Auto Accidents Attorneys Are Experts In Handling Drunk Driver Injury Claims
When you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. A Drunk Driver Accident Attorney helps victims that have been injured or killed by drunk drivers. We pledge to pursue the personal injury claim to the fullest extent of the law.
While it is an individual’s choice whether or not to have a drink, our law firm strongly believes that it is never acceptable to drive a vehicle while impaired with alcohol and/or any sort of drug. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents cause serious injuries and deaths – averaging untold injuries and one death every 50 minutes, every day.
Have You Been Injured By a Drunk Driver?
Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has been very successful at aggressively pursuing auto accident claims against drunk drivers. With the help of an experienced DUI Accident Attorney, you can expect to be compensated for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and your current and expected future medical bills.
Additionally, you should be compensated for all financial losses you experienced from the drunk driving accident. Ritchie Reiersen Law has offices with local personal injury lawyers in Portland, Yakima, Kennewick, Tacoma, and Auburn for your convenience. Call our personal injury firm at (888) 884-7337 for a free consultation with an experienced DUI car accident attorney.
Insurance Claims Against DUI Drivers
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk/intoxicated driver, you need an experienced attorney to help you with your insurance claim. DUI injury claims tend to be complicated.
An experienced auto accident attorney will not only work hard to protect your rights, but they will fight for the compensation you deserve. An attorney will also pursue legal action against the DUI driver when necessary.
Compensation After a DUI Injury Accident
With the help of your personal injury attorney, you may expect to be compensated for a variety of expenses and damages resulting from the accident. Below are a list of possible damages you may file to be compensated for:
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Anxiety and Depression
- Long and Short-Term Disability
- Nerve Damage
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Call Ritchie Reiersen Law today at (888) 884-7337. Our personal injury attorneys have successful experience handling claims against drunk drivers. At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we understand how traumatic an auto accident can be. You don’t have to take on the stress alone – we will be by your side, helping you receive the consideration and compensation you deserve.
Drunk Driving FAQs
Does the law differentiate between individuals who drive while under the influence of alcohol and cause an accident versus individuals who drive while under the influence of prescription or street drugs and cause an accident?
No. The law does not differentiate between individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs. This is why the term “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) is used, rather than “drunk driving.” However, the relationship between blood alcohol levels and driver impairment is well-known – thus making driving under the influence of alcohol cases easier to prove than other DUI cases.
If the person who hit me was driving under the influence, does that automatically make them presumed to be negligent and liable?
Not necessarily. In order to presume negligence, you must prove that their physical and/or mental abilities were so impaired at the time of the accident that they were unable to drive with the caution or abilities one would normally have.
Do I need the services of an attorney to handle my case against an impaired driver?
Yes. An attorney has the knowledge of the laws as well as the tools to help prove impairment and possible negligence on the part of the other driver. Not only will the case be smoother with the help of a personal injury attorney, but it is likely that your settlement offer will be significantly larger with an attorney by your side.
I was hit and injured by a driver who was arrested at the scene for a DUI. What comes next?
Cooperate fully with the police. Try to get the other driver’s name, insurance company, and address. Seek out a medical consultation to document injuries. Report the accident to your insurance company. Request a copy of the police accident report, and contact a personal injury attorney. You can request criminal restitution for certain damages through the prosecutor’s office. Additionally, be prepared to be contacted by the prosecutor’s office as a witness to the incident. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can be assured that your rights will be protected and you can receive the compensation you deserve for the damages you sustained.
How is a DUI determined?
- A driver may be charged with a DUI if a breath or blood test shows that the amount of alcohol in their body is:
- .08 or higher for adults (21 and over).
- .04 or higher for commercial vehicle drivers.
- .02 or higher for minors (under 21).
- He or she is found to be driving a vehicle under the influence or affected by alcohol, any drug, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, regardless of the concentration of alcohol in their breath or blood.
The insurance company for the drunk driver wants me to sign some paperwork so I can receive medical care. Should I sign?
No. We strongly discourage any statements to or written communication with the other person’s insurance company until after you have discussed the incident with a qualified auto accident attorney. Most importantly, never sign any papers without consulting with an attorney first. We offer a free consultation for this reason – give us a chance to help you understand what your options are before you sign anything.
What should I do if I am contacted by the insurance company covering the drunk/DUI driver?
While it is not uncommon for an insurance company to reach out to the injured party to get a recorded statement, we recommend you consult with a personal injury attorney before engaging with the insurance company. They are often interested in offering an early settlement amount – which tends to be significantly less than the amount you will really need to cover your damages. Especially in the case of being injured by a drunk driver, never accept payment or sign anything from the insurance company without first consulting with a car accident attorney. Make sure your rights are being protected!
How much does it cost to have an attorney help me with my drunk driver injury claim?
Most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee. Basically, this means that the fees you owe will be contingent upon you winning your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay. There is no upfront cost, and there will be no hidden fees. When we win your case for you we will receive a portion of the settlement amount as payment for our services – a percentage that we discuss and agree upon prior to signing a contract for services. The initial consultation is free and carries no obligation on your part.
What damages can I recover in a wrongful death or personal injury case against someone who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
You would be eligible to recover the standard compensation for damages covering lost wages, medical care, property damage, pain and suffering, and disability. There is also a possibility to request punitive damages against a driver who was found to be operating a vehicle while under the influence. Additionally, in the case of a wrongful death, the next of kin may recover damages for loss of means of support, loss of companionship, etc. Each case and experience will be different – if you have been involved in an accident with a driver who was driving under the influence, your best option is to call a personal injury attorney right away. With a free consultation, you will be able to ask your questions, explain your situation, and receive honest feedback on your case.
Besides the driver, who else can be held liable in a drunk driver claim?
Washington state allows a vendor that serves alcohol to be held liable if they serve alcohol to a person who is “obviously intoxicated” or “apparently under the influence” – this is referred to as dram shop liability. For example, if Sally is slurring her speech and stumbles when she walks, but the bartender continues to serve her alcohol, the vendor (bar, restaurant, tavern, etc.) could also be held liable for the accident that Sally caused by driving drunk. The dram shop liability law applies to both minors under the age of 21 as well as adults.
Along the same vein, when minors under the age of 21 cause a collision by driving under the influence, their victim can file a claim against the host of the social event where they were served alcohol. Social host liability is only relevant in cases where the driver is a minor under the age of 21 and they were served alcohol at a private social event. If an adult is served too much alcohol at a private social event and later causes a collision due to being intoxicated, the law does not allow a social host to share in the liability.
Can a drunk driver file for bankruptcy and get out of paying my restitution or other damages from a personal injury case?
No. Laws have recently changed that prohibit a person from filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to avoid paying criminal restitution or personal injury judgments for drunk driving claims. Even if a judgment is awarded against a drunk driving offender and that person subsequently files for bankruptcy, they will still be responsible to pay the damages – those will not be discharged through the bankruptcy action.
What a Local Personal Injury Attorney Can Do For You
Drunk driving accidents accounted for nearly 30 percent of traffic fatalities in 2018. In the United States alone, almost 30 people are killed a day from drunk drivers – that’s one person killed every 50 minutes, equating to over 10,000 deaths a year. If drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher were kept off the roads, it is estimated that 7,144 deaths could have been prevented in 2018. Given the seriousness of drunk driving accidents, you need an experienced car accident attorney with knowledge of drunk driver car accident cases to help with your claim. Ritchie Reiersen Law has offices in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco), Yakima, Tacoma, Auburn, and Portland. Call today for your free consultation at (888) 884-7337.
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Figuring out the best course of action after a car accident can be intimidating. Without taking the correct steps to protect your rights, you could miss out on a significant sum of money. Our attorneys will go the extra mile to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Get our free e-book on car accidents. You’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the right auto injury attorney, dealing with insurance issues, getting medical coverage and more. To discuss the specifics of your case during a free consultation, get in touch with our office.
“I wish I would have had this book when I was hit 10 years ago. I made so many mistakes and ended up paying for it with long term injuries that weren’t covered, and the regret of looking back at the compensation I should have received for my car, my pain and my time.”
— Jordan from Yakima.
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