A man who hit a woman with his SUV before running over another person in an Arlington, VA sidewalk is now facing criminal charges.
The Arlington County Police stated that they are charging the Arlington resident with DUI maiming, which is a Class 6 felony in Virginia. The crime is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
According to witnesses, the man was highly intoxicated and could barely stand when he got out of the SUV after the crash.
Police said that SUV was going east on Clarendon Blvd., and drove onto the sidewalk as it crossed Washington Blvd. The SUV struck a pedestrian at that point, and then hit another pedestrian later on the same sidewalk. The second pedestrian was trapped under the vehicle. She sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Victims of drunk drivers in Virginia are entitled to file personal injury lawsuits against the driver alleging damages and requesting compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and permanent injuries. Punitive damages are designed to send a message, and punish willful or wanton behavior. The Code of Virginia allows juries to consider punitive damages in appropriate DUI cases, such as those cases where a drunk driver refuses to submit to a breath sample, or submits a breath sample equal to or greater than .015 % by weight by volume.
One of our attorneys recently obtained a $3.5 million jury verdict for a woman who was the victim of a drunk driver, of which the jury recommended $1 million in punitive damages. Although the award was reduced to the Virginia statutory cap of $350,000, the verdict is an example of the conscience of the community when it comes to sending a message to drunk drivers. Anyone injured in a collision with a drunk driver should consult a skilled Virginia personal injury attorney regarding their ability to claim compensatory and punitive damages under the law.