We've written before about how you may file a claim against the driver of the vehicle in which you are a passenger. A common problem that arises when this type of claim is filed involves alcohol. Oftentimes, the driver of the vehicle is deemed to be at-fault for the accident and charged with DWI. The insurance company for the driver will always argue the defense of assumption of the risk in order to avoid having to accept liability. In other words, because the driver was cited for driving drunk, the insurance company will argue that there is no way you did not know the driver was drunk and you made the conscious decision to ignore that fact and still get in the car with them driving. Since you assumed the risk of getting in a vehicle driven by someone that was drunk, you cannot recover any damages.
If you know that your driver is drunk, you should NEVER get into a car with them. You should either offer to drive instead, if you are sober, or find other transportation. You risk not only your life, but also lose the ability to obtain compensation for any injuries you may sustain in your drunk driver gets into an accident.
If you've been injured in an auto accident in Virginia, call the nationall-recognized attorneys at Portner & Shure for a free consultation: (703) 734-8790.