How Can Drunk Driving Impact a Car Accident Lawsuit?

September 7, 2013

Drunk Driving

shot glasses and keysWhen alcohol is involved in a car accident case, the lawsuit can be affected significantly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 individuals were killed in 2010 in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.

This figure amounts to approximately one-third of the total number of traffic fatalities that occurred in 2010.

Determining Fault

While many personal injury cases turn on who was at fault in the accident, when intoxication is involved in a motor vehicle accident, fault is usually assumed. This is because a drunk driver acts in an intentional or reckless manner when he or she gets behind the wheel after imbibing.

While two sober drivers may disagree about what happened in a car accident, independent tests like field sobriety tests, breathalyzers and blood tests can determine the amount of alcohol that was in a driver’s system at the time of the accident.

Additional Complications

Most states, including Florida, have dram shop laws that impose civil liability on the owner of a bar or restaurant when an employee knowingly served alcohol to an intoxicated patron yet permitted that person to drive under the influence.

Social hosts may also face this type of liability and may be a defendant in a drunk driving lawsuit. Additionally, adults may face criminal charges for their actions, including charges regarding serving alcohol to minors.

If the victim proves that he or she was damaged by a guest, the host may be required to compensate the victim for his or her property damage and physical injury.

Criminal Charges

Drunk drivers may face a variety of criminal charges, including DUI or vehicular homicide if the accident results in death. Criminal charges may result in the loss of driving privileges, jail time, fines and court fees.

Call now for a free initial consultation!

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, a Tampa car accident lawyer may be able to help you with filing a drunk driving lawsuit. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 727-472-4021 for a free initial consultation and evaluation of your case.

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