Every responsible driver knows that you shouldn’t drive when you’re drunk. However, that doesn’t stop some people from carelessly getting behind the wheel despite knocking down a few drinks, and in fact, driving while drunk is one of the most common offenses for which police officers make arrests. Even if you’re careful on the road, you can quickly become a casualty of a DUI crash. This type of accident can leave people devastated with injuries and even fatalities. You never want anyone to become a victim of a DUI accident.
Read on to learn more about DUI crashes and more:
Table of Contents
What Is A DUI Accident?
“Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) is driving while drunk. Another term for it is “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI). This behavior often leads to traffic crashes, causing physical harm or even death. DUI is not generally a felony. However, a DUI causing injury can become a misdemeanor or a felony, according to the crash’s circumstances. It can significantly depend on the degree of physical harm inflicted.
How Many DUI Accidents Happen Per Year?
DUI accidents are prevalent in the US. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 32 people die due to DUI crashes every day in the US
- The data above also equates to one person every 45 minutes
- 11,654 DUI accident deaths in 2020 – 14% more than in 2019
Depending on the person’s tolerance, even the slightest amount of alcohol can affect a person’s judgment and ability to navigate the road safely. Even if a breathalyzer says you’re not too drunk to drive, you mustn’t risk it. The NHTSA logged 2,041 DUI deaths where the drivers had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .01 to .07 g/dL, which is less than the usual .08 maximum limit.
Does Car Insurance Cover?
Some auto insurance companies can cover DUI accidents. However, this might not apply to all cases. Chances are, they’ll make arguments to deny coverage. Some of their reasons include that the driver:
- Intentionally drove while drunk
- Chose to drive carelessly
- Deliberately acted to increase the risk of a crash
If insurance providers decide to cover the crash, it can come with increased insurance premiums. This increase only applies if you caused the accident. If not, As a victim in the crash, you’ll still need to prove the drunk driver’s negligence to receive compensation. Drunk driving is already a clear violation. However, the responsibility falls on the victim to prove that the other party’s intoxicated state led to the crash. As a victim, a DUI accident lawyer can help you.
Possible Limitations on Claims
Some limitations in a DUI case can reduce your entitled compensations. These include:
- Driving at night without headlights
- Ignored a stop sign
- Failed to use a turn signal
Essentially, you share some responsibility if you also violated any traffic regulations which could have contributed to the crash. Your share of fault can reduce your compensation at trial by the percentage of your responsibility.
Another possible limitation on claims for damages is the statute of limitations. It’s a legal time limit (two years) that controls when courts will hear lawsuits alleging personal injury because of an accident, as stated in the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. However, extensions may be available when an injury results from behavior that has given rise to a criminal case.
As a result, if the other driver is currently facing allegations of drunk driving in a criminal court, the statute of limitations might not directly apply. A DUI accident lawyer could help to determine the time limits that govern your claim for damages. Learn more here.
How Can A DUI Accident Lawyer Help You?
While there is no debate that drunk driving is against the law, A driver’s intoxication might not guarantee success in a claim. The burden still falls on you to show that another driver’s actions caused your losses. A lot, including your future, can be on the line if your damages are significant. Skilled DUI accident lawyers, like our team at Jacoby & Meyers, can help you make the connection between drunk driving and the accident.
Our DUI accident attorneys can also help you in multiple ways, including but not limited to:
- Prove negligence
- Define the Cost of Damages
- Build a strong claim
- Negotiate a Settlement
- Proceed with important deadlines in mind
Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you.