Injured by Drunk Driver?

Sep. 16th, 2011   /   , , , ,

Injured by Drunk Driver?

Remember those outdated videos you watched during health class in high school? Sure you do, the ones about the big parties with the football players and the cheerleaders and the math nerds and the chess geeks?  Everyone in those videos, despite their daytime differences, managed to come together at night and bond over a universal indulgence – alcohol.  The parties seemed fun, all the way up until the end of the video.  The last scene of the movie probably showed a car crashed into a tree with the words “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE” superimposed over the image.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the actors were terrible but the message is timeless.

Unlike the grainy videos, the drunk-driving epidemic which plagues this country is relatable to most members of society.  It hits close to home, so to speak.  In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone in the United States is injured in a drunk-driving crash every two minutes.  That’s well over a quarter of a million people every year who are injured in car accidents caused by the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol starts affecting the brain almost immediately – make no mistake about it: it is a drug that alters the chemical processes that take place in between your ears.  While any amount of alcohol changes thought processes and response times, in the state of Florida (as well as most other states), you are legally intoxicated if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is 0.08% or higher.  This means that driving a car, while having a BAC of 0.08% or higher, is illegal and what is normally referred to as “drunk driving.”  But you can be arrested for DUI for any amount of alcohol in your system if an officer pulls you over and makes the decision that your driving abilities have been affected by your ingestion of alcohol.

Intoxicated, inebriated, loopy, loose, buzzed, etc… The list goes on.  But let’s call a spade a spade: drunk is DRUNK and it leads to poor decision making which can include anything from starting a fight with your girlfriend to causing a car wreck and killing innocent people.

If you’ve been injured by a reckless, drunk driver, you deserve to be compensated for your damages.  Why should you be responsible for dealing with the costs of the medical bills and lost time at work, not to mention the pain and suffering that you endured as a result of someone else’s careless actions?

So, who’s responsible?  Not just the moron who had a few too many drinks and decided he was “a better driver drunk than sober.”  Of course, he’s the primary culprit in the case.   Unfortunately, however, there are many unintelligent people in the world who drive around without auto insurance.  And because drunk driving is also an act of stupidity, sometimes there is overlap and you might very well find yourself injured by a drunk driver who doesn’t have auto insurance.  Then what?

Did you know that the supplier of the alcohol might be partially responsible for the financial compensation you are owed (this applies in some States, not all)?  That’s right.  The bar, restaurant, friend who’s house the alcohol was dispensed at – they all had a legal duty to ensure that the selling and/or giving out of the alcohol would not result in the injury of anyone.  That’s why bars “cut you off” once they decide that you’ve had enough to drunk.  They might be liable if you go do something stupid, drunk off of the alcohol that you got from them.

In a pending case, an airport bar in Kansas City might even be held liable!  The bar continued to serve a passenger alcoholic beverages before he boarded his flight.  After the flight, when he landed in Dallas, he was still drunk.  Unfortunately, he got into his car, crashed, and killed someone.  (Note: the altitude changes involved with air travel have a significant effect on the affects of alcohol on your body).

Once, a group of businessmen took out prospective clients on a “bar-hop.”  One of the prospective clients got into his car at the end of the night, drunk, and proceeded to kill someone in a car crash.  The businessmen were held partially liable because they were the ones that continued to order – and pay for – the alcoholic drinks which led to the fatal crash.

The fact of the matter is drunk-driving accidents are messy all around.  And that’s putting it nicely.  Often times, the victims aren’t just the trees you saw in the video in high school – they’re real people with real lives and real aspirations who really get hurt.  Some even die.

A lawyer can educate you on who might be liable for your loss in the event of a drunk-driving accident.  If you have been the victim of the carelessness of another, please, contact the Law Firm of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green at 561-266-9191 or email us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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