Drunk driving in the United States comes with severe consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drunk driving crashes cause more than 10,000 fatalities per year. Drunk driving harms the lives of everyone involved far beyond the initial results of some fatal car accidents. When people drive drunk, they are subject to legal consequences, as well as legal action from anyone who suffered injuries because of their negligence.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, a drunk driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you fight for justice and compensation. Work with our team to support your recovery during this time of stress and uncertainty. Call our team now at (800) 959-1444 for a free consultation about your case.
About Drunk Driving Accidents
In the United States, fatal drunk driving accidents have declined overall, but they still happen at alarming rates. According to the NHTSA, one person dies every 50 minutes from drunk-driving crashes, and the agency puts the cost of these accidents at $44 billion annually. The cost of drunk driving accidents is more than just economic. Lost lives, permanent injuries, and long-term emotional trauma are all realistic consequences from a drunk driving accident.
Drunk Driving Legal Procedures
Law enforcement receives training to recognize and mediate situations with drunk drivers. Victims who can recall the details of the accident will help build a solid case against the drunk driver in both criminal and civil court. A thorough police report that supports the victim’s recollection of the accident will go a long way toward holding negligent drunk drivers accountable for their actions.
A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more is a definitive standard for legal intoxication and the criminal charges that come with it. Police officers can investigate anyone operating a vehicle with a drive train, motorized or not, meaning that intoxicated people operating boats, riding lawn mowers, mopeds, scooters, and bicycles are subject to field sobriety tests.
To stop a driver and perform a field sobriety or breathalyzer test, officers only need to have reasonable suspicion of intoxicated driving. They can make this determination from negligent driving behaviors such as swerving between lanes, failure to yield, or failure to signal a turn.
After an accident, an officer can only confirm the level of intoxication through chemical analysis of the driver’s BAC through a breathalyzer, urine analysis, or blood test.
Consequences and Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents
Law enforcement can file criminal charges against people caught driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, such as prescription drugs or marijuana. The charges will vary depending on the severity of the accident and the unique circumstances. If the drunk driver killed someone or caused significant injuries, the criminal charges will likely be more severe.
First-time offenders may face expensive fines and legal fees, while repeat offenders may have their driver’s licenses revoked, receive jail time, and much more. It is important to remember that despite the charges from state attorneys, you could still sue for compensation after the accident. A drunk driving accident lawyer can help you decide the best course of action as you determine your best recovery options.
When it comes to drunk driving accidents, liability nearly always rests entirely on the driver who chose to get behind the wheel with an unsafe amount of alcohol in their system. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), bartenders and other servers (both commercial and private) also could have liability for your injuries.
Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws or established case law to make commercial sellers (e.g., bars and restaurants) liable for the damages caused by drunk drivers they served, while 38 states make social hosts legally responsible if they overserve their guests.
While liability for drunk driving accident damages usually falls on the irresponsible driver, vendors, or hosts responsible for serving liquor can face fines and consequences when a patron causes an accident.
Each state’s laws and procedures vary, so speaking with a drunk driving accident lawyer might make sense as you consider your recovery options. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today to discuss your case for free with a team member.
Legal Options for Drunk Driving Victims
As a victim of a drunk driving accident, you can seek legal representation to help recover compensation for your medical expenses, repair bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you experienced. A drunk driving accident lawyer can handle your case every step of the way, making sure of the following:
- Your case gets a complete investigation.
- Your needs for a full recovery get calculated.
- Your perspective as an accident victim gets conveyed to the liable parties.
- Consideration of all recovery options occurs. For example, commercial drivers on the job could open avenues of compensation not available from private citizens.
- All necessary documentation gets filed on time in the civil court system.
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, prioritizes the previous steps when they take on your case. Our lawyers understand the statutes of limitations in each state that affect your claim. The sooner our lawyers begin working on your case, the faster they can get started with their investigation. Together, you can formulate a legal strategy to pursue your fight for justice and compensation.
Hold Irresponsible Drunk Drivers Accountable for Their Actions
Drunk driving is reckless behavior that continues to happen despite the legal consequences for such conduct. You do not have to handle the aftermath of a drunk driving accident alone. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because an intoxicated driver collided with you, the drunk driving accident lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can work with you to determine whether a personal injury lawsuit fits your recovery needs.
Working with an attorney cannot undo the harm you suffered, but it can help you avoid becoming yet another tragic statistic from a drunk driving accident. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 959-1444 for a free case review with a team member.