If a drunk driver has injured you or a loved one, get in touch with a DUI (driving under the influence) accident lawyer as soon as possible who can help you get maximum compensation for your losses. DUI accidentally lawyers are motor vehicle accident lawyers who are experienced with cases against drunk drivers that are at-fault for causing a car crash.
In 2020, 11,654 deaths were people killed in drunk driving accidents. Sadly, thousands more lives are affected due to the deaths of their loved ones or due to lifelong injuries they’ve sustained from an accident.
At Personal Injury Lawyer Network, we will put you in touch with a local DUI accident attorney that will fight for your case to seek financial compensation for the maximum damages you may be entitled to. Get compensation to pay your medical bills, to cover your lost wages if you couldn’t work, and to cover your pain and suffering from your accident.
Drunk drivers must be held accountable for the danger they created on the road and for the damage they have done to accident victims’ lives.
If you or your loved one was injured in a drunk driving accident, get connected to a DUI accident lawyer today.
Drunk Drivers are Negligent Drivers
100% of DUI accidents are preventable. They are due to the irresponsible decisions and actions made by the drunk driver which severely impact the lives of those they hurt. Alcohol-impaired drivers are negligent drivers who create needlessly dangerous situations for everyone on the road.
In 2020, 29% of fatalities in car accidents are due to people with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08. 24% of the people killed were occupants of other vehicles or not occupying a vehicle when a drunk driver hit them. These deaths fundamentally did not have to happen.
An alarming stat is that drunk driving crashes result in a disproportionately higher amount of fatalities and severe injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal organ injuries and partial or total paralysis. This is because many drunk drivers engage in reckless behavior like speeding, weaving lanes, not stopping at red lights, and more that endanger those around them.
Even with these statistics, filing a claim against a drunk driver is often not a clear case to prove. Insurance companies will aggressively defend their clients, minimize their liability and potentially deny your claim outright.
Injured Victims Deserve Justice
The injuries drunk drivers cause are disproportionately more severe than regular car accidents. Victims may live with the death of a loved one or their own long term injuries such as disability, paralysis, brain damage, in catastrophic cases.
Drunk drivers should be held accountable by the law for their criminal offenses and by the victims for the losses they inflicted upon them.
Serious accidents that were the fault of a negligent driver mean you can seek compensation for your losses. Car accident laws are complex and vary by state. An experienced DUI accident attorney can help you claim maximum financial compensation for your losses.
In some cases an attorney may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages that are meant to punish a defendant if it can be proven that the defendant exhibited gross negligence, malice, fraud or intent to harm.
DUI Accident Lawyers are Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury law covers most accidents which involve serious injuries sustained by a person at the negligence of another. Common types of personal injury law suits occur with car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, workplace accidents, and slip and fall accidents.
When you have been involved in an accident where you are not at fault, or partially at fault, find a personal injury lawyer that has experience in your type of accident. Laws are complex and vary by state and by accident type. Having a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney or personal injury law firm that has a track record of winning DUI accidents in your area is important to give you the best chance at recovering your maximum compensation.
Why It’s Important to Speak to a DUI Accident Attorney Soon After Your Accident
Although a DUI accident victim is eligible for compensation for their losses both economic losses and non-economic such as pain and suffering, there are several barriers that make it difficult for the average person to be able to fight for a claim representative to the value of their case.
Those barriers include:
- The plaintiff doesn’t know the value of their claim. Many plaintiffs seriously underestimate the values of their claims. Estimating the value of a claim is dependent on many factors – the attorneys’ ability to prove liability for both economic and non-economic losses. Without an attorney, plaintiffs are vulnerable to accepting a low settlement offer from an insurance company and having no basis for negotiating higher.
- The plaintiff does not know their legal rights. A DUI accident attorney helps plaintiffs protect their rights and understand their rights.
- Insurance companies defendants are excellent at reducing their liability. They are incentivized to minimize claim payouts for their business. They will often offer a low initial settlement offer to encourage the victim into signing early without pursuing further investigation by a personal injury lawyer.
- If you sign a settlement agreement, you waive all rights to further pursue financial compensation even if it was later determined that the value was too low.
- The plaintiff doesn’t know what NOT to say to an insurance company that can be used against them and hurt their case.
- Laws are unique, complex, complicated and specific to different types of accidents. Plaintiffs benefit from a lawyer to protect your rights and navigate the law.
- The plaintiff will unlikely be able to investigate and gather evidence to the degree a legal team with resources can for their clients.
A DUI accident lawyer will seek to recover losses where applicable from the following areas:
Economic Losses: These losses are generally directly related to costs the victim has to pay as a result of the accident.
- Medical treatments and medical expenses: All medical treatment as a result of the accident can be factored in including emergency medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, cost of surgeries, and any future medical treatment needed as a result of the accident.
- Lost wages: Lost wages occur from the inability to work and lost future wages can occur if the damages cause you to not be able to work in the future.
- Property damage: A totaled car or non functioning vehicle has impacts on being able to get to work or get around.
Non-Economic Losses: These losses are more challenging to calculate but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help evaluate the total eligible losses for your case.
- Loss of normalcy of life and the ability to enjoy life.
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Loss of a family member
- Permanent Disability
When Should I Talk to a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?
If you have been a victim of a drunk driving crash, get connected to a local DUI accident lawyer as soon as possible. It’s important to speak to an experienced DUI accident lawyer because they will help you fight for compensation and help you understand what needs to happen to build a strong case as well as advise you on what you should and shouldn’t say or do.
If you had an auto accident and haven’t filed an accident claim yet, there is a statute of limitations on the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. For most states, this is 2 years. For several states, this is 1 year. Don’t wait to take action. A year passes by very quickly when you are dealing with medical issues and life changes. It also becomes progressively harder to build a strong case in your favor as evidence at the scene may begin to disappear and witnesses become hard to get a hold of after a few months.
Right after an accident, victims are getting medical treatment, they are often in a fearful, confused, or worried state of mind. There are doctors’ appointments to deal with, a wrecked car, work, and possibly limited mobility, and dealing with all of these things can be frustrating. This is when you are most vulnerable to an insurance adjuster’s call. They may be empathetic but it’s important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side.
Make sure you know what your rights are. Get a free case evaluation from a local DUI accident attorney that is experienced in these kinds of accidents and in the laws in your state and region. If you retain a DUI accident lawyer, they can field all communication from the defendant’s insurance company so you are protected.
You Can Afford a DUI Accident Case Attorney
Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. That means that they only get paid on the contingency of winning your case for you. Lawyers paid on contingency will finance their client’s cases until they win. This means that their incentives are aligned with their clients to win. They are not paid by the hour.
If they don’t win, you don’t pay. A contingency fee basis allows accident victims a low-risk solution to getting professional legal support in filing a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, an attorney may not cover court fees in the case that the lawsuit goes to court.
Statistically, people who hire an attorney to represent them are rewarded 3.5x that of people who try to represent themselves. (Source: Research Insurance Council)
A DUI accident attorney’s fee may range from 33% – 40%. You’ll want to be sure to ask during your free consultation what each attorney’s fee structure is when payment is due and any costs that run outside of payment. Compare multiple attorneys within our network.
You don’t pay unless you win. Get connected with our short form and ask DUI accident lawyers in your area about contingency fee structures.
Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Will Help You By:
- Being Experts in The Law: Laws are complex and vary based on the accident type, regulations, locale, and state. The average person isn’t familiar with the specifics of the law and what they entail or how to build a legal strategy.
- Gathering Evidence: Evidence is crucial in establishing liability. A lawyer needs to prove that the driver who hit you was negligent. They also need to fight for the amount of compensation which includes both economic and non-economic damages.
- Determining Liability: Liability in a personal injury case must be proven. Liability for DUI accidents can extend beyond the at-fault driver and may not be as easy to prove since drivers’ insurance companies will defend them aggressively. In some cases, liability may also partially lie with restaurants, bars, social hosts of private parties or parents of teenage drivers.
- Communicating on your behalf with insurance companies.
- Preparing a Solid Legal Claim and Strategy for Your Case.
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Representing you if your lawsuit goes to trial. About 96% of lawsuits settle outside of court.
- Working on contingency so you don’t pay unless they win!
- Maximizing your compensation payout based on a full assessment of economic and non-economic losses you sustained as a result of the accident.
- Helping fight for you during this difficult time. A skilled attorney will take care of everything legally to create a strong case for you. On contingency, they don’t get paid unless they win. You can feel comfortable that you have a legal team working on your case that is going to win or you don’t pay.
What to Look for in a DUI Accident Attorney
These are some questions you can ask in addition to speaking about your accident during your free consultation to help you make informed decisions about your legal options.
- Compare DUI accident attorneys. Use our short form or call our number to connect with DUI accident attorneys in your location. It’s best to compare your options to find one that you are comfortable using.
- Understand the fee structure. Confirm if they are paid on contingency. Among the questions you have for them, you can ask for details such as when payment occurs and what percentage it is. Are there any other costs you should expect if you work with them?
- Ask about their track record of wins and experience in DUI accident cases in your state and area. An attorney’s experience with DUI accidents, state laws, and your specific area is incredibly valuable to increase your odds of winning your case and maximizing your compensation claim. For example, attorneys well-practiced in specific cities know how the general population may respond in a courtroom. Their specific experience of case wins in your city with your type of accident helps them create a case that will win in a courtroom or achieve a settlement in your favor. That’s why we match you to local attorneys in our network who can speak to you about your accident in a free consultation.
Get a free consultation with DUI accident attorneys from our network. Be sure to take notes and compare so you can make the decision that you feel most comfortable with.
What Should I Do if I Was in a DUI Accident?
If you are ever involved in a DUI accident, some tips from personal injury lawyers will include the following steps to take:
- Call 911 to report the accident and get help.
- Report the accident as soon as you can.
- Make sure you call from a safe place following a car accident.
- This creates an official record of the incident which you will need when filing a car accident claim.
- If the police suspect the driver is intoxicated, they may conduct a breathalyzer test to determine blood alcohol content.
- Collect information about your accident.
- After medical treatment from emergency technicians has been given at the scene, exchange contact information with others in the accident. Get the names and phone numbers of witnesses.
- Take pictures and videos of the scene and get a police report.
- Use your cell phone to take photos and videos of the entire accident scene.
- Photos will have better resolution and videos can show more information about the accident scene.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Make sure you receive medical care even if no injuries are visible.
- In many cases, injuries sustained in a traumatic event such as a sudden impact car accident may not be obvious to a victim until later. Be sure to get checked out by a doctor after an accident so you can understand if there were other injuries as a result of the accident. You need records of your medical treatment.
- Some defendant’s attorneys will push back that your injuries were not the result of the accident if you wait too long to seek medical attention after an accident.
- Listen to your doctor’s orders. Not following doctors’ orders could be used against you to hurt your case.
- Do not give a recorded statement
- Personal injury lawyers advise never to give a recorded statement to police officers or insurance companies until you have spoken to a DUI accident attorney. What you say can be used against you to deny or diminish your accident claim or if you go to trial for a drunk driving accident case.
- Only answer what is asked of you and do not make any assumptions about what occurred.
- Keep a record of your medical expenses, lost time from work, injuries and other effects of the accident.
- If you were seriously injured and not at fault, it’s important to speak to a DUI accident attorney as soon as possible.
- DUI accidents are complicated and involve a crime plus personal injury.
- Many people who try to go it alone without an attorney will not be able to recoup the maximum compensation that an experienced attorney can recover for them.
Get connected to several DUI accident attorneys in your area and get a free case evaluation today.
The Difference Between a Criminal Case and a Civil Case
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) is a crime in all states. DUI usually refers to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol while DWI usually refers to driving under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances.
Following a serious DUI or DWI accident, the intoxicated driver is likely to face criminal charges. A criminal case is separate from a civil case such as a personal injury case in which you can bring forth a lawsuit to recover full and fair financial compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you were injured by a drunk or intoxicated driver, it’s best to seek professional representation from a DUI victim attorney near you who can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf in civil court. If the intoxicated driver is convicted of a crime, your attorney can use that as evidence in your case.
If a drunk driver causes an accident that results in injury, they could face jail time, a suspended driver’s license, and hefty fines if convicted. Laws for drunk driving differ by state. In all 50 states, it is illegal to drive with over 0.08% BAC.
Each state determines what the legal limit of alcohol consumption is. The amounts vary for those who operate a commercial vehicle or are underage.
How Common Are Drunk Driving Car Accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that 32 people die in drunk driving accidents every day in the US.
- 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2020.
- That’s 1 death related to drunk driving every 45 minutes in the US.
- These are all preventable deaths.
Other Parties May be Liable Beyond the Driver for the Drunk Driving Accident
If one of the following parties acts negligently, they may also bear some responsibility for the resulting damages:
- Parents of teenage drivers
- Hosts of private parties
- Bars and clubs
A dram shop law is a civil liability statute that renders a dram shop liable for the harmful acts of its intoxicated patrons. If the dram shop acts negligently in serving the intoxicated customer alcohol and the intoxicated customer then causes harm to someone, they may be held responsible for the resulting harm.
A dram shop is a commercial establishment that serves alcoholic beverages.
DUI Victim Accident Settlements
DUI victim accident settlement sizes are predicated on the severity of a victim’s injuries. The more catastrophic the injury such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, disfigurement, permanent disability, and wrongful death, the higher the damages sought. Unfortunately, DUI drivers cause a disproportionately high percentage of catastrophic injuries including death, paralysis, and more.
The majority of personal injury claims cases settle outside of court instead of going to trial. Here are examples of several settlement cases. These cases are public statements made by law firms in different states. They are not representative of compensation for similar accidents. Every accident is unique and it’s impossible to base your accident claim amount on any of the case settlements you see. A variety of factors affect the outcome of any case. That’s you should speak to skilled and experienced DUI victim accident attorneys or law firms that can fight for your maximum compensation for your losses and provide you with an estimate for your case during a free case evaluation.
- $95,000 case settlement for a man hit by a drunk driver in Florida.
- A 44-year-old man was hit head-on by a drunk driver that crashed into him from the opposite direction causing spinal injuries with 2 bulging discs and 2 herniated discs. The drunk driver’s insurance company, GEICO, originally offered $17,500 for the damages. The man’s personal injury law firm was able to win $95,000 in a settlement for pain and suffering. – Justin Ziegler
- $825,000 settlement for a victim rear-ended by a drunk driver in New York
- The victim suffered neck injuries and underwent surgery as a result of the crash after they were struck from behind by a drunk driver. The victim retained an attorney experienced in DUI accidents who was able to win the $825,000 settlement. – Block O’Toole and Murphy
- $70,000 settlement for a victim of a car crash at the fault of a drunk driver in Plano, Texas.
- The victim suffered spinal injuries including a bulge and tear when a previously chronic condition was aggravated by the accident. She also required physical therapy for her recovery. The victim’s attorney was able to win a settlement of $70,000. – Mullen and Mullen
- $3,000,000 awarded by a jury verdict to the family of a 23-year-old victim killed by a drunk driver under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance that ran a stop sign and crashed into the victim in Indiana. The victim’s family was represented by a law firm that worked the case pro-bono after a referral from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) – from the blog of Sweeney Law Firm
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a drunk driver, it will help you to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in DUI accident cases as soon as possible. Personal injury lawyers often work on contingency so there are no attorneys fees unless they win for you. Speak to a DUI accident personal injury lawyer in our network today.