How Common is Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is one of the most common crimes to occur in the United States. According to a 2012 study done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) based on poll data from millions of Americans, drunk driving is extremely common. In the month prior to the study, about 2% of those polled (about 4.2 million people) admitted to drinking and driving at least once.
In 2018, more than 10,000 people died in car crashes in which at least one driver was intoxicated. This means, on average, that one person in the United States is killed every 50 minutes from a drunk driving accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact the Philadelphia-based drunk driving accident attorneys at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran.
What Should I do After a Drunk Driving Accident?
There are a number of important steps you should follow if you have been in a drunk driving accident:
- Call 911 and report the accident, making sure to mention your suspicions about the other driver’s intoxication. Repeat this to first responders when they arrive and follow the direction of the EMTs if they recommend medical intervention. If you do not go to a hospital for treatment, schedule an appointment with a doctor or urgent care for soon after the accident.
- Assuming you are not in dire need of medical attention, getting as much evidence to support your claims against the other driver. Do not interfere with emergency workers, but taking photos of the scene, gathering eyewitness statements and contact information, and the other driver’s insurance information can go a long way. Documenting intoxicated behavior and road conditions can also help.
- Avoid making statements that can be used against you later. Even when dealing with police and emergency services, it’s important to stick to the facts. Refrain from making statements that imply you could have done more to avoid the accident.
- Avoid interacting with the other driver and wait for emergency services if possible. Don’t make any contrary statements to them or entertain possible settlements outside of a courtroom setting.
- Avoid making public statements or social media posts, as these could hurt your chances of a settlement. Instead, speak to one of our Philadelphia-area drunk driving accident attorneys who is well versed in dealing with the intricacies of drunk driving cases.
What Kind of Damages Can I Expect for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?
The levels of compensation vary from case to case. In Pennsylvania, there are two main types of damages as they relate to drunk driving: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory refers to damages awarded to a drunk driving victim with the intent to make them “whole” again. These can include:
- Medical Expenses: Usually one of the largest factors for damages, these include hospital stays, tests, procedures, and medication, regardless of whether those are current or future charges.
- Lost Wages: These also include current and future wages lost due to the accident.
- Lost or Damaged Property: Drunk driving accidents usually involve other vehicles, but can also involve homes and other personal property. The cost of damage and replacement for these effects are factored into damages.
- Pain and Suffering or Living with a Disability: Some drunk driving cases result in the victim living with a disability as a result of the accident, usually with associated pain and suffering.
- Changes in lifestyle: Often disability and injury leads to a complete change in lifestyle for the victim, which severely impacts their life and livelihood.
- Funeral expenses
In Pennsylvania, punitive damages are also applied in certain circumstances. If the intoxicated driver behaved in a way that was extremely reckless and dangerous, a victim can recover more damages from them. Contact our experienced Philadelphia-area drunk driving accident attorneys to discuss your case.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit?
In Pennsylvania, there are time limits for filing a drunk driving accident lawsuit. In the event that you do not file before the time limit expires, the victim loses their rights to pursue legal action for compensation. The time limit in the state is two years. Those concerned about time limits for their case should contact the Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran for a consultation.
How can a Philadelphia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help?
Our drunk driving accident attorneys at the Law Office of Jared Zafran in Philadelphia are highly skilled and well versed in the laws and regulations applicable to drunk driving cases. They aim to provide the highest level of representation for each claim and work to ensure that as a victim, you are treated with care and dignity.