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Drinking while driving can affect one’s ability to safely operate their vehicle. Alcohol causes a lack of judgment when driving and can give someone a false belief that they are okay to drive when they are not. Drunk driving can cause swerving, speeding, and negligent driving according to our friends at Schehr Law.

After The Accident

If you are involved in an accident where you believe a drunk driver was involved, the first step is always to make sure everyone is okay. If you or someone else is in need of medicinal services, it is important to immediately call them. After, you should call the police and make them aware of the accident. Police should arrive shortly at the scene where they will be able to perform tests to see if drinking was involved. Following the accident, if it is safe, take pictures of the accident and damage as these will be useful when making your claim. Following the days after the accident, it is important to seek medical attention even if you are feeling okay. Some injuries may take days to become evident and could potentially hurt you if not taken care of immediately.

Injuries that could result from being hit by a drunk driver include:

  • Head trauma
  • Skull and facial fractures
  • Brain injury and damage
  • Muscle damage
  • Broken bones
  • Injury to internal organs
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis

Punitive Damages

If you are involved in an accident where the at-fault driver was driving drunk, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are considered punishments for the driver for their reckless behavior. These are used to make society safer and deter others from partaking in the same unsafe behavior by using them as an example to the public. In addition, punitive damages are used for compensating the victim’s losses. This includes losses such as medical expenses, auto body repairs, therapy, lost wages, etc.

Generally, there is a cap on recovery for punitive damages at three times the amount of compensatory damages. This amount does not apply to drunk drivers, meaning there is no cap on the damages amount. Making these claims can be complex and damages need to be maximized in these cases to recover damages for clients. Often in these cases, insurance companies will try to argue that the at-fault driver was not impaired when they caused an accident even with proof from a breathalyzer test. In order to build a strong case, an attorney will obtain evidence of the at-fault drivers’ activities from the night or day. This includes witnesses, bar tabs, social media posts, or anything else that will help prove what the driver was doing prior to the accident.

Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you know was involved in a car crash with drunk driving, it is always in your best interest to hire a personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process of recovery and help you build a strong defense. A good car accident attorney will be able to fight for punitive damages from the at-fault driver and try to get you with the maximum compensation you deserve.