Individuals simply do not appear to learn. Drunk driving remains a big problem on American highways. Many individuals who have previously been arrested for intoxicated driving are repeat offenders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent statistics, 10,497 persons died in drunk driving motor vehicle accidents in 2016. Additionally, nearly 300,000 people were hurt. These were not isolated incidents involving alcohol. These were collisions involving individuals who had a blood alcohol concentration of.08 or above. Simply put, that is considered legally intoxicated in every state in the country. These fatalities represented 28% of all road fatalities for the year, equating to one drunk driving death every 50 minutes.
Drunk drivers are more likely to cause major injuries and fatalities as a result of the high speeds at which they frequently travel. They are far more likely to drive at excessive speeds, weave between lanes, drive in the incorrect lane, or fail to stop when required due to impaired judgment. When a person combines speed with that type of driving conduct, the danger of severe or fatal injury to anyone on or near the roadway is significantly raised.
There Is No Compassion for Drunk Drivers
While intoxicated drivers are convicted in criminal courts, victims seeking compensation for their injuries and damages cannot reach those courts. That is a task for the civil courts and skilled DUI accident attorneys, much more so when a victim is gravely hurt or a family member is killed. Civil court juries, on the other hand, are not sympathetic to inebriated drivers. Likewise, the bankruptcy courts are not. Along with compensatory damages, victims of intoxicated driving accidents may pursue punitive damages. They are frequently granted in these types of instances.
The Onus of Proof
Even if a criminal DUI conviction is dismissed on a technicality, you may seek reimbursement for your damages in a civil drunken driving personal injury action. That is because the burden of proof is different in the two sorts of instances. The prosecution must establish the suspected intoxicated driver’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal proceeding. The burden of proof in a civil drunk driving accident action is a preponderance of the evidence. That is, your interpretation of events is more likely to be accurate than not. It is a lot less load to bear. A drunken driving accident victim may even file a civil case concurrently with the inebriated driver’s criminal prosecution. Indeed, this is encouraged. The case will be handled by a different judge and in a different courtroom.
Additionally, a person or corporation that provided or sold alcohol to someone who later caused a DUI crash may be held accountable for damages. Most states have enacted legislation holding bars, clubs, motels, and even social hosts accountable for damages incurred as a result of providing alcohol to a person who later injures or kills someone in a DUI crash.
If the opposing insurer admits that its insured individual was at fault in a drunk driving accident, the case may settle. Take extreme caution with any insurance adjuster that calls you. His or her goal is to keep the insurance company’s loss to a minimum. Likewise, do not provide the adjuster with any form of written or recorded declaration or medical authorization. The law does not require you to provide those, and the adjuster will afterwards attempt to use your own words and medical history against you. If the driver who caused your accident and injuries was arrested on suspicion of DUI, protect and enforce your rights immediately by calling a drunk driving accident lawyer.