When it comes to car accidents in the United States, drunk driving emerges as a common problem. The statistics of Driving Under Influence (DUI) accidents in the country are, in fact, alarming. Drivers who get behind the wheel while being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination of both are more dangerous than you may believe. Not only do they pose a risk to themselves, but to other drivers and pedestrians as well. Knowing these grave dangers of drunk driving accidents, you can take solace in the fact that personal injury law comes to your rescue if you are injured in a DUI accident. Still, you must be aware of your rights and the correct procedure for filing a claim under the law. Here is all that you need to know about such accidents.
Proving impairment of the driver
First and foremost, the law considers driving under influence a crime and the driver is almost always implicated. The case starts by proving the impairment of the guilty person. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding 0.08 percent is the legal limit to prove liability for drinking and driving. The blood alcohol levels are tested using breath samples, urine tests or blood tests of the driver. The proof of the driver drinking any amount of alcohol and still getting behind the wheel can validate negligence which may have caused or contributed to a car accident.
Other signs of impairment
While medical tests do give a valid proof in DUI cases, there are some other signs of impairment that you can look for. A person who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both may have watery or bloodshot eyes, dazed expression, slurred speech and difficulty in standing and walking. Further, you may notice an inability to focus attention and lack of concentration as well. While the victim can note these signs, the police officer too can record them in the police report. Together with the medical reports of the driver, the presence of these signs can go a long way in implicating the drunk driver.
Types of injuries caused in DUI accidents
Often, DUI accidents are more severe as compared to other car crashes because drivers are out of control. They cannot make good judgment and may be unable to slow down. Injuries can be correspondingly life-threatening and consequences can be as serious as death and paralysis. Many drunk drivers kill pedestrians, while accidents with other vehicles can be just as devastating. And sadly, drunk drivers usually escape with minimal physical damage. This makes the cases all the more punishable and the victims or their families should go all the way to get them punished.
Suing a drunk driver
If a DUI accident leaves you seriously injured, you can rightfully sue them for damages. The driver will be considered responsible for your suffering and you can claim compensation for medical expenses, pain, and suffering, emotional distress, loss of wages and loss of future earning ability. Apart from these, punitive damages are also available in such cases. It is recommended that you seek help from a lawyer who specializes in car accidents because they know how to handle the complexities of DUI cases. Drunk driving is typically regarded as extremely negligent behavior that must be dealt with strictly for showing a reckless attitude towards human life. And only a good lawyer can ensure that you get what you deserve and so does the guilty driver.
DUI cases differ from other car accident cases
A DUI accident case is somewhat different from other accident cases, apart from the fact that there is involvement of intoxicants. Normally, there will be a criminal prosecution that will run separately from the injury case. For this reason, you will need a seasoned DUI accident attorney to handle the proceedings. Also, having a professional-looking after the case will give you peace of mind that you can get maximum compensation for the suffering sustained at the hands of someone who has been seriously negligent. The guilty driver must be punished and with the help of your lawyer, the law makes sure that he or she is dealt with. Moreover, the amount of insurance of the drunk driver does not limit the potential damages awarded to the victim. Courts can actually award a judgment against the drunk driver for all the damages proven by your lawyer.
Considering the gravity of DUI accidents, the claims are bigger and more complicated. Still, victims and their loved ones should not give up because they deserve both, compensation for themselves and punishment for the person responsible for the mishap.