More than 10,000 people die every year due to drug and alcohol related accidents. Hundreds of thousands more people are injured every year in DUI accidents.
Oftentimes, those injuries are life-changing and cause more pain than the victim had ever experienced. In many cases, survivors of DWI accidents are permanently disabled with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and disfigurement. Simple tasks, like preparing meals and walking up a flight of stairs, becomes extremely difficult or even impossible.
Some victims require 24/7 medical care for the rest of their lives.
Emotional pain and suffering often accompanies the physical pain. Families may also be burdened financially due medical bills.
Drivers who intentionally get behind the wheel while intoxicated may be held liable for the victim's medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of earning capacity.Legal Recourse for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Victims of drunk driving accidents may have legal recourse against the drunk driver. In some cases, victims may also be able to take action against businesses or individuals that served alcohol to drivers.
It's also important to remember that DWI and DUI laws also apply to people driving while under the influence of drugs.
"You may have been hit by a driver that was high on cocaine, marijuana, crack, crystal meth, prescription pills or other drugs," says Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C.. "This driver may not have been "drunk", but you are entitled to sue drivers who were high on drugs at the time of a crash under DWI or DUI laws. Drugged drivers are intoxicated drivers."
A civil suit may be the most appropriate path to take if you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving an intoxicated driver.
A personal injury lawsuit can be filed by the victim or the family of the victim if the victim is killed in the accident.
Civil suits are often the most effective – or only – way for victims to recover costs of lost wages, medical bills, damaged property and any other economic damages victims may have incurred. Victims may also be able to recover damages for pain and suffering.
Victims living in negligence states are generally free to sue drunk drivers for the injuries they sustain.
In cases where the victim is killed in a drunk driving accident, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed on behalf of the deceased's estate. The goal with this type of lawsuit is to ensure that surviving family members have financial stability. These lawsuits are simply a variation of a personal injury lawsuit and typically follow the same process. Economic and non-economic damages can be sought. In some states, victims may also pursue punitive damages.
Cases involving drunk drivers should be slam dunks, but insurance companies and law firms spend a considerable amount of time and resources fighting these types of claims. Working with an experienced DWI attorney will improve a victim's chances of succeeding with a lawsuit to recover damages.
An attorney will advise a victim of his or her legal rights and help secure a fair settlement.