Did you sustain injuries in a car accident caused by a drunk driver? At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our Morgantown drunk driving accident lawyers believe you should not have to pay for someone else’s negligent decision. We can fight for the justice and compensation you need to achieve a full recovery.

For more than a decade, we have helped injury victims in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia seek justice for the wrongs done against them. Our drunk driving accident lawyer only handles personal injury cases, so we fully understand this aspect of the law. We got our start in insurance defense, so we know how these companies attempt to deny your claims so they can save a little money. Since we know their strategies, we know how to fight them to get stronger results for our clients.

Our founder, Jeff Robinette, is a board-certified trial lawyer and a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which honors lawyers who have earned verdicts and settlements upwards of $2 million. Robinette Legal Group, PLLC has also been recognized as an Avvo Client’s Choice Award winner and a 2016 Litigator Awards Top 1% Personal Injury Law Firm. Our Morgantown drunk driving accident attorneys are proud of these awards, and we’re even more proud of achieving solid results for our clients.

Learn more about how our experience, courtroom skills, and commitment to results can make a difference for you and your family. Contact Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today for a free consultation with a Morgantown car accident lawyer.

West Virginia Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a total of 827 people died in crashes involving alcohol in West Virginia in a recent ten-year period. 

In a survey that asked adults if they drove after drinking too much in the past 30 days, 0.9 percent of West Virginians said yes. This might seem like a small number, but according to that survey, 17,750 people decided to drive after drinking too much.  

Over the last five years, 23 percent of the state’s vehicle-related deaths involved alcohol, according to the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. In a recent year, 65 of the state’s accident deaths involved an alcohol-impaired driver. 

What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident

What should you do after you’ve been hit by a potentially drunk driver? To protect your legal rights, complete the following steps:

  1. Call 911 — Contact the police after a drunk driving accident. Avoid confronting the other driver if you suspect they are drunk. Let the police determine if the other driver was intoxicated.
  2. Gather evidence — Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage and any damage to the environment. Get contact information from other drivers and eyewitnesses.
  3. Seek medical help — Get medical attention soon after the crash so a physician can examine you for any injuries you may have sustained in the drunk driving accident. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for treatment and recovery.
  4. Document everything— Keep copies of your medical records, bills, and invoices to document your expenses following the crash. Gather your pay stubs, tax forms, and other income records to calculate your lost wages if you cannot work due to your car accident injuries. Start a journal to record your pain levels and mobility issues you experience and how they change daily.
  5. Do not post on social media — Do not discuss the drunk driving accident, your injuries, insurance claim, or potential lawsuit on any social media platform. In fact, any post you make (such as walking to the store with no apparent injury) can be used against you.
  6. Contact a Morgantown personal injury lawyer—Talk to a drunk driving car accident attorney from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, as soon as possible after the collision so we can begin investigating the incident and building a strategy for your case. Working with legal counsel as soon as possible can strengthen your claim if the at-fault intoxicated driver or the other driver’s insurance company tries to minimize their liability to you.

Legal Options for DUI Accident Victims

If a drunk driver has hurt you, you may have multiple legal options for seeking compensation, including:

  • Filing a claim with your own car insurance policy 
  • Filing an insurance claim against the drunk driver or their insurance provider
  • Pursuing a dram shop claim against a restaurant, bar, liquor store, or other establishments that overserved alcohol to the driver who hit you
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver or their car insurance provider

A Morgantown drunk driving accident lawyer with Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can explain the best options in your case and explain what to expect while seeking recovery for your damages. However, the statute of limitations means you only have two years to file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver or the establishment that served them. It’s vital to contact a lawyer as soon as you can to improve your chances of pursuing all options for compensation.

West Virginia Dram Shop Laws

Unlike other states, there is no specific West Virginia law for a dram shop statute. A dram shop law allows victims to seek justice from those who served alcohol to someone who was clearly intoxicated. However, courts in West Virginia have allowed victims of drunk driving accidents to file legal claims against bars, clubs, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Vendors selling alcohol could be held liable for a DUI accident if they serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer who later causes a crash.

Even though establishments can be held liable for their role in drunk driving crashes, West Virginia courts have not created a method to hold social hosts responsible for drunk driving car accidents. A DUI victim will likely not have a legal claim against an individual homeowner who served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated party guest who then went on to cause an accident.

How to Prove the Other Driver Was Intoxicated

Proving that the other driver was drunk during the accident is essential for determining liability. To prove their intoxication, your lawyer will rely on evidence like:

  • Open alcohol containers inside the other driver’s vehicle
  • The drunk driving accident report
  • A DUI criminal conviction 
  • Breathalyzer, field sobriety, or blood test results
  • Traffic or surveillance footage of the driver or vehicle that displays signs of intoxication
  • Eyewitness testimony, including those who may have seen the driver drink alcohol or display signs of intoxication such as glassy eyes, slurred speech, balance or coordination issues, or erratic driving

This evidence can vanish if not collected and preserved as soon as possible. The sooner you bring your case to our Morgantown drunk driving accident attorneys, the better prepared you will be to seek compensation.

Types of Compensation Available for DUI Accident Victims

If a drunk driver caused an accident that injured you, you may be entitled to seek compensation from them for expenses and losses you incurred as a result. Types of recovery for a DUI accident may include compensation for your:

  • Medical treatment, including emergency care, surgeries, hospitalization, medical procedures, doctor’s appointments, pain medications, and physical therapy
  • Long-term healthcare or personal care, including home health services, housekeeping services, medical and mobility equipment, and home renovations to install disability accommodations
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Reduced earnings if you have to work fewer hours or take a different job while recovering from serious injuries
  • Loss of earning capacity if you cannot return to your job because of permanent impairments or disabilities
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Emotional trauma or distress

You may also be awarded punitive damages if your case goes to court. Punitive damages are not tied to any specific loss on your end. Instead, they are intended to punish the driver for putting your life and other lives at risk. The aim is to discourage other drivers from driving drunk in the future. The cap on this damage is four times your compensation or $500,000, whichever is larger. 

Talk to an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Morgantown, West Virginia

Did a drunk driver hurt you or a loved one? Then contact Robinette Legal Group, PLLC to talk to an experienced Morgantown drunk driving accident lawyer about your legal options. Our firm will do everything we can to hold the careless driver accountable for their negligence and earn you the financial recovery you deserve. The consultation is free and we only collect fees if we collect compensation for you.

Call us today to find out how we can help you.

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Our Case Results

Drunk Driver

While driving his car, our client was hit by a drunk driver which injured his shoulder so severely that three surgeries were required. The insurance company haggled over the value of the claim, initially giving a low-ball offer. Jeff Robinette was able to force the insurance company to pay all insurance available for this claim.

Brain Injury

While timbering in WV, a heavy equipment operator sustained a permanent brain injury while performing the duties of his job. What price can you put on the loss of a fully functioning, fully reasoning brain? Jeff Robinette was able to negotiate a settlement that was annuitized to provide for this man for the rest of his life.

Carbon Monoxide Death

A newly-married couple moved into a rental property late one evening, switched on the thermostat in their new apartment, and was overcome within hours by carbon monoxide from a faulty furnace pipe. One of the parties died, and several others in the same building were taken to the hospital to be treated for extreme toxic exposure. Mr. Robinette was able to obtain for two of the families a substantial settlement that far exceeded their expectations.


Our Awards and Certifications

Jeffery Robinette
Jeffery Robinette
Jeffery Robinette is a West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer based in Morgantown who represents individuals who have been seriously injured or killed due to motor vehicle collisions or catastrophic workplace accidents.
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