If you are able to establish Drunk Driver Liability for the accident and your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your loss or injuries.

Drinking while driving can be deadly, yet it continues to happen across the United States. 28 people die every day in the U.S. from drunk-driving crashes. Drunk-driving accidents are preventable. Alcohol is a substance that reduces the function of the brain and impairs the skills you utilize while driving.[1] Counsel Hound attorneys understand how traumatic an accident can be, and we are here to help. Dram Shop Liability holds establishments such as restaurants, bars, and liquor stores liable for selling or serving alcohol to individuals who cause injuries or death due to their intoxication. Thirty states have dram shop liability laws in place.[2] Counsel Hound lawyers will work to maximize your compensation by holding everyone responsible for their negligent actions, including the establishment that served the driver. If you or a loved one have been in an accident, contact Counsel Hound for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

Drunk Driving

Alcohol impairs the important skills you need to drive safely:[3]

  • Judgment: Alcohol affects the areas of your brain that controls judgment and store experiences and knowledge to be quickly used while facing a new problem.
  • Vision: Alcohol reduces your ability to judge distance, speed, and the movement of other vehicles.
  • Color Distinction: Alcohol reduces your ability to distinguish colors. Most of the information you receive on the roadway is from different colors (traffic signs, traffic signals, roadway markings, etc.)
  • Reaction Time: Alcohol and impairing drugs make you drowsy and less alert to what is around you.
  • Be a responsible driver; do not drink and drive.

Statistics

  • The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour.[4]
  • The rate of drunk driving is highest among 26- to 29-year-olds.
  • Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
  • About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before the first arrest.
  • 50%-75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.
  • 10,142 deaths from drunk-driving crashes in 2019.

Stages of a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit

  1. Initial Investigation: If possible, take photos of the scene and write down the names and phone numbers of witnesses. No matter how minor the accident, always call 911. The police report may provide vital information for your case. Avoid telling the other person/driver “sorry” or explaining what you believe happened to anyone other than the police- doing so could inadvertently take responsibility for the accident.
  2. Medical Treatment for Injuries: Receiving medical treatment is an important step in creating a case. Be honest with your doctor about the severity of your injuries so the doctor can provide you with the necessary treatment. Always continue the treatment the doctor has prescribed, or insurance may see the discontinuation of treatment to indicate you are healed. Document each doctor’s visit so we can include your medical costs in the settlement or award.
  3. File Claim with Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company of the accident. Your insurance company should take the necessary steps to reimburse you for damages. If the driver’s insurance company attempts to contact you for a statement or settlement, do not respond until after consulting with Counsel Hound. We are working with your best interest in mind, and you may be eligible for more than what the at-fault driver’s insurance company will initially offer.
  4. Counsel Hound Consultation: Fill out our contact form, and we will set up an initial meeting to discuss your options. We work with lawyers across the nation, and Counsel Hound will refer you to the best-suited lawyer for your case at no cost.
  5. Settlement Demand: After your medical treatment has been finalized, we will begin the settlement process to maximize your compensation for damages. This process may involve negotiations with the insurance company.
  6. Settlement or Lawsuit: Once a final offer has been reached with the insurance company, you will decide if you would like to settle or file a lawsuit. Your Counsel Hound lawyer will advise you on the benefits of settling or continuing a lawsuit for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
  7. Trial: If you decide to decline an offer for settlement, we will guide you through the discovery, mediation, and trial. During discovery, both parties will exchange information to build their case. After the discovery period, you may go through a mediation where a neutral third party helps to facilitate a discussion between both parties. This may provide a second chance to accept a settlement before the trial. If mediation does not resolve the lawsuit, we will move to trial and work to convince the judge and jury that the at-fault driver acted negligently, resulting in you suffering a loss.

Counsel Hound will connect you to the qualified representation you need to navigate this process successfully. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

Compensation

Drunk driving accidents can leave you with physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Our Counsel Hound lawyers will work to maximize your settlement or award. Types of compensation you may be eligible for include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • If your crash required surgery, physical therapy, prescription drugs, medical equipment, etc., we will work to have you reimbursed.
  • If the accident forced you to miss work or suffer a wage decrease at a new position, we will prove your losses with timesheets.
  • If your vehicle was totaled from the accident, we will include the cost of repairs in the losses sustained.
  • If you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to recover funeral or burial costs.

Non-Economic Damages:
Some damages cannot be proved with lost wages, property damages, etc. You may face emotional suffering as a result of the accident. Our lawyers will work to include all available compensation in your case.

Responsible Driver

IF YOU ARE DRINKING, DO NOT DRIVE.[5]

  1. Plan your safe ride home before starting the party; choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
  2. If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Instead, call an Uber/Lyft or Taxi.
  3. Wearing a seatbelt is your best defense against impaired drivers.
  4. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.

Be a Responsible Host

Dram Shop Liability holds the owner or server of a licensed alcohol establishment responsible for the harm done by their customers. These laws aim to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and related harms such as drunk driving.[6]

  • Understand your state laws,
  • Consider hosting your party at a licensed venue rather than your home,
  • Hire a professional bartender to better recognize the signs of intoxication and limit consumption,
  • Encourage your guests to pick a designated driver or plan for a safe way home,
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food to guests,
  • Do not pressure guests to drink and never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated,
  • Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening (switch to coffee, tea, and soft drinks).