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Unfortunately, drunk driving often results in fatal crashes and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person dies every 45 minutes in the US due to drunk driving. Besides death, injuries from a crash can change a person’s life forever, from long-lasting brain injuries to mobility issues. But can you sue a drunk driver for hitting you? Victims of car crashes should be entitled to receive compensation to pay for any injuries and receive justice for the accident.
How Likely Are You to Get in a Drunk Driving Accident?
There’s been a recent surge in overall car accidents. According to the NHTSA, an estimated 42,915 people died in car accidents in 2021. This is a 10.5% increase from 2020 and the highest number of fatalities since 2005. For car crashes involving alcohol, fatalities increased by 5%. From 2019 to 2020, alcohol-involved crashes increased by 16%. This indicates that drunk driving accidents were higher in 2021 than before the pandemic in 2019.
A study by the Thomas group (conducted from mid-March to mid-July of 2020) found that nearly two-thirds of serious or fatal car accidents involve a driver under the influence. These car accidents could include alcohol, marijuana or opioids. Not so coincidentally, wholesale alcohol sales are higher in 2021 than in 2019 and 2020.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% is equivalent to two alcoholic drinks. However, BAC varies considerably based on the individual. At this point, visual functions decline, and your ability to perform two tasks at once. A BAC higher than .08% (around four alcoholic drinks) is considered illegal for every state, with the exception of Utah (BAC of .05%).
Can You Sue a Drunk Driver for Hitting You?
In most cases, a person can sue for damages if they were hit by a drunk driver. No matter the type of car accident, a victim must prove who is at fault for the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company usually pays the claim. In California, the victim needs to prove that the drunk driver is negligent in failing to prevent harm to others and is above the legal BAC limit.
Are drunk drivers always at fault? For instance, if a person rear-ended a drunk driver, the impaired driver may not be at fault. Having alcohol in the system is often not enough evidence. This is why it’s helpful to know how to prove speeding in an accident, secure witnesses, take photos and other evidence, and call the police after any accident. Laws surrounding drunk driving vary by state.
When to Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
No matter how cut and dry the case may seem, lawyers can help gather the evidence and make a case against the drunk driver. Most importantly, they can help victims receive compensation for being hit by a drunk driver. People can sue for many things, including:
- Medical bills and injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Permanent impairment
- Change in quality of life
- Wrongful death
Can you sue a drunk driver for hitting you? Absolutely yes. Not only does it help the victim receive the compensation they deserve, but it also punishes and deters the drunk driver from ever driving under the influence again. If you or someone you know needs a personal injury lawyer for a drunk driving settlement, Avrek Law has recovered more than $1 billion in over 45,000 cases. Read more about our no win no fee policy and book a free consultation with one of our attorneys.