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Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

If you were injured in an accident with a drunk driver, an expert accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is ready to fight for your rights. When someone chooses to drink and drive, they risk their own lives, as well as the lives of everyone around them. If you have been injured in a car accident by a drunk driver, the law is on your side. If you were in a car accident because of someone else's mistake, don't worry; the law is on your side. You can seek justice and compensation for your injuries.

$32 Million Wrongful Death

$26 Million Truck Accident

$17.5 Million Car Accident

$12 Million Product Liability

$9 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$7.5 Million Auto Accident

$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident

$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

$5 Million Medical Malpractice

$5 Million Bus Accidents

The Legal Consequences of a Drunk Driving Accident

marion munley drunk driving accident attorney

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 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. The driver could receive up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

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 accident victim.

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. Suppose you suspect that the driver who caused your accident may have been under the influence. In that case, 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.
  • Thirty percent of fatal car accidents in the United States are related to drunk driving.

The Different Types of Drunk Driving Car Accidents

truck accidents caused by cars

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 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.

Head-On Collisions

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 instead brake, beep your horn, and flash your lights. In some cases, the drunk driver will attempt to steer back into the proper lane.

Motorcycle Accidents

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 numerous factors 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
  • Sprains
  • Skull fractures

What To Do If You Are in an Accident With a Drunk Driver

Chris Munley DUI accident lawyer

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 only give a recorded statement to police officers or the insurance company once 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 likely be in shock following the accident, but you must 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 .

Gather Evidence

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 help back up your claim 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 challenging to collect future medical expenses should injuries emerge.

Start a journal or folder to collect all of your documents relating to the accident. Record 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 should call a personal injury lawyer who has experience with drunk driving crashes. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we help drunk driving accident victims 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.

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?

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers

Finding an attorney who handles complex drunk driving accidents can be tricky as not all law firms have the time and resources to take 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 to represent me in my personal injury case?
  • How do I pay you for your legal representation?
  • Do you have reviews from past clients that I can see?

Not all law firms have the professional resources needed to handle drunk driving collisions or 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.

The Scope of Compensation for Impaired Driving Accident Victims

In Pennsylvania, personal injury victims of drunk driving accidents can recover damages that generally fall into two categories: economic and noneconomic. The purpose of these damages is to compensate victims for their losses.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are for financial losses you've suffered because of the accident. These financial losses may include: 

  • Medical Expenses: This covers all past, present, and future medical bills connected to the accident, including ambulance rides, emergency room visits, doctor appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and medical devices.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can recover compensation for lost wages during your recovery period. Lost pay may also include lost future earning potential if your injuries impact your ability to work long-term.
  • Property Damage: This damage extends to any damage to your vehicle or other personal property sustained in the accident.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Any additional costs you must pay upfront due to the accident, such as transportation to medical appointments, home modifications to accommodate your injuries, or childcare if you can't care for your children yourself.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are for losses that don't involve money. These intangible losses include but are not limited to:

  • Pain and Suffering: This compensates for the physical and emotional pain you experience due to your injuries.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This covers the inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed because of your injuries.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: This compensates for any permanent physical scars or disfigurement resulting from the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: This compensates a spouse for losing companionship, intimacy, and other marital benefits due to the injured victim's condition.

Drunk Driving and Punitive Damages

Pennsylvania law allows for punitive damages in some personal injury cases, particularly those involving drunk driving. Punitive damages are meant to punish the drunk driver for their recklessness and to prevent others from doing the same thing.

It's important to note that the amount of compensation you receive will depend on how severe your injuries are and how they've impacted your life. A personal injury attorney experienced in drunk driving accidents can help you understand your options and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys?

Suppose you are injured or have lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk driver. In that case, 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 in Pennsylvania and 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 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 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 upfront or out of pocket.

Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a Pennsylvania drunk driving accident? 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

Don't face a drunk driving accident or car wreck alone. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can fight for you. To learn more, take a look at our drunk driving FAQ.

What Are the Penalties For a DUI?

The penalties for a DUI are typically possible fines and prison time. The following are the impairment penalties for drunk drivers in Pennsylvania.

  • 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, fines of $5,000 to five years, and fines of $10,000.

Do Drunk Driving Standards Change for Large Truck Drivers?

Yes, if you are injured in a drunk driving collision with a truck driver, the limits on BAC do change. A truck driver cannot have a BAC of .04% or greater within 2 hours of driving. A truck driver will face criminal charges and 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?

You can still recover damages if you were partially at fault for a car crash. 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 that 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?

Driving drunk puts not only driver's life at risk but also 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.

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.

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. Our drunk driving accident lawyers stand up for the rights of people injured or killed in car accidents caused by impaired drivers. For a free case evaluation, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.

Do I Have A Case?

If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact us now for a FREE consultation.

    Do I Have a Case?

    If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact us now for a FREE consultation.

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