with that process.
Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on West Virginia roadways such as I-79, I-77, Route 50, Route 33, and I-68. In fact, our state averages more than 40,000 car crashes, more than 400 deaths, and more than 11,000 serious injuries each year. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a West Virginia car accident, order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your West Virginia Car Accident Claim then contact the Clarksburg personal injury attorneys at The Miley Legal Group for a FREE consultation – (304) 326-1800.