Do You Need a DUI Accident Attorney on Your Side?
When it comes to drunk driving, nobody wins. About 29 people lose their lives every day in America when drivers make the decision to get behind the wheel of a car even though they have been drinking alcohol. This means that 1 person died per hour in 2016. Even though we have seen a decrease in these accidents, it is still a huge problem in many states and we want to see a reduction of these numbers so that people can avoid serious injuries and stop losing their lives so frequently on our roadways.
Alcohol affects driving in many ways, which is why it is considered such a danger. Not only does it impair your thinking when you are trying to make decisions on the roads, but it also affects your reasoning and muscle coordination so that driving becomes that much more difficult. Alcohol is measured through blood and if a driver has a Blood Alcohol Concentration of over .08 grams of alcohol, they are more likely to become involved in a crash and face severe damages.
Perhaps you have been involved in a terrifying accident with a drunk driver and now you wonder what rights you have when it comes to bringing a claim against a driver who chose to use such negligence behavior on our roads. Luckily, we are here for you and will stand by your side to help you recover damages in this serious accident so you can move forward during this desperate time.
A Crime and a Civil Matter
Something you should know about DUI accidents is that they are unique in one regard: Not only can you bring damages on a civil level, but those who drive drunk will be charged with a crime as well. This is why, after your accident, you should call the police if injuries were involved. You should never delay because you never know if a driver was driving drunk and could leave the scene only to get involved in another, more serious accident. Those who are suspected of DUI will be tested and, if they are found to be driving drunk, usually an arrest will be made. If an arrest is made, this could help you bring your claim because liability will be clear in your case. If the other driver was drunk and caused your accident, this will usually be the cause and liability will show that you should be able to compensate for your time of need.
Proving That Negligence Occurred and More on Liability
All drivers have a duty of care to protect you on the roadways no matter what. This means that, if a driver acted negligently in some way, especially in cases where there was outright recklessness like drunk driving, you will have a claim for the damages you deserve. The driver in your drunk driving case had a duty to drive safely and responsibly, which means not driving with alcohol levels above the legal limit. They breached this duty the moment they decided to get behind the wheel of a car and drive. From there, you will be able to bring a claim against a negligent driver. But what happens if there was another party who is liable for your claim? Isn’t it always the driver?
Sometimes we find that there is another party liable for injuries in these cases: bars and taverns. This is one example of where third-party liability comes into play. Under dram shop laws, which have been around for over a century now, a bar, tavern, or restaurant that serves alcohol could also play a role in liability when it comes to your claim as well. Take this for example: What happens if a bar continues to sell alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated and clearly can’t make decisions for themselves? What if the bar owner does not check the I.D. of a minor and that minor continues to drink, eventually getting behind the wheel of a car? These are cases where the bar owner could likely end up responsible for a percentage of your accident alongside the drunk driver in your claim.
However, there are many aspects that must be proven in these cases if you hope to bring a claim against the driver as well as the owner of a tavern. For instance, you must be able to show that the vendor helped contribute to the accident by selling too much alcohol to one person, to the point where it skewed their ability to make good decisions. Along with bar owners, a parent or family friend could be held liable in cases where a minor drinks at somebody’s house and then gets behind the wheel of a car. As you can see, there are many different ways your case can evolve, which is why it is important to have an attorney on your side to help you fight for your rights for compensation at all times.
Damages Available to You
After an accident, it is not uncommon to experience a wide array of damages and wonder how you will be compensated for each and every one. You might be able to make a claim for economic damages, which include monetary aspects like medical expenses, surgeries, rehabilitation costs, lost wages from missed work, and funeral costs if somebody close to you has been killed in an accident. You might also be able to make a claim for non-economic damages, which include other aspects like mental anguish, suffering from pain, and loss of consortium.
Under the law, you might also be able to bring a claim for punitive damages, which are damages meant to punish a driver for their reckless behavior. These are more common in drunk driving situations because the driver clearly made an extremely reckless decision that put many people at risk. Somebody who chooses to drink and drive deliberately disregards the safety of other people on the roads. You have a right to any means of compensation after somebody decided to drive drunk and you were injured as a result.
Let us stand by your side and represent you as you work toward damages from a liable party. At the McGuire Law Firm, in Oklahoma, we can help you every step of the way, from filing your initial claim to going to trial or settlement negotiations. Call us to find out how we can assist you today at 888-352-0624.