A car accident in Clarkston can happen for many reasons, most often due to driver inattention. One reason that car accidents happen is when a driver is intoxicated. Drunk driving is a conscious decision to put others in harm’s way; these accidents are easily avoidable because all it takes is for a person not to get behind the wheel when drunk.
The driver doesn’t need to do anything special to avoid these accidents. Car accidents can have a significant impact on a person’s life, and when there is alcohol involved, it can be more challenging for victims. Injuries can be worse due to the driver’s intoxication, and the driver may walk away without a scratch making it more emotional for the victim.
Call John Foy & Associates to speak to a Clarkston drunk driving accident lawyer today.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Drunk driving is prevalent during holidays and on the weekend. Data from the latest reporting year shows that there were 353 deaths due to drunk drivers in the state. Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to pay attention and maneuver, which leads to accidents.
A drunk driver is reckless when they decide to get behind the wheel and must be held responsible for their actions. If you have been in an accident in Clarkston or the surrounding areas with a drunk driver, you must speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer in Clarkston.
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Explaining BAC Limits
Anyone of legal drinking age (21) cannot have a blood alcohol content higher than .08% in their system. Commercial drivers cannot have a BAC of over .04%. Drivers under 21 will have a zero-tolerance policy, meaning they cannot have alcohol in their system.
A drunk driver will face criminal charges if driving under the influence, even when they do not cause an accident. When they cause an accident, they will face additional charges.
How Drunk Drivers Are Held Responsible
If you are in an accident, you can file a negligence claim against the driver who caused your injuries. You can seek financial compensation for physical, emotional, and financial losses within the calm. There are critical elements you must prove during a lawsuit for a successful claim, including:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
All drivers owe each other a duty of care to follow the rules of the road. Choosing to drive after drinking clearly breaches a driver’s duty of care. While proving these elements may seem like a simple process, it will require extensive evidence collection and using the law to your advantage.
A car accident claim is more complex when you add intoxication to the mix. You will need a drunk driving accident attorney in Clarkston to find relevant evidence for your claim.
Recovering Damages In A Drunk Driving Accident
A personal injury claim aims to recover compensation for your damages. The person at fault for the drunk driving accident must pay for the damage they caused. While the drunk driver will not pay you directly, you will need to file a claim against their insurance company.
Some victims wonder if they have any legal options when drunk drivers pass away in an accident. You will, but the legal choices will look different since the at-fault party’s no longer here.
Types Of Damages You Can Claim
Through a personal injury claim, you can garner compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include items such as:
- Property damages
- Medical bills and expenses
- Ongoing medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
There are many other compensatory damages you can seek. Punitive damages are awarded in specific circumstances. These damages are meant to punish negligent drivers for their egregious actions.
Drunk driving is one of the instances where these damages apply. The punishment intends to prevent the person from committing the same act in the future. Punitive damages have a cap of $250,000 while other damages do not have caps.
The Statute Of Limitations For Drunk Driving Accident Claims
As with any other personal injury claim, you will have two years to submit a lawsuit. The pre-litigation phase allows both parties to find discovery about each other. During the discovery period, the insurance company will work to find evidence that can be detrimental to your claim.
In contrast, your lawyer will work to find evidence that helps your case. When it comes to drunk driving accidents, the time limit changes slightly. There is a six-year statute because drunk drivers will face criminal charges in addition to civil proceedings.
Drunk driving accidents have many legal intricacies that other accidents do not, so it is vital to meet with a Clarkston drunk driving accident lawyer immediately to begin your claim. You do not lose by hiring a lawyer because personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means your lawyer will not get any money unless they reach a favorable outcome in your claim.
How A Clarkston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A Clarkston drunk driving accident attorney in can help you with your claim in several ways. John Foy & Associates will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. While we cannot dictate whether the state prosecutor will file criminal charges, we can work to hold the drunk driver responsible for their negligence, including your injury.
Other things we will help with are:
- Finding evidence that the driver is a repeat offender
- Work with the state prosecutor regarding the criminal case
- Determine where the driver was drinking
- Uncover the possibility of Dram Shop Liability
We will collect evidence like police reports, medical records, and eyewitness statements. We will also negotiate with the drunk driver’s insurance company to get you a settlement that covers all your expenses now and in the future. You might wonder how much your case is worth, and we will not have an answer until we look at individual circumstances.
Each drunk driving case will have its challenges, and it is essential to look at them independently.
Call John Foy & Associates Today
Do not allow a drunk driver to change your life without recourse. Contact John Foy & Associates immediately following an accident so we can begin to fight for you. Our Clarkston drunk driving accident lawyer offers free, no-obligation consultations, so you risk nothing by reaching out to us.