Unique Considerations for Drunk Driving Injury Cases

Injured woman on the phone with personal injury attorney

Drunk driving is still a major problem on U.S. roads. Unfortunately, a drunk driver can leave serious devastating in his or her wake. Accidents caused by drunk drivers leave people with serious, even fatal injuries. The impaired state of drunk drivers makes them particularly threatening out there on the road.

Unique Considerations for Drunk Driving Injury Cases

As with all personal injury cases, you will need to prove that the drunk driver’s negligence was the direct cause of the accident that left a person injured. To prove negligence, the injured party must prove that the drunk driver owed them a duty, he or she breached that duty, and the breach of the duty was the cause of the damages sustained. All drivers owe a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a reasonably prudent manner. In drunk driving injury cases, there is a pretty strong case to be made that the drunk driver breached this duty when he or she decided to drive under the influence of alcohol. It is well known that driving a vehicle while drunk can result in:

  • Changes in depth perception
  • An altered state of mind
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Delays in reaction time
  • Loss of vehicle control

Evidence of drunk driving in an injury crash will not only establish liability by showing the negligence of the drunk driver, but it may also lead to an award for punitive damages. Punitive damages are referred to as “exemplary damages.” They are above and beyond compensatory damages, or damages designed to compensate you for your losses. When there is extreme recklessness or a reckless disregard for the well-being of others, a court may want to punish the drunk driver by imposing a punitive damage award.

Many people who choose to drink and drive make other poor choices, such as failing to carry auto insurance or carry enough auto insurance to properly compensate someone they may harm with their reckless driving choices. If you are injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver without adequate insurance coverage, your own insurance company may end up paying for your medical bills and other losses. However, in drunk driving cases, there may be other means of getting the compensation you deserve that are not available in other injury cases.

The New Mexico Dram Act allows individuals injured by drunk drivers who were over-served alcohol at a bar, restaurant, or liquor store, to seek compensation from the place that over-served the drunk driver. Under the Dram Act, if a bar, restaurant, or liquor store continued to serve alcohol to a person who appeared overly intoxicated, and that person went on to cause an accident, the injured party can possibly hold that establishment liable. The fact that the establishment can be held liable but was not directly a party to the crash refers to “third-party liability.”

Fighting for Victims of Drunk Driving Crashes

Drunk drivers need to be held responsible for the damage they cause and you deserve to be properly compensated for the damage they cause. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, MPJ Law Firm is here for you. Contact us today.

Posted in: Personal Injury