Can a personal injury claim be brought against a drunk driver?

Although some driver errors may be unavoidable, it is hard to sympathize with a drunk driver whose negligence caused serious or fatal injuries to others on the road.

Alabama recently participated in a campaign against drunk driving, called Hands Across the Border. Six states participated in the initiative, which is now in its 24th year. One of the states estimates that the campaign has helped to lower drunk-driving related deaths by 12 percent. 

As a law firm that focuses on motor vehicle accidents, we have seen firsthand the devastation that a drunk driver can inflict upon other motorists. A driver under the influence can make egregious errors, such as driving the wrong way on a highway entrance ramp or crossing over his or her lane into oncoming traffic. Such a head-on collision can result in serious injuries, including spinal or brain injuries that present long-term health issues as well as diminished work capacity.

A driver’s license is akin to an agreement to follow the rules of the road. Getting behind the wheel after drinking an illegal amount of alcohol is generally seen as a breach of the duty of care that all drivers owe to each other. Consequently, an offending drunk driver may face both criminal and civil liability.

Our law firm has a team of attorneys and investigators that can thoroughly examine each detail of a crash and weave that evidence into a persuasive narrative for the jury in a civil case. After establishing a breach of the duty of care and causation, we can next focus on requesting an adequate amount of damages. A crash victim should consult with an experienced personal injury law firm before accepting the first settlement offer made by an offending driver’s insurance company.  

Source: WRBL, “Mother of drunk driving victim thankful for Hands Across the Border,” Sept. 1, 2015

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