Can I Sue a Drunk Driver for Causing my Accident?
Each year in the United States, it has been estimated that more than 100 million incidents of drunk driving take place on our roads. The dangers or driving while intoxicated are well documented, but unfortunately there are still a frightening number of Americans who choose to ignore those warnings. So what happens when individuals are victims of auto accidents caused by drunk drivers? Today, our drunk driving personal injury attorneys will discuss proving negligence for auto accidents, dram shop laws, and how victims can hold negligent parties responsible for their injuries.
Bucks County, PA DWI Accident Attorneys Establish Negligence for Auto Accidents
As with most personal injury claims, your Bucks County DWI accident attorney will need to prove negligence to strengthen your claim. The legal definition of negligence in Pennsylvania is loosely stated as the failure of an individual or organization to exercise appropriate care, leading to serious injury or property damage. When it comes to accidents caused by drunk drivers, the act of driving while intoxicated is negligent by nature.
However, as per PA comparative negligence laws, fault is assigned on a sliding scale. In other words, just because another driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not necessarily mean they will be found 100 percent at fault. Take the situation where you were struck by a drunk driver, leading to serious injuries. However, you were also breaking Pennsylvania law by speeding and not wearing your seatbelt. You may still be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim, but to a lesser degree based on your own negligent actions.
As driving while intoxicated is also a criminal charge in PA, your attorney may use a police Blood Alcohol Concentration tests or other evidence in your personal injury case. While there is no direct correlation between criminal and personal injury cases, evidence proven in court may be considered as proof of negligence.
Levittown Drunk Driving Auto Accident Lawyers Define PA Dram Shop Law
Most personal injury claims stemming from auto accidents will hold the other driver(s)’ solely liable. Cases involving drunk drivers also carry another possibility under something known as dram shop laws. Dram shop laws state that businesses, social hosts, or other establishments which unlawfully or irresponsibly serve alcohol to an individual may be liable if that individual should go on to injure another person or cause property damage.
Consider a case where a young man is a regular at the bar. On a particular night, he is slurring his speech, becoming belligerent, and displaying other obvious signs of intoxication. Despite this fact, the bartenders continue to serve him drinks and do nothing to prevent him from getting into his car and driving away. Later that night, he causes an auto accident resulting in injuries to both drivers.
In this situation, the bar would be liable for injuries and property damages sustained by the driver of the other car (the non-intoxicated individual). The innocent party may therefore be able to seek damages from not only the drunk driver, but the bar as well. In these situations, the drunk driver does not have a legal claim against the bar despite them irresponsibly over serving.
Contact our Bensalem Drunk Driving Accident Personal Injury Attorneys Today
The drunk driving accident personal injury attorneys of Cohen & Riechelson have extensive experience recovering financial compensation for clients injured by drunk drivers in Bucks County towns including Northeast Philadelphia, Levittown, Penndel, Bensalem, Feasterville, Millbrook, and all of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Our firm believes in aggressively pursuing compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, incidental expenses, and much more. If you have been injured in an car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bus accident, or any other type of motor vehicle accident, lean on the experience we have cultivated since opening our doors in 1972.
For a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential for a personal injury claim against a drunk driver or dram shop, please contact us online or through our Bensalem, PA offices by dialing (215) 337-4915 today.