“Driving under the influence”, or “Driving while intoxicated”, is the term for alcohol-related driving behavior. It is responsible for nearly 1/3 of all traffic deaths in this country. Many of these impaired drivers are repeat offenders and all can cause a heavy burden of death and/or injury to themselves and to innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Anyone who causes an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance is considered negligent. Unfortunately, this is of little comfort to someone who has sustained injuries or lost a loved one in an alcohol-related accident. The driver convicted of DUI has the liability to pay for all damages, but may not be the only person considered negligent or liable. Those who provided the alcohol may also be considered negligent and liable for damages. Many states have laws which impose liability on bars, clubs, restaurants, or hotels which supply liquor improperly. In such cases, a business is expected to exercise due care and not to serve anyone who is obviously drunk. Even someone outside of such a business may incur liability for supplying liquor to a driver who subsequently had an accident, injuring or killing others. The host of a party may be liable in some states if he continues to allow a guest to imbibe after it is obvious the guest is under the influence.
If you have been injured due to a dunk driver, you may be entitled to the following benefits: medical bills, wage loss, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress and disfigurement.
As with any accident involving vehicles, there are a number of steps you need to take to ensure everything with your claim goes as smoothly as possible.
For your medical problems, see a doctor as soon as possible. Often times, an injury from a drunk driver accident can be underestimated. You may feel fine now, but some injuries, particularly neck and back injuries, can become quite painful and debilitating in the long-term. A paper trail is also important throughout the process.
Get as much information you can about your accident. Key items include the names, numbers and addresses of all the people involved, including witnesses. You will also need to keep track of insurance information and the reporting process. Make copies.
Please do not talk to anyone about your accident other than law enforcement personnel. Anything you say to insurance company representatives or investigators could make it harder for you to settle your claim. It is also a good idea not to sign anything, particularly some kind of release form, without talking to a lawyer first. This is just a smart way for you to protect yourself.
It is important to know what to do to protect the legal rights of yourself and your loved ones. Selecting the right attorney is an important decision. You should choose someone who is experienced, aggressive and dedicated to working to get fair compensation for your injuries. Over the past we have successfully handled thousands of injury and death cases. That is why you should contact the Law Offices of Doyle & O’Donnell.