Accidents caused by drunk drivers are still unfortunately very common, despite vigorous attempts by law enforcement agencies all over the country to both prevent people from driving after drinking and imposing strict penalties on drunk drivers.
It is illegal in all U.S. states to drive while intoxicated. This is usually defined as having a blood alcohol level (BAC) of more than 0.08%. The maximum BAC is less for minors (usually 0%) and commercial drivers.
The fact that drunk driving is a crime doesn’t help an accident victim directly who is facing the immediate financial fallout from the accident and associated injuries. However, it does increase the chances that the accident victim can prove that negligence was involved.
Driving while intoxicated is definitely an example of negligent driving. If a personal injury claim can be pursued, it is advisable that the accident victim uses a car accident attorney to help them with the claim.
Damages after an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver
The main damages that an accident victim can pursue if hit by a drunk driver are as follows:
- all medical costs related to the accident;
- all future medical costs if the injuries prove to be long term;
- replacement of wages, salary or business earnings if the injured victim has to remain away from work because of the injury;
- full cost of any repair or replacement of damaged property, not limited to the vehicle that was hit;
- non economic damages. These may be labeled as compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, psychological effects, worry, insomnia, grief, loss of companionship, consortium and enjoyment of life. The terms used vary from state to state and case to case;
- punitive damages. These are usually awarded when the injury was caused by a drunk driver.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Prove Fault
It is important in any personal injury lawsuit that fault can be proven, i.e. that the person being sued for damages was definitely responsible for the injuries sustained in the accident. It is highly likely that police would thoroughly investigate an accident in which a suspected drunk driver was involved.
If police proceed with a charge and a conviction is obtained, then this would be valuable evidence to support a personal injury claim. A car accident attorney will help you to obtain evidence such as this that will justify a claim.
Why You Should Let a Car Accident Attorney Handle Your Case
Even when a drunk driver is involved, insurance providers are loathe to pay compensation and may challenge aspects of the claim. If you try and negotiate on your own you could end up with an offer which was less than what could be obtained through the assistance of a car accident attorney.
Most attorneys dealing with personal injury cases will take on cases that have good grounds for success and tend to defer fees until a final payment is made. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page today!