DUI Accident Victim Lawyer
DUI Accident Attorney
Alcohol-related traffic accidents are often serious, life-changing events. In 2018, thirty percent (30%) of the driving fatalities had some connection to alcohol impairment. Nearly 30 people die every day from drunk-driving accidents in the U.S. An astonishing 87% of alcohol-related fatalities involve a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .15.
Accidents caused by drunk drivers are far more dangerous than traditional accidents, due to the slow reaction times of drunk drivers and the inability of a drunk driver to properly react to traffic and road conditions. Jonah Flynn aggressively pursues drunk driving injury and death claims against drivers, commercial drivers, and insurance companies. In some instances, a bar, restaurant, or “social host” who served a visibly intoxicated drivers who end up causing accidents. Other lawyers may give up or not take a difficult drunk driving case, because they require extensive work and may require expert testimony regarding the intoxicated state of the driver. Quickly securing important evidence, such as witness statements, surveillance camera footage, and materials and evidence from the scene of the accident is critical
Legal Blood Alcohol Content
Driving under the influence in every state is a crime and a driver can be charged criminally if their Blood Alcohol Content is greater than:
- Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
- Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. School bus drivers are commercial drivers.
- Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when any amount of alcohol is in their blood.
A blood alcohol level of under .08 BAC does not mean a driver is not “impaired” or drunk; a driver can still be charged if that driver consumed any alcohol or drugs and was a “less safe” and impaired driver. Either way, drunk driving cases often give rise to a claim for punitive damages.
Were you injured by a drunk driver who was served at a party, bar, or restaurant?
Restaurants, bars, and social hosts have a duty to refrain from serving “visibly intoxicated” patrons and guests. They also have a duty to refrain from serving underage patrons. If they serve visibly intoxicated patrons or minors, and one of those patrons causes an accident, the bar, restaurant, or social host may be liable. Excessive alcohol consumption, or drug use, often plays a role in personal injury cases.
Where the drunk driver was either drunk or “visibly impaired” at a bar or restaurant, the bar or restaurant may be liable for your injuries. It’s illegal to sell or serve alcohol to anyone visibly intoxicated — this includes the inability to walk or talk, visible aggression towards other patrons, stumbling, slurring of speech, loud conduct, and bloodshot eyes. These claims can be difficult because few bartenders and restaurant servers will admit a patron looked drunk yet they kept serving the patron anyway. Toxicology experts can form opinions as to whether the customer would have appeared drunk based upon blood alcohol testing conducted at the scene of an accident; eyewitness testimony is more important, however.
It is illegal to sell alcohol to minors, regardless of whether they are intoxicated. If a bar, restaurant, or social host a) served someone who was visibly intoxicated, or b) served a minor, you likely have a claim against that bar, restaurant, or social host if you are then injured by the drunk patron.
Higher burden of proof:
Because of successful lobbying by the bar and restaurant industry, the rules for suing a bar or restaurant for serving someone already visibly intoxicated who then caused the injury are different than the rules for suing others. Normally, the burden of proof is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. But, in some states, with liquor liability cases, the burden of proof which must be met is the “clear and convincing” standard; that is, the injured victim is required to prove, by “clear and convincing” evidence, that the bar or restaurant provided alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated” person or minor.
INSURANCE OFTEN COVERS BARS, RESTAURANTS, AND SOCIAL HOSTS WHO OVERSERVE VISIBLY INTOXICATED GUESTS AND MINORS
Bars and restaurants which has a liquor license generally have a “liquor liability” policy of at least $ 300,000.00. Many restaurant and bar operators have much more insurance. Because “liquor liability” claims often involve severe injury or death, most liquor license holders have far more insurance than the minimum.
Liability for social hosts is often covered under a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy or renters insurance policy.
Damages recoverable in a drunk driving accident
Drunk driving accident victims can recover damages for:
- Property damage
- Medical Bills and Expenses
- Future Medical Expenses
- Lost wages and Income, Including Lost wages in the future
- Permanent Injury
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Psychological distress
- Future Emotional distress
- Punitive damages – intended to punish the drunk driver or bar/restaurant for their reckless actions and deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
- Wrongful death: If a drunk driving accident is fatal, the next of kin can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be a difficult time for everyone involved. These injuries are life-changing: the injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents are usually worse than what occurs in normal auto accidents. Cases against negligent bars and restaurants which serve visibly intoxicated patrons require quick action to gather and secure evidence. Call 888-353-5995, or fill out the “contact us” form below.