Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

No matter what, there will always be people who think it’s safe to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. They think they’re invincible, but unfortunately, they’re not. Every time they get behind the wheel, they’re putting themselves and others at risk. 

Car accidents caused by drunk drivers can be especially devastating. You may be filled with anger and stress over what someone did to you, how their careless actions changed your life. The best way to take action is to file a car accident lawsuit. That way, you can receive the compensation that you deserve for your damages—such as medical bills, lost wages, and more. 

Drunk Driving Statistics

According to a study completely by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 37 people die every day in drunk driving crashes in the US. That’s one death every 39 minutes. And these numbers aren’t going down. In 2021, there was a 14% increase in deaths caused by drunk driving across the United States. 

In Florida, there have been a total of 7,573 deaths as a result of drunk driving from 2009 to 2018. Adults in Florida also reported that they drove after drinking too much in greater numbers when compared to the national average (2% to 1.7%). 

An overwhelming majority of drunk drivers are male (5.9 for every 100,000 people) and between the ages of 21 and 34 (8.0 for every 100,000 people). The CDC also reports that things like alcohol-impaired driving laws, publicized sobriety checkpoints, and ignition interlock devices have helped to decrease the amount of drunk drivers on the road. 

Why is Drunk Driving so Dangerous?

When a driver’s blood alcohol concentration goes up, they slowly begin to lose certain abilities. This is otherwise known as becoming “impaired.” Here are some effects on driving at certain BAC levels. 

  • .02: Loss of judgement begins, drivers are more relaxed, heightened mood. Visual functions decrease. Drivers may not be able to perform two tasks at the same time. 
  • .05: Loss of small-muscle control, such as keeping your eyes in focus. Less alert, less inhibitions. Coordination is reduced, and steering may be more difficult. Drivers also may have a reduced ability to respond to emergency situations or changes in traffic. 
  • .08: Poor muscle coordination, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. It becomes harder for drivers to detect potential danger. Drivers may also have short-term memory loss or trouble processing information like turn signals, traffic lights, and more. 
  • .10: Reaction time, speech, and coordination are noticeably deteriorated. Drivers may not be able to stay in their own lane at this point. 
  • .15: Major loss of balance and vomiting may occur at this level. Drivers won’t be able to pay attention to the road at all and will barely be able to process visual and auditory information. 

Driving with a BAC over zero is dangerous for anyone. However, the higher a driver’s BAC gets, the more dangerous it is to get behind the wheel. The higher someone’s BAC is, the more likely they are to hurt themselves or someone else. 

Evidence Used in a Drunk Driving Case

In order to file a drunk driving lawsuit, you’ll need to be able to prove that the party that hit you was intoxicated. In many cases, the investigating police officer will perform a breathalyzer or other sobriety test at the scene of the accident and record this information in the police report. However, other evidence can help strengthen your case, such as:

  • Photo and video evidence from witnesses, security cameras, or dash cameras
  • Your personal statement
  • Eyewitness and expert witness statements 
  • Your medical bills and doctor’s notes 
  • Documents showcasing any time you missed from work 

With all of this evidence, you’ll not only be able to prove that the driver was intoxicated—but you’ll be able to prove that because of their intoxication, you were injured. And, as a result of those injuries, you have incurred actual damages. 

Receiving Compensation for Your Damages

Drunk driving accidents can cause serious or life-threatening injuries. These types of injuries often require intense medical treatment, such as hospitalization, surgery, follow-up visits, prescriptions, and more. Receiving this type of long-term treatment is expensive. Some people, like those with traumatic brain injuries, may pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in their lifetime for care. 

Thankfully, we can help you receive compensation for those damages, and more. There are two types of damages, economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover losses with an associated monetary value, such as medical bills and lost wages. 

Non-economic damages cover more abstract losses, such as pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and scarring. 

While economic damages are calculated by looking at the monetary value of the loss, non-economic damages are calculated by looking at your quality of life, and how it’s changed because of the accident. The greater change you’ve experienced to your quality of life, the more compensation you’ll receive for non-economic damages. 

Hire a Car Accident Attorney to Represent You

Drunk driving cases can be complex. Not only will the at-fault driver have a personal injury lawsuit filed against their insurance company, but they’ll also have a criminal case going on alongside it. Working with an experienced drunk driving attorney is the best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your total damages. 

If you’re ready to speak with a drunk driving attorney about your losses, please contact Osborne & Francis online or at (561) 293-2600. We’re eager to answer any questions you might have. 

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