Negligent drivers cause hundreds of thousands of accidents every year. A significant portion of these drivers are not only negligent but also driving while intoxicated. When you are hit by a drunk driver, you could be left wondering what the consequences and outcomes will be.
Fortunately, drunk driver-related accidents can often lead to personal injury claims that allow you to recover compensation for the damages you incurred due to the accident. If you were involved in a drunk driving accident where you were not mostly at fault, you do have legal recourse. While the criminal justice system will handle any criminal prosecution that is necessary, that does not mean you will automatically be awarded compensation for your damages.
To pursue compensation effectively, contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC to start filing a drunk driver accident claim.
What Is the Cause of Drunk Driving Accidents?
Drunk driving accidents are typically caused by a lack of awareness, poor reaction times, and lowered ability to concentrate on the road. These are symptoms of intoxication, so drinking is frequently the main culprit behind these accidents. This is not to say that there are no other factors contributing to drunk driving accidents.
Instead, drinking increases the likelihood of accidents because drivers who are intoxicated lack the competence and control needed to safely operate a vehicle.
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What Kind of Drunk Driving Accidents Can Happen?
Drunk driving can lead to any type of accident. Normally, the kinds of drunk driving accidents that happen include:
- Rear-end accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Collisions with pedestrians
All of these situations can be fatal if the vehicles are moving at high enough speeds. Even if the victims survive, they can be left with critical injuries that require immense medical care. Therefore, people injured in drunk driving accidents often find it necessary to seek compensation from the at-fault party in their accidents.
What Should You Do When Drunk Driving Accidents Happen?
You need to get medical attention immediately after any drunk driving accident. If your injuries are not too severe, you can wait at the scene of the accident for the police to arrive. Though, severe injuries should be addressed immediately to help you avoid complications or further injury.
If you need to go to the hospital immediately but have a friend or other companion with you on the scene, have them collect photos and wait for the police to come to make a report. Documenting the conditions of the scene of the accident ensures that there will be some tangible evidence available during the claims filing process. If you neglect to collect this evidence, it will be more difficult to effectively plead your case.
Having the police come to make a report is important, too, because lawyers can use the details listed in the report to inform your legal claim. Once you leave the scene of the accident, speak to a lawyer immediately. You should not discuss the details of your accident and claim with anyone else, as this could complicate your ability to recover maximum compensation.
Definitely do not speak to the other driver’s insurer because anything you say could be used against you in an effort to argue that you deserve less compensation than is reasonable.
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What Happens to Drunk Drivers After Accidents?
Drunk driving is illegal. If someone gets into an accident and is found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal amount, they will be prosecuted by the criminal justice system and charged with drunk driving. When they are convicted, fines are levied, and they could be sentenced to time in jail.
DUIs are incredibly serious, as they can result in extensive jail time and license suspension once released. Still, breaking the law invites these consequences. Do not let someone guilt you into not calling the police after a drunk driving accident because you do not want to “ruin their lives.”
You are not ruining their lives – you are holding them accountable for their poor decision-making.
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When Can You Sue Drunk Drivers?
If a drunk driver crashed into you, it is likely that you can pursue compensation from them through a lawsuit. In fact, filing a lawsuit may become necessary if they do not have adequate insurance coverage to pay for your damages. This is especially true in instances where a drunk driver’s insurance refuses to pay for claims because the driver broke their policy rules.
Without an insurance company to pay you, you need to seek compensation directly from the driver. Doing so often requires a lawsuit to be filed.
Can You Sue a Drunk Driver that Killed Your Family Member?
Drunk driving accidents that kill your family member may leave the at-fault driver liable for that person’s death. In some cases, these circumstances may allow you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Through wrongful death lawsuits, you can claim compensation for the damages associated with the death of your loved one.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not easy in drunk driving cases, but it is possible. To learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, speak to Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC today. We can help you identify whether your loved one’s death qualifies as wrongful death.
Are You Allowed to Sue an Establishment for Drunk Driving Accidents?
In some states, establishments that sell alcohol have a moral and legal obligation to not sell people excessive amounts of alcohol. If they do, they can be held liable for drunk driving accidents that occur. For example, in Tennessee, there are dram shop laws that are designed to prevent bars, restaurants, and other businesses that sell alcohol from giving customers a large volume of drinks before it is time for them to go home.
These laws place liability on all establishments that serve liquor in excess. Under these laws, the establishment is responsible if they sold alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated and that person later caused a drunk driving accident that caused injuries or death. Bringing a claim against these businesses is not easy. If you believe an establishment was negligent in its actions and caused your accident, get a lawyer to help you fight for justice and fair compensation.
Choose Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC to Represent You
Drunk driving is an irresponsible act that must be punished when discovered. Yet, drunk driving accident claims are not just about punishing people who break the law — they also allow victims to claim reasonable compensation from the people who injured them and damaged their property. Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC is ready to represent you throughout your claim.
We will fight for the maximum amount of compensation, so contact us now to schedule a free consultation. You can reach our law firm by using the contact form on this page.