Have You Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Drunk drivers are dangerous and often cause tragic accidents, resulting in devastating injuries or even deaths. More than 30 people are killed each day in drunk driving accidents. If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may have the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
In 49 states, drivers are not permitted to operate motor vehicles if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. In Utah, that limit is .05 percent. Drivers who hold a CDL cannot drive if their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher. In many states, the limits are even lower for those under the legal age of drinking.
If a driver violates any of these statutes and, as a result of the violation, causes an accident, harming either other people or property, that constitutes negligence per se. This means that the victim of the accident does not have to prove that the driver was negligent in order to recover damages. The fact that the driver violated the statute creates a presumption that he or she was negligent, and the victim will be compensated for his or her injuries.
If a driver who causes an accident has been drinking, but they are not sufficiently intoxicated to be convicted of a DUI, that does not mean that the victim of the accident cannot recover damages. The victim may still file a negligence suit. But they must introduce evidence of the driver’s intoxication and show that the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle was impaired. Showing that the driver was incapable of driving safely is more difficult than demonstrating a violation of a state’s DUI laws, but it may still be possible.
In some cases, parties other than the intoxicated driver may be responsible for damages. If a car owner loans a car to a driver whom the owner knew or should have known is intoxicated, the owner may be liable for a portion of the damages under a theory of negligent entrustment. Additionally, employers may be liable for damage caused by employees who are drunk or high.
Drunk driving accidents are often more serious than other car crashes. Intoxicated drivers’ reaction times are impaired, and they may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid more serious accidents and further damage.
Victims of drunk driving accidents may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, pain and emotional suffering, disfigurement and scarring, and property damage.
In some cases, accident victims may also be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are only available in egregious cases and are designed to punish the drunk driver and to serve as a deterrent, rather than to compensate the victim for any losses.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more, call an experienced attorney, like an Elk Grove, IL personal injury lawyer from a law firm like Therman Law Offices, LTD.