Drunk Driving Car Accidents
Drunk driving cases are often among the most serious car accidents people are involved in. If you have been in a car crash with a drunk driver, you should notify the driver’s insurance company immediately. The drunk driver will most often be arrested for driving drunk. That means that there could be two cases against the drunk driver. The cases can proceed at the same time. One case will be a criminal case that will be brought by the city or the state prosecuting attorney. The driver will be charged with drunk driving, and if the driver is convicted, the driver could face jail, a fine, community service, or all three.
The other case, which a personal injury attorney could work on, would be what is called a civil case. In a civil case, the drunk driver is sued, and typically the car insurance company for the driver will be forced to pay damages to the injured driver. These damages could include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It may seem counter-intuitive, but often times the cases may not overlap, meaning that the cases will be heard and decided separately. In a civil case, where the only thing the victim can receive is money for their injuries, the drunk driver’s car insurance company will be the one to work with and negotiate a settlement on behalf of the drunk driver, but the driver will often have to face the consequences of their crime without their insurance company’s assistance if they are facing criminal prosecution.
Statistically, there are many more drunk driving car crashes during the holidays and in the summer than during other times of the year. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death on the road in Seattle, Bellevue, and the entire State of Washington.Washington State Drunk Driving Laws
Washington State has very strict laws when it comes to drunk driving. RCW 46.61.502 states that a person is guilty of drunk driving when the person has “within two hours after driving an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher by the person’s breath or blood or a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by the person’s blood.”
What many people do not realize is that in Washington State you are implied to consent to a blood test or breath test. RCW 46.20.308 states that an officer can perform a breath or blood test at their discretion on a person they believe, based on reasonable grounds, to be impaired by alcohol.
The statistics regarding drunk driving in Washington State, and the country in general, are very alarming. One third of traffic deaths involves a drunk driver in the USA, but in Washington State, 50% of all traffic deaths are related to drunk driving. There were 25,619 people who were arrested for drunk driving last year. And 100 people, per day, were arrested on Thanksgiving, New Years, and Christmas for drunk driving, when the drunk driving rate is at its highest. In recent years, the number of traffic-related fatalities has declined, but it is still a huge problem that needs addressed. Over a nine-year period, 1,921 people were killed by drunk drivers in Washington State.
In Washington State, a person must either consent to a blood or breath test to determine their blood alcohol level to determine whether the person is legally considered drunk or legally considered high. If the person creates a car crash because of being drunk, then this is further evidence of their crime.Common Drunk Driving Injuries
Drunk driving car accidents can be among the most serious car accidents in terms of injuries to the victim because the drunk driver may be completely out of control and the speeds at impact can be very high. When you combine high speeds with an out of control driver, the injuries of a car accident victim can be extensive. Some of the more common drunk driving injuries are:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you likely have a car insurance company calling you, both your car insurance company and the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. You may be unable to work and unable to get to a doctor’s appointment. The Jackman Law Firm can help in all of these regards. We can notify the insurance company, both the at-fault driver’s and the client’s, so that the communication stops and you can focus on healing. In addition, we can work with ordering police reports and working with law enforcement on obtaining the evidence, through the power of subpoenas and requests for production, that shows the driver who caused the accident was legally intoxicated at the time of the incident.
The Jackman Law Firm can help victims of DUI accidents recover the following:
- Medical bills paid
- Loss of Consortium (meaning money for the loss of a personal relationship)
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future wages
If you are facing any of these losses after being in a drunk driving car accident, feel free to call The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation. You may have a valid legal claim.