What to Know About the Aftermath of a Drunk Driving Accident?

What to Know About the Aftermath of a Drunk Driving Accident?

People who have been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident can face severe, long term injury or even death. One devastating outcome of drunk driving accidents is that passengers often get seriously injured and killed as a result of someone else’s poor decisions. 

Someone who causes an accident while under the influence of alcohol or other substances risks not only their own lives, but the lives of their passengers, and the occupants of other vehicles on the road.

A critical step for the family of a victim who was killed as a result of a catastrophic automobile accident is to evaluate the scene of the accident. After all, a proper assessment of the scene of the accident helps support the family’s case when a drunk driver has caused the accident. This is just one of many such steps that you should be aware of to protect any potential legal claims.

The following information will help you to better understand how the influence of alcohol (or other mind altering substances) can contribute to an accident. Here, you will be provided information on how to proceed in the event you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver.When a loved one suffers from a critical injury caused by an accident, the family suffers too.

Why Do Drunk Drivers Cause Severe Accidents?

A driver who has a high blood alcohol content will have lesser chances of maintaining control while driving under the influence of alcohol. Someone who has been drinking may believe that he or she can drive but may not be thinking reasonably due to the influence of alcohol. The fact remains that alcohol impairs too many body functions necessary to the safe operation of a motor vehicle.

Drunk drivers also tend to be more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding and ignoring traffic signals. It may not always be easy to spot drunk drivers as they may not always drive erratically. This does not mean that the situation is any safer. An impaired driver will still lack proper reaction time and visibility to stop suddenly if they have to. They may also be unable to swerve or move out of the way to avoid a catastrophic accident.

Criminal and Civil Penalties for Drunk Driving

For the purpose of civil penalties, drunk driving should be viewed from the perspective of those injured in the accident who need to recover medical and other expenses related to the accident. There is, however, a separate criminal component to drunk driving. Authorities who are dispatched to the scene of an accident may learn that alcohol was a factor. 

They will pursue evidence that can be used for pursuing criminal action against the impaired driver. In any accident involving a drunk driver, there will likely be both criminal and civil actions that are related, but will be handled by separate court systems.

The criminal aspect involves an assessment of criminal penalties associated with breaking state laws for driving under the influence. Evidence of property damage and serious injury may be useful in criminal court for showing the severity of an accident, but will not be used to account for any monetary damages owed to the state or a victim. A criminal case will not award damages to the victim or their family, but its outcome could prove useful in a civil action.

Someone who is injured in a drunk driving accident should report the driver who was under the influence of alcohol to appropriate authorities. An injured person should also seek immediate medical attention to assess any injuries. It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer regarding the case to preserve as much evidence as possible from the outset.

Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents

Due to the fact that drunk drivers often lose control of the vehicle, a wide variety of severe injuries are possible with drunk driving accidents. Many injuries from drunk driving accidents will last the remainder of the victim’s lifetime, including ongoing, expensive medical expenses, lost income, and severe pain.

Drunk drivers may worsen an accident’s impact by engaging in irresponsible or reckless driving. Many do not even realize their speed while driving under the influence of alcohol. Some common injuries associated with these accidents are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries and associated neuropathies
  • Paralysis
  • Fractures
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Scarring
  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

People who have been involved in a drunk driving accident may not immediately realize the severity of their injuries. There are many injuries that can cause a “shock” reaction that protects the injured victim from feeling pain. 

Other injuries are internal and unable to be seen with the naked eye (for example, concussions). It is crucial to see a doctor following an accident of this kind to ensure that you do not suffer from serious undiagnosed injuries.

It is always better to err on the side of caution. Never operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or mind altering substances. Even one glass can affect some individuals enough to make operating a motor vehicle dangerous. 

If you or someone you know have been injured in a drunk driving accident, it is best to consult with a experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at the Law Offices of Samuel Fishman. We have handled drunk driving accidents for years and our lawyers are prepared to help you win compensation for every loss or expense you incurred as a result of the accident.