Drunk drivers are a menace on American roads. Annually, more than 17,000 people die and almost 500,000 people are injured as a result of drunk driving accidents. It is unfair for your life and the life of your loved ones to be devastated by someone else’s choice to drink and drive. When this happens to you, you need an experienced attorney on your side from the very beginning.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers are reckless and take unnecessary risks. They often speed, run through traffic signals and disobey road signs. For this reason, drunk driving accidents are often catastrophic and result in serious injuries and the loss of life. The most common injuries that result from drunk driving accidents include:
- Brain Trauma
- Spinal cord Injuries
To prove liability after a drunk driving accident, a thorough investigation must be undertaken. A lot of information must be gathered in a short amount of time in order to file the lawsuit before the statute of limitation expires.
Proof of negligence is often enough to hold a driver liable for the damages he or she has caused. However, more evidence may be needed to prove that the driver was impaired by alcohol. Evidence that the driver’s blood-alcohol level was above the state limit is often required.
In order to limit his client’s liability, the criminal defense attorney for the drunk driver will often insist that you are partly to blame for the accident. He may also call into question the breathalyzer result, or cite police misconduct in order to have the case dismissed. This can significantly jeopardize your ability to be fully compensated for your injuries and losses. However, your attorney can employ evidence from the police report, eyewitness testimony and other forensic data to strengthen your case and hold the driver fully accountable.
Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver
If you are hit by a drunk driver, he or she may be held liable to you for any damages you incur, including but not limited to the following:
- Damage to your vehicle
- Your lost wages
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Any disability or disfigurement that results from the accident
In addition, if the driver’s action were malicious or particularly egregious, he or she may be held accountable for punitive damages. Punitive damages serve two functions:
- To penalize the drunk driver for his or her egregious behavior.
- To deter others from committing the same or similar offenses.
Under the following circumstance, you may also be able to sue the bar where the driver had been drinking before the accident:
- If the bar knew that the individual whom they had been serving was prone to drinking and driving drunk, or was an alcoholic. This can be proven by obtaining the testimony of people who knew the driver and who frequented the bar.
- If the driver whom they had been serving was an underage drinker and either the bar mistakenly accepted false identification or the driver didn’t look of legal drinking age.
So, if you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today. They will review your case and advise you on how they can hold the driver accountable for his or her actions and obtain justice for you and your family.