What are my legal rights if I am injured by an intoxicated driver?
In 2008, 18-year-old Christa Hudson got into her car and drove after a night of drinking with friends. Twenty minutes later, her car went off the road, rolled three times, then dropped down a 30-foot canyon. Miraculously, Hudson survived the crash, but it left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Now, she has dedicated her life to educating others about the tremendous dangers of drunk driving.
Hudson did something that thousands of Americans will do every day. She got behind the wheel after having some drinks. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.2 million people admit to driving while intoxicated at least once per month. Youths are especially at risk for drunk driving. Our Albuquerque car accident attorneys at MPJ Law Firm discuss the deadly nature of drunk driving accidents below.
Drunk Driving Causes Over 10,000 Deaths
In 2014, the CDC reported over 10,265 deaths linked to alcohol impaired car accidents. Drunk driving related crashes account for nearly one third of all fatal car accidents. In addition to deaths, drunk driving crashes often inflict serious injuries, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Neck injuries
Drunk driving crashes tend to involve high rates of speed and erratic driving behaviors. As such, few accident victims will escape an intoxicated driving accident unscathed. The victims of drunk driving accidents may find themselves burdened by tremendous medical expenses, unable to return to work, and struggling to cope with pain.
Despite years of aggressive DUI penalties and anti-drunk driving campaigns, American drivers continue to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drunk driving continues to be the greatest single cause of motor vehicle fatalities. Many are urging for more severe penalties and lowering the blood alcohol limit to catch more drivers who do not have the wherewithal to be driving.
If you have been involved in an accident and the driver who hit you was drunk, you may have the legal right to seek compensation for your accident related losses. Potential damages in a drunk driving accident case may include medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, at times, punitive damages. Contact an automobile accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash to get started protecting your legal rights.
Posted in: Automobile Accidents