Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
In recent decades, the number of accidents caused by driving while intoxicated has declined steadily. Public campaigns such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) have contributed to raising awareness of this problem at a national level.
Thousands of accidents per year are caused by drunk drivers, despite the efforts of public campaigns like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) factsheet data, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015, which was for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Of the 1,132 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2015, 209 (16%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
Although drunk drivers can face various penalties, they can also be the subject of civil lawsuits, specifically if another driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian is injured because of an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers: DUI v. DWI.
When a drunk driver is involved in an accident, that driver may and will likely face DUI or DWI charges with the State.
The main difference between these two charges lies in the age of the driver. A driver who is old enough to drink alcohol from a legal point of view will be charged with a DWI if the tests reveal that the driver had a BAC of at least 0.08. A driver under the age of 21 involved in an accident of this nature will usually be charged with DUI, regardless of the alcohol level.
Deaths from Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers.
Drunk drivers are one of the biggest threats on the roads. Although a car accident can be traumatic in any circumstance, accidents caused by drunk drivers are often fatal. Deaths resulting from these accidents usually stem from the driver’s inability to control the speed or direction of the vehicle.
A 2011 report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that more than 30 percent of highway deaths were caused by accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Why Do Victims of Accidents caused by Drunk Drivers Need a Lawyer?
Generally, victims of accidents caused by drunk drivers face severe stress. Factors that contribute to stress can be physical pain, mental distress, emotional trauma, and financial distress.
P&M’s attorneys can help victims of these accidents with their recovery process. Our attorneys have years of experience handling cases against insurance companies. Our lawyers know the strategies that insurance companies try in order to pay less or to have a victim’s claim declared invalid.
Victims of drunk-driving related accidents are eligible to receive an additional benefit from the Texas Crime Victims Compensation Fund. This benefit is an essential, yet often overlooked, support component for crime victims.
The primary purpose of the Fund is encouraging greater victim participation in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals and reimbursing innocent victims for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of violent crime.
The Texas state government sets aside money from the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund for the Crime Victims’ Compensation (CVC) Program Revenue for the Fund is collected from convicted offenders through criminal court costs, fees, and fines, while victims of violence are assisted with expenses related to the crime.
Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. Individuals who suffer a total and permanent disability as a result of the crime may qualify for up to an additional $75,000, which may be used for specific and limited expenses, such as lost wages, prosthetics, rehabilitation or making a home accessible, depending upon the law in effect on the crime date.
In Texas, a very important fact to consider is that both documented and undocumented immigrants can receive compensation if they are victims of a violent crime. This is possible by receiving an ITIN Number (Individual Tax Identification Number).
Settlements and Court Verdicts Related to Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers.
Victims of accidents caused by drunk drivers can obtain a settlement from the at-fault driver and insurance companies. Compensation can be a result of a jury verdict or an out-of-court settlement. These payments may also be for expenses and pain related to an accident including:
- Repair or replacement of the vehicle
- Visits to the hospital
- Medical consultations
- Surgical procedures
- Pre and post-operative medical care
- Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Psychological attention
- Future medical expenses
- Current income loss (salary)
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
It is important that you know your rights regarding Claims Related to Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers.
Contact us at 832-844-6428 and rest assured we will take the time to understand your situation and try to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our friendly staff will ask you some questions about your issue and will put you in touch with one of our lawyers specializing in Drunk Driving Claims. You can also fill out the “Contact P&M Law” which is located on our website.