Although criminal penalties for people who drive while drunk are harsh, thousands of people still drive under the influence every year across the United States, including in Colorado. All too often, these wrecks result in injuries to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, some of which are fatal.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injury-related losses. An Aurora drunk driving accident lawyer may be able to help guide you through the necessary insurance claim or lawsuit process and any resulting court proceedings.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we know the consequences of a crash that a drunk driver causes can be devastating and unexpected. You likely are facing large medical bills, an inability to work, and perhaps even permanent impairments. Call (800) 598-7557 to learn more about how we might be able to help you seek compensation for your losses during a free consultation.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Colorado
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), 5,020 crashes occurred due to drunk driving in 2018, the most recent year for which statistics are available. This number increased over the drunk-driving crash statistics for 2016 and 2017. These crashes resulted in 2,627 injuries in 2018.
CDOT reported a total of 632 traffic-related deaths in 2018. Nearly 30% or 188 deaths of those fatalities involved drunk drivers. The rate of drunk driving fatalities has increased by 17.5% over the past five years, with total traffic fatalities increasing almost 30% over the same timeframe.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Aurora, call 800-598-7557
Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable
Most people view drunk driving accidents as wholly preventable and needless accidents that can severely harm others. As a result, when you or a family member suffer injuries due to the careless or reckless behavior of a drunk driver, you likely will want to seek justice for your losses.
Although the driver may face criminal charges, you also may want to hold these drivers accountable for the harm they caused you and your family. In this situation, you could seek guidance from an Aurora drunk driving accident lawyer.
In a drunk driving accident, the presence of chemical testing results or other indicators of intoxication can help prove that the driver was negligent in causing the accident. Since drunk driving is against the law, a criminal charge can provide conclusive evidence of negligence in a civil suit. However, the law does not require that a driver be convicted or even charged with drunk driving to hold that driver responsible for causing the crash. The standard of proof in a civil case is lower than that in a criminal case, so it is possible for a driver to face no criminal prosecution but still found to be at fault for the accident.
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Other Potentially Liable Parties in Drunk Driving Accident Cases
In some cases, the driver may not be the only one liable or responsible for the costs of your injuries in a drunk driving accident. For instance, more than one driver may have been partially responsible for the accident, which is common in accidents involving three or more vehicles. If the drunk driver was driving during their employment when the crash occurred, then the person’s employer may have some liability for the driver’s actions.
Furthermore, businesses licensed to sell alcohol, including bars, some restaurants, and liquor stores, can be liable for the injuries and other losses that individuals suffer in drunk driving accidents in some cases. Under Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) §12-47-801, if any of these businesses sell alcohol to a person visibly intoxicated or is a minor, who later causes an accident that injures others, they could face civil liability. Similarly, if a person having a party at a private residence serves alcohol to intoxicated persons or minors, that person also could face liability if those persons later drive and cause an accident.
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Compensation in Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Injury victims in drunk driving accident cases may be able to seek various financial awards. For instance, you can request compensation for your medical expenses, which may include everything from surgical costs to medical bills for therapy and other forms of ongoing treatment. Compensation also can cover the costs of medical assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes, and medications needed for your accident-related injuries.
Severe injuries can leave you unable to work for an extended period or perhaps even unable to return to work altogether. As a result, you may be able to claim lost wages from the time that you were off work. If you are unable to work at your former job due to permanent impairment, you may also be able to seek compensation for your loss of future income and earning capacity.
Other sources of compensation may include physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma and distress, loss of parental guidance for your children, loss of companionship for your spouse, and loss of financial support for your dependents. The compensation you may receive will vary according to your injuries’ severity and permanency and the extent of your financial losses due to the accident.
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Get Legal Advice Today
After a severe accident that a drunk driver has caused, you likely are unsure what steps you can take to hold the driver and any other parties responsible for your injuries. You have only a limited time under state law to pursue your car accident claims, so hiring an Aurora drunk driving accident lawyer early in the process can be crucial. Otherwise, you may miss your chance to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions in causing the accident that harmed you.
You may wonder how you can possibly pay for legal fees on top of the other unexpected expenses that you are now facing, such as medical bills and the loss of your vehicle. We want all injury victims to be able to hold those who have harmed them responsible for their actions. You should not have to bear the costs of your injuries on your own.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can take your case on contingency, which means you pay nothing upfront until you receive a settlement for your losses. Call (800) 598-7557 today to speak to a team member during a free consultation.
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