Drunk drivers face serious criminal consequences, but this does not always stop them from driving under the influence, nor does it do anything to help those who face injuries and losses as a result of drunk driving behaviors. With almost 30 people per day killed in drunk driving accidents, this lack of justice is unacceptable. That’s why Mama Justice – MW Law Firm exists. We take care of the injured and bereaved after devastating drunk driving accidents and help make sure the responsible parties handle all the consequences of their actions.
Like all other personal injury claims, drunk driving accident cases are based on negligence. To prove a negligence claim, you must show:
In car accident cases, the duty of care is implicit, as all drivers owe those around them a duty of care. If the defendant was driving drunk, their breached duty is clear, as well. Your medical bills will help you prove your injury.
The hardest part of most cases is proving that the driver’s behavior caused your injury. This is where a criminal conviction can come in handy. Not only will an arrest and conviction prove that the driver was intoxicated, but it will also set a legal precedent with a higher burden of proof. In criminal trials, prosecutors must show the defendant is guilty of causing a collision (or injuries or fatalities) beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil trials, the plaintiff must only prove the defendant’s liability with a preponderance of the evidence. This means that there only has to be a 51% chance that the defendant’s behavior caused your accident.
If a drunk driver has already been charged for your accident, fact finders will not have a difficult time believing that the driver is more than 50% liable for your accident.
Even if the driver who harmed you wasn’t charged with drunk driving, police records can prove that they had alcohol in their system at the time of the collision.
In all 50 states, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood. At this stage, drivers’ abilities to balance, talk, see, hear, react, and detect danger decrease; and they have a more difficult time with judgement, self-control, and reasoning. Even before they reach the legal limit, however, drivers can feel the effects of alcohol.
If any person with any amount of alcohol in their system caused your accident, you may be entitled to civil compensation. A drunk driver is unlikely to be arrested if their BAC is below .08, but you can still hold them accountable in court.