Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal and comes with serious consequences including injuries, incarceration, and so much more. The impact of drunk driving doesn’t only reach the driver, but those around them including family, people involved in accidents, and the family of collision victims. Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss how drunk driving can change the lives of different people.
Being stuck by a drunk driver can be devastating and may lead to life-altering injuries such as paralysis or loss of limbs. These types of injuries will have a detrimental impact on life, as you may need to take time out of work, be unable to work, or need to change your line of work entirely. This, alongside paying your medical bills, will leave an enormous hole in your finances.
To cover the cost of any damages suffered, you are entitled to claim compensation, but you will need to have an expert legal representative on your side. As well as simply covering the cost of damages, you will likely want to see the guilty party held responsible, which can help with receiving closure. Therefore, you will need to liaise with the police, and you may need to attend court as a witness in any legal case.
Outside of financial matters and physical injuries, being struck by a drunk driver can leave you with mental conditions like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Mental issues like these can be just as debilitating as physical conditions, which is why you can claim compensation for this. However, proving the mental impact of a drunk driving collision can be tricker, so you will need to have a lawyer specializing in drunk driving.
The Victim’s Family
Drunk-driver collisions may be fatal, which will leave loved ones feeling distraught. In these cases, the victim’s family can bring a wrongful death claim against the guilty party, which is where they claim for compensation on behalf of the dead. In most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit has to be filed by a close relative including a spouse or direct blood relative. Any compensation given is typically split between several different family members.
Even if a drunk driving collision doesn’t cause death, it can stir turmoil in the lives of the victim’s family, especially when their injuries are disabling or life-changing in other ways. For example, the collision victim may need to have 24/7 care, which will cost money. These types of damages can also be claimed through legal avenues.
The Drunk Driver
There are many reasons for people to get behind the wheel of a car after they’ve been drinking, and none of them are excusable. Drinking has the power to impair effective decision-making, which can lead people to get behind the wheel. However, responsible drinking includes taking responsible measures including heading out with a dedicated driver, leaving your keys at home, or handing the keys to a sober party.
In the aftermath of a collision, the drunk driver can suffer serious to fatal injuries themselves. If they’ve injured other parties because of their actions, they will most likely feel guilt, which will become a burden. Further, they will face criminal charges including fines, driving bans, and incarceration.
The Drunk Driver’s Family
The drunk diver’s family is a completely innocent party in the collision, but they can be seriously impacted by the actions of the drunk driver. For example, the drunk driver may be seriously injured or die during the collision, which would be devastating for any loved one. However, this feeling of loss would be present alongside deep feelings of shame on behalf of the drunk driver.
Although the family of the drunk driver wouldn’t face legal action, as they’re not to blame, they will forever be associated, and their image can be tainted through the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, this loss of reputation can have a detrimental impact on their quality of life, but the only person they have to blame is a loved one.
What to Do After a Drunk Driver Accident
If you’ve been in a drunk driver collision, you will be feeling a mix of emotions including anger and frustration. However, it’s important that you try and keep everything together and begin collecting evidence as soon as you’re able to – or have a trusted loved one start on your behalf. The type of evidence you need to collect includes:
- Medical records. Get checked immediately, whether your injuries are serious or not, and keep all records.
- Police reports and incident number. You need the police incident number for insurance purposes and their report may contain critical evidence.
- Witness contact details. Other drivers or pedestrians may have seen the crash – some of them may have footage from dash cams. Collect contact details so that you can get in touch later.
- Photos and videos of the crash site. If you’re able to, take photos and videos from all angles.
- Details of the vehicle. Color, make, registration number, and driver name/contact details. Was the vehicle commercial?
Claiming compensation after a drunk driving accident can be challenging, as there’s a complex network that must be navigated, including proving negligence, liaising with insurance companies, and making it through the court system. To stand the best chance of winning your compensation case, you will need to have a personal injury lawyer on your side – they will have the power to investigate the accident on your behalf, and they will put together a solid legal case that will win you the compensation you deserve.
When a drunk driver decides to get behind the wheel, the likelihood of causing a collision increases significantly. If they do cause an accident, the lives of countless parties can be changed forever. The party suffering the most is the law-abiding victim, which may suffer life-changing injuries, or worse.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a drunk driver, you will need legal representation from the Mama Justice MW Law Firm. Do not hesitate to contact us at the phone number below or visit one of the following offices:
- 2005 West Main St. Tupelo, MS 38801
- 406 Galleria Dr., Suite 7 Oxford, MS 38655
- 1671 Lelia Dr Suite B, Jackson, MS 39216
- 5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 2700 Memphis, TN 38137
Call us today for a free consultation, on (888) 484-1476.