Driving under influence or commonly known as “drunk driving” is defined as operating a vehicle while exceeding the legal limit of alcohol content in the blood. The legal limit varies from State to State; it ranges from .08 to .10.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States, the fatalities resulting from drunk driving ranked as 3rd in the last three decades and each year, drunk-driving accident claim more than 10,000 lives per year.
What are the common causes of Drunk Driving Accident?
When alcohol level rises on a person’s body, the negative effect comes into play on the central nervous system. Then it will pass the bloodstream where it will gather until it metabolized in the liver, which is causing Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
The common reasons for Drunk Driving Accident:
Loss of judgment
When under the influence of alcohol, a person has that high state of confidence that he/she thinks can handle every situation. For that reason, it only means that alcohol impairs good judgment and has poor reasoning. Even slight body warmth, relaxation or altered mood can cause an accident. Drivers should be aware of their surroundings and mental condition at any cost.
This is associated with getting drunk. When a person has drunk alcohol more than what they can handle, exaggerated behavior or the muscle coordination becomes poor. That includes slurred speech, balancing weight, hazy vision, time of reaction and hearing.
Exaggerated behavior can also lead to hyper activities like a boost in confidence that at the most time leads to over speeding and leads to collusion.
Clear deterioration of reaction, time and control
When a person’s central nervous system is affected by alcohol, it slows down thinking and decision-making. As a result, when facing the loss of control while driving it leads to a fatal accident more than decreasing damages.
Driving when under the influence of alcohol is deadly. So, next time that you are planning to get wasted or have a little drink, it would be better to have a person to call or have a designated sober friend who can drive you home safely. Any prevention saves not just your life also someone else’s.
Common DUI Accident Injuries and what to do after the accident
DUI accidents have more fatal injuries than those vehicular accidents that do not involve alcohol. Since alcohol slows thinking and reflex, it impairs drivers’ judgment that leads to over speeding, drifting and beating traffic lights. Injuries range from scratch, broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and worse, death.
- If you are in a crash accident, it is wise to immediately seek help or call for emergency medical assistance. Get yourself check for any possible trauma or injuries.
- Report the accident to the police. If you are the cause of an accident, it is wise to not make any oral or written statements. Call a specialized attorney in DUI accident before making a statement. You are also advised not to make any statements to the witnesses or victims. A simple “I’m sorry” can haunt a defendant, an expression of regret can sound like admission in court.
- Cooperate with BAC testing (or not). You have the choice to take the field sobriety test. No legal punishment can be taken by the police; however, you will be ticketed for noncompliance and is subject to more charges like administrative and criminal charges.
- Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of potential witnesses. It is crucial to get these details especially if you are not at fault.
- Take pictures. If you are not in the condition to do so, asked a witness or someone to take pictures of the vehicle and accident scene.
- Write down your own version of what had transpired. Take down the dates and time of writing. On top priority when writing, you should sign a “Confidential: Attorney-Client Privileged”.
- Do not leave the scene. Leaving the scene may claim guilt or a felony of hit and run.
- If you’ve damaged a private property, find who owns it and claim that you’re at fault to avoid further cost damages.
It is a dangerous crime to drive a vehicle under influence of drugs or alcohol. You can be charged with a misdemeanor to felony offenses, revocation of driver’s license, fines a jail time.
A fine and legal fee of $10,000 is a starting cost for first-time offenders. Not only that, you can also cause injuries and permanent damage to other people. That is why before you think of driving while under influence, think of these and imagine a headache you’ll get.
Compensation for Damages
In the state of Florida, and injured person has the right to receive compensation for loss of wages and medical expenses through their PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance. If you are a victim of DUI accident, you have rights to seek for compensation.
Several factors to consider if you are a victim is the degree of fault on the part of the driver and injuries that you received in the accident. Injuries received from this type of accident can be both mental and physical trauma and, in some cases, permanent inability to work due to injuries.
- Loss of wages. Workdays that are missed due to DUI accident is a valid point to seek for damages, unable to work and time off to recover from injuries. If a person received permanent injuries or damage, wages that he could have made over his/her lifetime work will be calculated and ask for the compensation from the defendant.
- Medical Care Cost. It is known to everyone that medical care is expensive. Injuries that are incurred in the accident can be a subject to compensation. This includes medical expenses for the present and future.
- Pain and Suffering. This is another type of compensation. Medication that needs to be taken due to the accident that can cause inability to do activities such as working can be compensated.
- Wrongful Death. On a work case scenario, due to the accident, loved one of someone passes due to DUI accident can seek wrongful death compensation.
These damages mentioned about are the common types of compensation that you can claim. However, there are other types of damages for DUI accidents. A specialized DUI accident attorney’s advice is extremely important in this case.
Seek Legal Help
If you or your loved ones have been injured or killed in a drunk-driving accident, contact a lawyer or attorney. They will collect data, evidence and other legal documents to help you find justice and seek rightful compensation.