One of the most common and serious causes of personal injury in this country is driving under the influence. In the state of Pennsylvania, a DUI is the result of a driver operating their vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08%. The CDC reports that there were over 10,497 deaths in 2016 attributed to drunk driving, which accounted for over a quarter of all traffic deaths for that year. Crashes involving inebriated drivers generates over $44 billion in annual costs and often time results in severe, debilitating injuries that can impact all aspects of the victim’s life. In this article, we’ll explore some of the nuances of personal injury cases involving drunk driving, which will provide you with useful information in the event that you ever find yourself involved in this type of legal situation.
Although the emergence of Uber in recent years has reduced drunk driving incidents, including a drastic 60% reduction in Portland, Oregon, these types of accidents remain a prevalent problem in modern day society. Although not all drunk driving accidents are fatal, they do account for over 28% of vehicular fatalities each year. Beyond the risk of death, these accidents can permanently cripple or disable the injured party, leading to extremely high medical bills and potentially even long-term care. Drunk driving incidents can also result in the loss of wages or employment depending on the nature of the injury. No matter how careful or skillful you are as a driver, you can’t account for every variable on the road, which is why it’s important to understand what challenges you might be facing should your case go to trial.
Something important to understand regarding drunk driving cases is that insurance companies will often try to conceal the fact that the defendant was inebriated at the time of the accident. They argue that intoxication should have no bearing on the trial because the guilty party has already admitted fault for the accident. Because jurors react strongly to cases involving drunk driving, insurance companies will try and keep these details hidden, especially when one is pursuing punitive damages against the driver in question. This is why it’s crucial to have your case reviewed by a legal professional with extensive experience in this type of personal injury lawsuit who can fight to ensure your interests are properly represented in court.