If You Were Injured in an Accident With a Drunk Driver, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is Ready to Fight for Your Rights.
When someone chooses to drink and drive, they risk the lives of everyone around them. If you have been injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, the law is on your side. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our drunk driving accident lawyers stand up for the rights of people injured or killed in car accidents caused by impaired drivers.
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$26 Million Truck Accident
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$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
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$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accidents
The Legal Consequences of a Drunk Driving Accident
Drunk driving is a serious offense. Since 2002, it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Pennsylvania has a series of penalty tiers for a conviction of driving under the influence, depending on the driver’s BAC. The tiers are for .08, .10, and .16 percent or higher. The penalties include fines, loss of driving privileges, and, after a second offense, jail time, with stiffer penalties for repeat offenses. An illegal BAC is the “presumptive” standard for establishing that a driver charged with DUI was driving under the influence or while impaired.
When a drunk driver causes an accident, the penalties can be even harsher. According to Pennsylvania law, if a drunk driver caused an auto accident that resulted in an injury, you will be charged with aggravated assault. If convicted, the driver could receive up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
If the drunk driving accident results in a fatality, the drunk driver could face vehicular homicide charges, which is a third-degree felony in the Commonwealth. The punishment is a minimum of three years in jail plus a $25,000 fine for each victim of the accident.
Drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking not only face criminal charges but can face civil liability for the harm they caused. Injured victims and their families have a right to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Funeral and burial costs
After a fatal drunk driving accident, the deceased victim’s family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver. If the driver is a minor, you may also be able to hold the person or establishment who served the driver alcohol responsible for the accident.
A driver who drinks alcohol before getting into a car does not have to be legally drunk to cause an accident that results in injury or death. If you suspect that the driver who caused your accident may have been under the influence, a drunk driving accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will investigate that possibility. As the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation.
How Common are Drunk Driving Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32 people in the United States will die in drunk-driving crashes every day. Other drunk driving statistics include:
- 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2020. This is a 14% increase from 2019.
- While a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 is considered drunk, even smaller amounts can be dangerous. In 2020, 2,041 people were killed in drunk driving crashes where a driver had a BAC of .01 to .07 g/dL.
- 30 percent of fatal car accidents in the United States are related to drunk driving.
The Different Types of Drunk Driving Car Accidents
As far as drinking and driving go, any car accident can be a drunk driving accident.
Because of the way the body processes alcohol, a driver’s reaction time and ability to think clearly can really turn a minor accident into a collision resulting in severe injuries. However, some kinds of accidents are more likely to occur with drunk driving.
Rear-End Car Accidents
Because drunk drivers have trouble controlling the speed of their vehicles while also paying attention to the road, rear-end collisions can occur. Rear-end collisions may also result from inadequate stopping time at traffic lights and stop signs, to driving too close to a vehicle that is otherwise traveling at an appropriate speed.
Drunk driving accounts for most head-on collisions in the United States. As a person consumes alcohol, they may have difficulty staying in the proper lane, or following the correct direction on the highway or interstate.
If you are driving and you notice a car coming towards you, there is a chance that the driver is intoxicated. Be sure not to try to pass the driver, but rather brake, beep your horn, and flash your lights. In some cases, the drunk driver will attempt to steer back into the proper lane.
With any type of car crash, motorcyclists are more likely to face serious injuries or death. When there is an intoxicated driver, the chance of a fatal drunk driving accident is even higher.
Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
While there are numerous factors that can impact the severity of injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident — such as the speed of the vehicles, the nature of the collision, and the blood alcohol content of the at-fault driver — common injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident include:
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain damage or injuries
- Skull fractures
What To Do If You Are in an Accident With a Drunk Driver
Drunk driving accidents can be incredibly stressful for the injured victims. Intoxicated driving can result in severe injuries and long-term repercussions even if you were not at fault.
If you were in an accident with a drunk driver or another driver who has engaged in reckless behavior, there are some things you should do to preserve your legal rights.
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
You should never give a recorded statement to police officers or the insurance company until you have met with a DUI accident attorney. Any statement you make can be used against you in the claims process, or if the drunk driving accident case goes to trial. Instead, only answer what is asked of you, and do not make any assumptions about what occurred.
Report the Accident
You will be shaken following the accident, but it is important that you call the police as soon as you can. This way, there will be an official report of the incident, something you need when you file a car accident claim.
When a drunk driving accident occurs, your DUI accident lawyer will want to begin gathering evidence that supports that your personal injury case is a result of the negligence of the drunk driver.
Evidence that can be helpful in doing so includes photos, police reports, the contact information of witnesses, and your medical reports.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention following a drunk driving accident. If you decide not to get checked out, it can be difficult to collect future medical expenses should injuries emerge.
Be sure to keep a record of your injuries, any medical bills you incur from treatment, and lost time from work.
Call a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a drunk driving accident, you will want to call a personal injury lawyer who has experience with drunk driving crashes. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we help drunk driving accident victims to communicate with the insurance company, seek compensation for medical bills and related accident expenses, and seek a wrongful death claim if the collision ends in death.
By establishing an attorney-client relationship, our legal team can help you through the legal process and seek justice on your behalf.
For a free consultation, contact the drunk driving accident attorneys of Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.
How Do I Choose a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?
Finding an attorney who handles complex drunk driving accidents can be tricky as not all law firms are equipped with the time and resources to seek a personal injury case, or go to trial for a DUI accident.
To find experienced attorneys near you who handle DUI accidents, you should ask the following questions:
- Does your firm have experience representing drunk driving crash victims?
- Does your law firm have experience negotiating and litigating fatal car accidents?
- Do you have the time and resources needed to represent my personal injury case?
- How do I pay you for your legal representation?
- Are you respected by your peers and clients?
Not all law firms have the professional resources needed to handle drunk driving collisions, nor take on repeat offenders. When alcohol and drugs–prescription drugs or otherwise–impact a driver’s ability to act reasonably, victims and their families have the right to seek damages and in some cases, seek punitive damages.
Why Choose Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys?
If you are injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk driver, the car accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will hold that driver accountable for their negligence and recklessness.
Since 1959, individuals and families suffering from car accident injuries have turned to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for help. We have established a reputation as industry experts, not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the United States. We have been named among the Best Lawyers in America, listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms, and earned the best possible ratings from our clients and our peers. See some of our recent settlements and verdicts, and learn what our past clients have to say about Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
When you work with us, we deploy a team of experienced legal professionals, medical experts, and investigators dedicated to your case. Our attorneys will fight on your behalf to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you need. There is no fee unless we win, and you do not have to pay anything up front or out of pocket.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident in Pennsylvania, call us today or use our online contact form. We will review your case at no charge, and help you determine what to do next.
At our free consultation, we will answer your questions and help you make informed decisions about your legal options. To contact a drunk driving accident lawyer, fill out our online form or call us toll free for a free case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drunk Driving Car Crashes
If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, or another car wreck, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. Take a look at our drunk driving FAQ.
What Are the Penalties For a DUI?
The following are the impairment penalties for drunk drivers in Pennsylvania.
- For a BAC of .08 to .099 drivers may face up to six months of probation and a fine of $300 to up to two years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
- For a BAC of .08 to .099, drivers may face 48 hours to 6 months in prison and fines of $5,000 up to a penalty of five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- For a BAC of .16% and higher or use of a controlled substance, drivers can face 6 months in prison and fines of $5,000 to five years and prison and fines of $10,000.
Do Drunk Driving Standards Change For Large Truck Drivers?
If you are injured in a drunk driving collision with a truck driver, the limitations on BAC do change. A truck driver cannot have a BAC of .04% or greater within 2 hours of driving. Not only will a truck driver face criminal charges, but they will lose their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) for up to one year.
What Happens If I Was Partially At Fault in the DUI Accident But Was Not Drinking?
If you were partially at fault for a car crash, you can still recover damages. However, the amount of compensation you receive may be less than what you would receive if you were not at fault.
Pennslyvania follows a 51 percent comparative negligence law. What this means is if you could receive compensation for the accident as long as you are 51 percent or less at fault for the crash. However, if you are found more than 51 percent at fault, you will not be able to receive compensation.
In addition, the amount of fault can play a part in how much compensation you receive. For example, if you are found 10 percent at fault for the accident, you will receive 90 percent of the compensation.
How Can Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Help Me With My Drunk Driving Accident Case?
When a drunk driver makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, they not only put their own lives at risk but those of the drivers around them. The injuries sustained in a DUI accident can have lifelong ramifications from severe injuries, chronic pain, disability, and even death.
And, when a motor vehicle accident occurs where a driver has passed the legal limit of alcohol consumption, a lot of victims do not know their rights.
But Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help you. We take on intoxicated drivers and fight for you to get the compensation needed to move forward. For a free case evaluation, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.