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DUI Accident Lawyer Serving Pennsylvania

Car accidents can lead to lasting tragic consequences. In the United States, car crashes remain one of the most common causes of severe injury and death. According to the NHTSA, drunk driving results in roughly 30% of all traffic crashes leading to fatalities.

If you were injured by a drunk driver in Hazleton, you have the right to recover compensation. Reaching out to an experienced Hazleton drunk driving accident lawyer means you can hold someone accountable for their negligence. You can then obtain the compensation you need for your recovery. Contact the Hazleton car accident lawyers at Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help.

$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

Hazleton Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

An average of 32 people die every day from drunk driving-related crashes in the United States. This amounts to an average of one death every 45 minutes from drunk or impaired driving. Most of the drunk drivers in these accidents were under the age of 30, with many being underage drivers. Additionally, the CDC estimates that in 2020, 30% of all traffic-related deaths resulted from drunk drivers.

Pennsylvania reported over 9,000 crashes in 2021 resulted from alcohol, with roughly 6500 of these involving a legally intoxicated driver. Vehicle accidents resulting from drunk driving only made up roughly 8% of all accidents in Pennsylvania. However, these accidents resulted in 25% of all roadway fatalities.

The Greater Hazleton area has many distribution and manufacturing plants, as well as Pennsylvania’s major Interstates 80 and 81. These facts increase the risks for all types of accidents, particularly those with commercial vehicles and trucks. In 2020, Luzerne County was identified as one of the top 10 counties in Pennsylvania with the most vehicle accident fatalities.

A Hazleton drunk driver accident accident lawyer preparing to make a statement in court

What to Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver

The moments after a drunk driving accident can be incredibly stressful for an injured person. However, it is important to remember to take the following steps to protect your rights to compensation.

  • Call and report the accident to the police
  • Seek medical attention, even if you do not feel like you were injured
  • Refuse to give a recorded statement until you meet with an attorney
  • Call a lawyer with experience in drunk driving crashes
  • Work with your attorney to gather evidence such as photos, witness information, and medical reports

Taking these steps can help you keep control of the case in the hands of you and your attorney. Keeping these steps in mind can make all the difference in getting full compensation in your drunk driving injury case.

Recovering Compensation for a Drunk Driving Injury in Civil Court

It is important to understand the distinction between criminal charges and civil charges when it comes to drunk driving injuries. If the person who caused your drunk driving accident received criminal charges, that does not automatically mean you will be compensated. You will still need to seek remedies in civil court.

However, this does mean that if the drunk driver in question is not charged with a DUI in criminal court, you still have the right to sue for damages in civil court. Criminal and civil injury cases operate under different rules and proof requirements. Juries in civil court will often rule in favor of the injured person with solid evidence.

Legal Procedures in Drunk Driving Cases

All states consider a BAC of 0.08% as the legal limit for a DUI conviction. A person with a BAC higher than 0.08% will experience coordination problems, impairment of object and speed perception, and issues with visual function.

Pennsylvania operates under penalty tiers dependent on the drunk driver’s BAC, with adjusted penalties for BACs of 0.08, 0.10, and 0.16 or higher.

Underage drivers are subjected to a lower DUI threshold than adult drivers. In addition, commercial truck drivers cannot have a BAC higher than 0.04% within two hours of driving.

Any driver operating a car, motorcycle, bicycle, boat, or even a moped or lawn mower can be subjected to a sobriety test if an officer has reasonable suspicion someone is intoxicated. A police officer may also issue a breathalyzer test to confirm levels of intoxication before or after an accident.

Your Options as a Drunk Driving Injury Victim

If you were the victim in a car crash relating to the intoxication of another, you have the right to seek legal representation for recovering compensation.

You may be able to seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills – You are likely facing high medical costs for your immediate recovery, and may need compensation for potential future bills
  • Lost wages – Your injuries likely prevented you from working to your full capacity, resulting in lost compensation
  • Personal care and recovery costs – Car accidents can cause whiplash, concussions, and other injuries requiring physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress – Your injuries likely lead to incredible pain, and the accident itself may have been a traumatic experience
  • Loss of Life Enjoyment – If the accident was severe, your injuries may have resulted in a loss of enjoyment in your day-to-day activities
  • Wrongful death – If your loved one died in an accident related to a drunk driver, you can recover compensation for loss of companionship

If the accident resulted in catastrophic injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for loss in future earning potential and lifelong disability care. An experienced drunk driving injury lawyer can work with economic experts to calculate the total compensation you need for these lifelong losses.

a Hazleton drunk driving accident lawyer speaks with a client

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Hazleton Drunk Driving Accident?

In criminal court, law enforcement can file charges against a drunk driver. These charges will vary depending on the circumstances of the accident, and will often be more severe if the driver caused severe injuries or the death of another. A first-time offender will be fined while a repeat offender may end up losing their license.

Even if criminal charges stick against the person who caused your injuries, you will still need to file for injury compensation separately. A drunk driving lawyer can help you proceed through this process.

While liability in both a criminal and civil drunk driving case nearly always rests solely on the drunk driver, in some cases additional parties may be liable. Bartenders and other commercial workers who served alcohol to the drunk driver can also be at fault. Even non-commercial hosts may also share liability.

Holding a Vendor or Host Liable for a Drunk Driving Injury

When it comes to holding someone in addition to the drunk driver accountable for an accident, two types of liability can come into play:

  • Dram Shop Liability – Holds commercial alcohol sellers liable for damages caused by a drunk driver they have served
  • Social Host Liability – Holds private individuals who served a drunk driver alcohol in a non-commercial context liable for damage

Pennsylvania is one of 31 states with active social host liability laws, and one of 42 states that have enacted dram shop liability laws. This means that you may be able to seek compensation from hosts, bartenders, and restaurant staff for your injuries caused by a drunk driver. A drunk driving lawyer can investigate your case to determine all liable parties.

Get Compensation if You Were Injured by a Drunk Driver

If you were injured by a drunk driver, it is important to speak with an attorney right away. Your rights to compensation may be limited by the statute of limitations and filing procedures. An experienced drunk driving lawyer can ensure your case is fully investigated, calculate your best compensation, and guarantee all necessary documentation is filed on time.

At Munley Law, our attorneys are experienced in holding negligent drunk drivers accountable for their actions. With over 60 years of experience, our attorneys have an established reputation as legal experts in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. We have obtained millions for innocent injured victims in drunk driving cases. Our team can fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a catastrophic accident.

Reach out to us today online or call us for a free case evaluation with our team. Someone will be available to speak to you about your case 24/7.

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    197 N Cedar St,
    Hazleton, PA 18201
    +15705369498

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