The End of the Year Brings Out More Drunk Drivers
The last week of the year comes with many types of celebrations. There are holiday parties with coworkers or family members, people enjoying time off work or school, and friends ringing in the New Year together throughout Las Vegas. While relaxing and celebrating can be enjoyable, things can quickly change when someone decides to drive home after having too much to drink.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Alcohol can impair someone’s driving abilities in many different ways, and impairment can vary widely from one person to another. Some ways that alcohol might affect a driver’s abilities include:
- Loss of focus on the road
- Blurry vision
- Disorientation or confusion
- Poor judgment
- Falling asleep at the wheel
How these impairments manifest on the roads will also vary. Drunk drivers can engage in many different dangerous behaviors, such as:
- Driving too slow for the flow of traffic
- Driving too fast or racing
- Turning from the wrong lane
- Swerving or drifting out of a lane
- Driving the wrong way down a one-way highway or road
- Misjudging turns
- Hitting curbs
- Running red lights
All of the above can result in devastating crashes that can disrupt the lives of innocent motorists in a single instant.
Potential Harm Caused by Impaired Drivers
When a drunk driver causes injuries, they should be fully liable for all of the losses and harm suffered by accident victims. These losses can be extensive and might include:
- Medical bills for emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, post-operative care, home health care, rehabilitative therapy, medication, medical equipment, specialist appointments, and the estimated costs of future medical treatment needed.
- Lost income if an injury keeps you from working for a period of time. If your injuries prevent you from ever returning to your job, your losses can include your future lost earning capacity, including income, benefits, and more that you would have earned had you not suffered injuries.
- Permanent disabilities, disfigurement, or impairments that persist long-term from your injuries. These are common with catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and similar conditions.
- Loss of enjoyment of life if your injuries kept you from participating in your usual activities, caring for your children, and other regularly enjoyed events.
- Physical pain and suffering from your injuries, as well as mental trauma you experienced.
If a drunk driver causes severe injuries, victims can feel the effects for years to come – financially, physically, and emotionally. The value of your losses can climb high very quickly, and you should never be responsible for covering losses when you did nothing wrong.
Holding Drunk Drivers Responsible
The law allows car accident victims to hold other parties accountable for their injuries when they are negligent or intentionally act in a wrongful manner. Drunk driving certainly qualifies as behavior that would make a driver liable, but how do you ensure that you receive the compensation you need to cover your losses?
Police officers should arrest a driver who is suspected of being impaired. This is one of many reasons why you should always call 911 following a crash, so that emergency personnel will arrive on the scene. You can get the medical attention you need while law enforcement officers investigate what might have caused the accident. If police officers suspect that the other driver was intoxicated, they will likely place the driver under arrest.
When a driver gets arrested for drunk driving, it is likely they will face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI). You might think that a conviction for DUI will also lead to financial recovery for you, though this is often incorrect. A DUI conviction will lead to court-imposed penalties such as fines, probation, or jail time, though victims’ needs are often inadequately addressed. Even if the driver is ordered to pay restitution, the amount will often hardly put a dent in your medical bills – not to mention your long-term losses. Instead, it usually requires a separate course of action to seek the amount you truly deserve, which is often difficult to define in concrete numbers.
After a drunk driving crash, it is critical that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The right attorney can evaluate your situation and file the necessary claims with the driver’s insurance company. If the driver is convicted of DUI, you can use the conviction as proof that the driver violated the law and should be liable. However, you still need to prove the value of your losses.
Insurance companies will often do everything they can to keep from paying out on claims – or to reduce claims as much as possible. This is true even if liability and wrongdoing are clear. It is important to have a legal advocate who understands how these insurance companies work, and who will fight against settlement offers that are far too low.
Sometimes, it is necessary to file a lawsuit in civil court to obtain full financial recovery. This is still a separate case from the criminal DUI matter the driver may face, and you want to have a lawyer who is a skilled litigator on your side throughout this process. Proving the true value of your losses can be challenging, especially if many of them are intangible, such as pain and suffering or permanent impairments. The right attorney will have experience representing car accident victims with serious injuries like yours.
Learn How a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer Can Assist You
At the law office of Gina Corena & Associates, we hope that everyone in the Las Vegas area has a safe and happy end of the year and the start of 2020. However, many people will begin the New Year facing a long recovery from a serious injury due to a drunk driver. We believe that impaired drivers should be held fully accountable for their dangerous and harmful decisions, and we know how to protect the rights of accident victims.
If you are injured in an accident, call 702-680-1111 or contact us online to discuss a possible case for free today.