During the holidays, more and more drivers take to the road to visit family and friends. With more drivers on the road the probability of being involved in an auto accident increases. So, too, does the probability of drivers taking to the road that are impaired by alcohol.
A 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report revealed Alabama to be the twenty-third most dangerous state for traffic deaths caused by those who were impaired; a staggering 32% of all traffic deaths were DUI related.Even more concerning is that number was 4.5% increase from the previous year.A full break down for each state is availablehere.
A drunken driving claim can be slightly more difficult and require a greater expertise than a standard auto accident claim.
Some key differences include:
1) Punitive damages may be available against the driver.
Punitive damages are used to punish the person at fault and are often greater than damages to compensate you for your losses.
2) Possible “Dram Shop” claim.
If the impaired driver was coming from a bar or other place that served thedriver alcohol, the bar and bartender may be held liable in certaincircumstances.
3) The drunk driver may be driving a vehicle owned by another person or entity.
If that person or entity knew the driver had a history of driving under the influence or that he/she was drunk when he gave him/her possession of the vehicle, the owner can also be held liable for negligent entrustment.
If you have been injured in a car accident by someone who was drinking and driving or otherwise impaired, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with a consultation, protect your rights, and guide you through the legal process.