Each year approximately 500,000 Americans lose their lives due to an alcohol-related auto accident. That is the equivalent of one death every 30 minutes. Non-fatal drunk driving accidents occur at the rate of one every two minutes.
While every vehicle operator puts his life at risk when entering a public roadway, to have the risk of serious personal injury or death drastically increased due to another party’s decision to drink and drive is inexcusable. If you have sustained an injury or lost a loved one due to a drunk driver, you need the assistance of a drunk driving accident attorney who will fight diligently to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents
Every alcohol-related automobile accident injury has unique circumstances surrounding it. Generally though, one or more of the following three parties may be held liable if a drunk driving accident occurs:
- The drunk driver – While a criminal court may not be able to force a drunk driver to pay all damages, if they were proven guilty, the chances for success in a civil lawsuit are great. Insurance policies generally cover bodily injury and property damage, but a jury in a civil court may award punitive damages.
- Employee of the drunk driver – If the drunk driver became intoxicated while working and causes an auto accident after, the employer may be held accountable for damages
- Alcohol serving establishment – If it sells liquor to an intoxicated customer when it knows or should know that doing so creates an unreasonable risk of harm to others who may be injured
Drunk driving accident lawsuits can result in massive compensation for the injured party and may include damages for:
- Punitive damages
- Automobile repair or replacement
- Beneficiaries’ loss of companionship, if wrongful death occurred
- Related medical bills
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of earnings
- Diminished earning capacity
- Mental and physical pain and trauma
Drunk driving lawsuits are complicated and require the skill of an experienced attorney. Additionally, statutes of limitations exist, so it is essential to receive legal advice immediately, or you risk losing your right to compensation.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a drunk driver in the Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson, Arizona area, please contact our Arizona auto accident office today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule a consultation with Jerrold A. Mayro.