Drunk Driver Accidents in Blytheville, AR
Auto accidents involving drunk drivers happen all too often on Arkansas highways. It is a known fact that many people still choose to drink and drive, regardless of the enhanced impaired driving laws, creating another serious hazard for innocent people who are in transit.
Cases can be complicated when drunk driver accidents occur, but one thing that is not complicated is the involvement of alcohol in causing the crash as indicated by the local police authorities. This fact alone establishes negligence on the part of the impaired driver, positioning any injured victims for standing to file both compensatory and punitive damage claims when the case goes to trial.
The responsible drunk driver will also likely be facing criminal charges as well, which can also impact a claim. Even with compelling evidence of negligence, it is vital to have an experienced Blytheville drunk driver attorney like the legal professionals at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi representing your claim to ensure protection of all financial recovery rights.
All accidents involving drunk drivers that produce injuries to passengers of other vehicles will be investigated thoroughly by local police officials. Drunk driving is serious business, and all prosecutors are ready to file criminal charges when the evidence is present.
In fact, according to Arkansas state law, it is a requirement in certain cases. Part of that evidence that will also be used in the civil action for injured victims is the level of blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of the impaired driver. How this will effect a case can vary, as the intoxication level for conviction is different for some drivers.
Impaired drivers who are under age 21 or are driving a commercial vehicle are considered intoxicated at .02 BAC, while other typical adult drivers are considered impaired at .08 BAC. Readings of .05 BAC or above can also result in reckless driving charges instead of driving under the influence, which can also establish general negligence. Accidents involving drunk drivers with a reading of .14 or greater are normally filed as aggravated circumstances, as well as .08 when minor children are injured.
Aggravation convictions can then be used as a basis to support claiming additional punitive damages because of gross negligence. So, the level of impairment and the charge conviction can matter significantly in the personal injury claims in civil court.
Personal injury claims resulting from drunk driver accidents are not all equal. Drunk driver accident claims include compensatory damages similar to any other accident case.
Financial recovery can include funds for lost wages, associated medical bills, vehicle replacement, and non-economic pain-and-suffering based on the severity of injuries and the long-term physical damage. This can be a very significant amount, and it is important to note that this is compensatory and not punitive. Punitive damages are applied as punishment for the driver based on their egregious behavior and the establishment of gross negligence.
Punitive damages can only be awarded by the court when ordered by a sympathetic jury, so having an aggressive Blytheville drunk driver attorney like the legal specialists at GKBM can mean the difference between a maximized settlement or a standard personal injury claim from a common accident.
Passengers and Drivers
All drivers in any accident are assessed for personal contribution to causation of the crash even when no drivers are drinking. Sometimes multiple drivers are drinking as well, which can further complicate a case.
It is important for injured drivers to understand that their total claim value can be discounted by their percentage of personal fault, which is a factor in the case that your attorney will defend strongly because Arkansas law restricts financial recovery for drivers who are over 50% at fault for the crash, regardless of impairment.
The official accident report matters greatly, and GKBM drunk driver attorney can investigate the accident on your behalf in order to build a solid case protecting all legal rights, especially regarding official fault assessments while checking for other potentially negligence parties. Case facts are important to settling all accident injury claims.
Passengers who are victims of drunk driver accidents are not commonly assessed for personal contribution and should be in position to receive full benefits when there is sufficient insurance coverage, which can also be a problem. Insurance coverage levels are very important, including personal injury protection when the injured driver carries the rider on their own personal auto policy.
Drunk driver accidents are indeed tragic events that could be avoided in many cases had the drunk driver made better decisions, but they can still be difficult legal tasks when it is time to collect a damage settlement that is fair and equitable. This always requires the expertise of an experienced Blytheville drunk driver attorney like the ones you will find at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi who will evaluate and represent your case thoroughly for all avenues of financial recovery.