Being injured in an automobile accident is stressful enough. Often times, the stress and grief is multiplied when the victim or their family find out that the accident could have been avoided if the person behind the wheel was not intoxicated. Drunk driving continues to be a major problem in Southern California and all throughout our country. Here are some startling facts about driving under the influence:
- On average a person will drive under the influence 80 times before their first arrest.
- Every 53 minutes in the U.S. a person is killed in a DUI accident. That equals 27 people per day.
- Every 90 seconds a person is injured from a drunk driving accident in the U.S.
- In 2011 alone, nearly 10,000 people were victims of drunk driving accidents.
- Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens.
- Roughly 1/3 of teen accidents involve alcohol or another substance.
In order to recover damages for an injury sustained in a drunk driving accident, you will have to file a claim against the driver and show that you suffered an injury or loss that was “proximately” caused by the driver of the vehicle.
If The Driver Is Found Negligent
If the driver’s negligence is proved, the driver’s insurance company will be responsible for compensating the injured party, or their family member, for losses that were incurred as a result of the driver’s negligence. These can include things such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. All of these types of damages are aimed at compensating the injured party, or their family members, for losses that they suffered in hopes to put them in the position they would have been in had the accident never occurred.
The driver may also be sued for punitive damages. These do not aim to compensate the injured party for losses that were suffered, but instead aim to punish the driver for driving drunk. The chance of being successful on a claim for punitive damages depends on several factors and must be judged on a case by case basis.