If you had to make a list of some of the situations that are unfortunately common in the United States, drunk driving would undoubtedly be right at the top. According to a study conducted by the CDC, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015 alone. To put that into perspective, that amounts to roughly 29% of ALL traffic related deaths in the country.
Over 1,100 of those deaths involved children and 209 of them involved a driver that was under the influence of alcohol. If you’ve been in the victim of a drunk driving accident, there are a few key things that you’ll need to understand about the legal ramifications moving forward.
Drunk Driving and the Law: What You Need to Know
One of the first topics to know about when talking about drunk driving accidents involves something called punitive damages. These are designed ultimately to make society safer by punishing someone who does something reckless (either intentionally or unintentionally) without even considering what the potential consequences might be. Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated certainly falls under that umbrella. As your case proceeds to trial, you may hear punitive damages referred to as “exemplary damages.”
Because driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is a criminal offense, much of the legal focus will be on punishing the driver for their actions – NOT necessarily towards compensating you for your losses. This in turn is what punitive damages are intended to do – both act as a form of long-term punishment and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
It’s also important to note that sometimes opposing attorneys will attempt to hide the fact that the driver was impaired from a jury by getting them to admit fault for the accident right away. The argument is that because the driver admits that the accident was their fault, the fact that they were driving under the influence is irrelevant. This is why partnering with an esteemed legal team like those at Harshbarger Law is so essential – we help make sure that your jury knows ALL of the relevant facts to make the right decision, no exceptions.
Harshbarger Law: We’re Here For You
At Harshbarger Law, we make all of our clients our number one priority – end of story. We don’t just want to assist you in your personal injury case. We want to leverage the full power of all of our experience to your advantage, helping you to get the financial compensation and other results that you so richly deserve. To find out more information about drunk driving accidents and personal injury law, or to speak to someone about your situation directly, please contact Harshbarger Law today.