Drunk driving is reckless, dangerous, and illegal. When motorists drink and drive, they are risking their lives and the lives of others. Their irresponsible decision to drive under the influence (DUI) can cause serious injuries, expensive property damage, and death.
Drunk drivers should be punished. At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we believe drinking and driving should never be tolerated, and if you were injured by a drunk driver, they should pay.
A Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyer can help you seek awards for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and more. If a drunk driver killed your loved one, you might be able to sue for wrongful death. To find out more about how an attorney can help with your case, call our office at 800-959-1444.
Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Laws
There were 9,811 alcohol-related accidents in Pennsylvania in 2018, 331 of which involved a fatality, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). These deaths account for nearly one-third of the state’s overall traffic fatalities.
In Pennsylvania, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08%, according to the PennDOT. The higher a driver’s BAC, the harsher the penalties they may face. Punishment also increases if a driver has prior DUIs.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), first-time offenders with the lowest tier BAC may be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail or fined up to $300. Subsequent offenses will result in the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock, a breathalyzer device that prevents a driver from starting their vehicle before taking their BAC. Multiple DUI offenders with the highest tier BAC could serve up to five years in prison and pay fines as much as $10,000.
Offenders may have the option of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ADR). ADR is a rehabilitation program that gives offenders the chance to avoid prison time and have their DUI charge expunged from their records. Offenders must go to treatment and are usually put on probation, ordered to pay fines and costs, and perform community service.
Pennsylvania has a “choice” no-fault insurance system. In no-fault states, the law requires drivers to file claims with their own insurance companies after an accident, regardless of who was responsible for the crash. In states with traditional tort liability policies, drivers file claims with the responsible party’s insurer.
In Pennsylvania, drivers can choose to purchase a no-fault policy, or pay higher premiums for a traditional tort liability policy. With a tort liability policy, accident victims may sue for damages without any restrictions, while a no-fault policy does not allow for recovery of certain damages, like pain and suffering. However, drunk driving is one of the exceptions to the rule. If you were hit by an intoxicated motorist, you might be able to file a lawsuit.
In order to legally drive in Pennsylvania, all drivers must maintain “financial responsibility” for their vehicles. According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, all drivers must have the following coverage:
- Medical benefits: $5,000 for their medical bills or the bills of others covered by the policy, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- Bodily injury: $15,000 in coverage for the injury of one person, and $30,000 for the whole accident.
- Property damage: $5,000 for property damages if the accident is your fault.
If you were the victim of a drunk driving accident, a Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyer could help you learn more about the insurance coverage of the driver who hit you. In the event the other driver does not have insurance, an attorney with Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you negotiate with their insurance company or pursue additional awards in court.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 800-598-7557
Pennsylvania Accident Laws
There are several other laws you may want to consider if you have been the victim of a drunk driving accident:
Pennsylvania law requires you to report all accidents involving injury, death, or a fully disabled vehicle immediately. A report should be made at the scene of the crash by law enforcement. If an officer was not at the scene, you must file the report with local law enforcement within five days.
Under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence system, you may still seek damages even if your accident was partly your fault. As long as you are under 51% at-fault for the accident, you may seek compensation. Any settlement you receive will be reduced by your amount of responsibility. Therefore, if you are awarded $100,000 and are 40 percent at fault, you would receive $60,000.
Statute of Limitations
If you believe you may want to seek awards through a lawsuit, you need to be aware of the statute of limitations. Pennsylvania allows two years to recover awards for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death. If the statute of limitations has expired, you may not be able to pursue your case in court.
Philadelphia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-598-7557
Ben Crump Law, PLLC
If you were injured by a drunk driver, you should not have to pay for the damages. Drunk drivers are responsible for the damage they cause, and they should be held accountable for their reckless and wrongful actions.
You should not be strapped with medical bills or the costs of replacing your vehicle because someone else chose to drink and drive. If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, they deserve justice. A Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Let us handle the legal burden, so you can focus on your recovery.
Our legal team has helped thousands of clients nationwide win millions of dollars in car accident lawsuits. Our goal is to achieve the best possible settlement for you, and we never collect a fee unless we win your case.
For more information about how Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help, call us at 800-959-1444 for a risk-free consultation.