Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most negligent things a person can do. One driver’s careless decision can cause a lifetime of distress for the people they hurt and the injury victim’s family.
The Mellino Law Firm LLC is committed to holding thoughtless drunk drivers accountable and getting just compensation for victims.
DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT INJURIES AND DAMAGES
Drunk driving accidents are often the most damaging types of collisions. The level of speed and recklessness generally involved in drunk driving accidents results in catastrophic injury to victims.
Some injuries that commonly result from drunk driving accidents include:
A collision injury victim and their families may incur damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses
- Funeral costs
- Noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering
In drunk driving accident cases, the defendant may be required to pay punitive damages as well. Rather than compensating a victim for existing expenses, punitive damages are intended as a consequence of the defendant’s negligence. Punitive damages are rare in civil cases, but the level of negligence in a drunk driving case may prompt an order to pay them.
DRAM SHOP LAWS
Many states have dram shop laws, which introduce an additional party who could be liable for the damages caused by drunk driving accidents. In most drunk driving collision cases, the driver will be primarily responsible for the results of their decision to drive while intoxicated. Dram shop laws state that a business (such as a bar or restaurant) could be partially liable for an accident.
Although not outlined in dram shop laws specifically, it is also possible for a driver’s friend or party host to be liable in a collision case, if they supplied the alcohol and allowed the defendant to drive drunk.
If you were injured because you were riding in the car with a drunk driver, your process for recovering compensation will be similar to any car accident case in which you were a passenger. You may be entitled to coverage from their insurance provider, or could sue the driver for damages. However, your awareness of the driver’s intoxication could affect your claim. Passengers who knowingly entered a vehicle with a drunk driver may have their payment denied or reduced because of their own liability. Our legal team can help you get the full compensation you deserve.
DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT CASES AND CRIMINAL LITIGATION
It is not uncommon for drunk driving accidents to be the subject of both civil and criminal legal proceedings. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is illegal, so when a person is caught doing it by causing an accident, it is likely that they will be charged with a crime.
Although they are related to the same incident, drunk driving accident civil and criminal cases are two separate proceedings and will be treated as such. It is possible that criminal charges will substantiate your injury claim, but criminal action does not guarantee that your case will be successful, and vice versa.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
The Mellino Law Firm LLC understands the immensely damaging impact of drunk driving accidents. As an injury victim or the loved one of an injury victim, you are feeling stressed, angry, and scared. Our drunk driving accident attorneys are dedicated to recovering the compensation you deserve and supporting your family throughout the legal process. We also have an office located in Rocky River, OH.