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Philadelphia Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer

Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a car accident by a drunk driver, a Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyer at PhillyLaw can provide crucial support and legal expertise to help you navigate the complexities of your case. They can assist by thoroughly investigating the accident, gathering evidence to prove the drunk driver’s liability, and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

A car accident lawyer will also be skilled in negotiating with insurance companies to secure the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Furthermore, they are prepared to take your case to trial to fight for justice on your behalf if necessary. Working with an experienced car accident attorney can significantly alleviate the stress of the legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a drunk or impaired driver, contact a Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyer at PhillyLaw who can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Call now for a free consultation.

Holding Drunk Drivers Responsible

Holding drunk drivers responsible for their actions is crucial to not only ensuring justice for victims but also in deterring future DUI incidents. To achieve this, it begins in the legal arena where the evidence collected from the accident scene plays a significant role. Your attorney will use this evidence in court to prove negligence on the part of the intoxicated driver. This might include breathalyzer results, eyewitness testimonies, and records of any previous DUI convictions.

Furthermore, your lawyer will work to ensure that the driver faces legal repercussions for their actions, which could range from fines and license suspension to jail time, depending on the severity of the incident and state laws. Alongside legal actions, holding a driver financially responsible through civil lawsuits for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress is equally important. This dual approach seeks not only to compensate the victim but also to instill a sense of accountability in drivers, emphasizing the serious consequences of drunk driving. A personal injury lawyer at PhillyLaw will be with you every step of the way to ensure you are fully and justly compensated for any injuries sustained as the result of a drunk or impaired driver.

What to do if You Have Been Injured by a Drunk Driver

If you have been involved in a Philadelphia drunk driving accident, it is essential to take immediate steps to protect your rights and well-being.

Call the Authorities

After securing your safety and that of anyone else involved in the car accident, it’s crucial to call the police to the scene. A formal police report is not only vital for your safety but also serves as a critical piece of evidence in your legal case. The presence of local law enforcement ensures that the accident is documented properly, and they can also perform necessary sobriety tests on the suspected drunk driver, providing direct evidence of impairment at the scene.

Gather Evidence and Obtain Contact Information at the Scene

If possible, gather evidence at the scene, such as photos of the vehicles, road conditions, and any visible injuries.

Additionally, collecting contact information from witnesses can be invaluable. Witnesses to the accident can provide third-party perspectives on the event, which may support the claim of the drunk driver’s negligence. This might include observations prior to the accident, the behavior of the driver, and the moments leading up to the collision.

Contact Your Insurance Company

In the aftermath of a car accident involving a drunk or impaired driver, contacting your insurance company is a pivotal step. It’s important to notify them about the accident as soon as possible.

Your insurance policy likely has provisions for uninsured or underinsured motorists, which can be crucial if the drunk driver lacks sufficient coverage for the damages caused. Remember, while insurance companies can provide immediate assistance, it’s essential to have legal representation to ensure that your rights are fully protected and you are compensated fairly.

Consult With the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at PhillyLaw

Lastly, consult with a qualified drunk driving injury lawyer at PhillyLaw who can guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights, and work towards securing the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Pennsylvania Law Regarding Drunk Driving

In Pennsylvania, drunk driving laws are strictly enforced to maintain public safety and deter impaired driving. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in Pennsylvania is 0.08% for most drivers, but the law is even more stringent for commercial drivers, for whom the limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21, who are not allowed to have a BAC higher than 0.02%. Pennsylvania also has a tiered approach to DUI enforcement, with penalties increasing with the driver’s BAC and previous DUI offenses.

For a first-time offense with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%, penalties can include up to six months of probation, a $300 fine, mandatory alcohol highway safety school, and potential treatment when ordered. For higher BAC levels or subsequent offenses, penalties escalate to include possible jail time, higher fines, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle. This approach underscores Pennsylvania’s commitment to reducing drunk driving incidents and ensuring that offenders face significant legal consequences for their actions.

Drunk Drivers’ Liability in Civil Court Versus Criminal Court

Drunk drivers may be held responsible in both civil court and criminal court, each serving distinct purposes in the legal system. Criminal court focuses on punishing the offender for breaking the law, often involving penalties like fines, incarceration, or community service. These proceedings aim to provide justice for society by holding the defendant accountable to the state or municipality that prosecutes the case.

Conversely, civil court deals with the recovery of damages suffered by the victim, where a personal injury lawyer plays a pivotal role. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system while simultaneously pursuing your case in civil court for the compensation you deserve. They can coordinate with criminal prosecutors to gather evidence that strengthens your civil case, such as DUI test results and police reports. Additionally, your car accident lawyer can represent your interests in criminal proceedings by submitting a victim impact statement or advocating for restitution as part of the offender’s sentence.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Drunk Driving Accidents

Filing a civil lawsuit in the event of an injury resulting from a drunk driving accident involves several key steps, aimed at securing compensation for the victim. Initially, the victim, with the help of their personal injury lawyer, must file a complaint which initiates the lawsuit against the drunk driver, which articulates the facts of the case, the laws that have been violated, and the damages sought.

Subsequently, the discovery phase begins, allowing both parties to exchange information and evidence relevant to the case, such as medical records, the drunk driver’s alcohol test results, and eyewitness testimonies. This phase is critical for building a compelling argument for compensation.

The case might then proceed to pre-trial motions, where either party can request the court to rule on certain issues before the trial, potentially reducing the scope of the trial or even leading to a settlement. Most civil lawsuits for drunk driving accidents are settled out of court. Settlement negotiations can occur at any stage, guided by the lawyers from each side, aiming to reach an agreement that adequately compensates the victim without proceeding to trial.

If the case does go to trial, it is then heard by a judge or jury, which will make a determination on liability and damages based on the evidence presented. The goal of a civil lawsuit in the context of a drunk driving accident is not only to hold the offender financially accountable for the harm inflicted but also to cover the victim’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related damages. This legal avenue is crucial for victims seeking justice and financial recovery beyond what is provided through insurance claims or criminal penalties.

Types of Damages in a Civil Lawsuit for Drunk Driving Injuries

When you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, the types of damages that you can pursue in a civil lawsuit vary, but generally, they can be categorized into compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to make the victim “whole” again—to cover both economic losses, such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and property damage, and non-economic losses, which include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are not directly related to the compensation of the victim’s losses. Instead, they are awarded to punish particularly reckless behavior (like driving under the influence) and to serve as a deterrent to both the defendant and the general public from engaging in similar conduct. In Pennsylvania, whether punitive damages are awarded and the amount depend on the specifics of the case, including the severity of the defendant’s negligence and the extent of the harm caused. It’s crucial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process of identifying and quantifying the applicable damages in your specific case.

Experienced Philadelphia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers at PhillyLaw Will Help You Recover

PhillyLaw is committed to supporting victims of drunk driving accidents. Understanding the immense physical, emotional, and financial toll these car accidents can take, we offer a free legal consultation for individuals injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver. This initial review is an opportunity for you to understand your legal rights and the potential paths forward, without any obligation.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers will review the specifics of your case, answer your questions, and provide you with informed advice on how best to proceed in seeking justice and compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact PhillyLaw today to schedule your free consultation, take the first step toward recovery, and hold the responsible party accountable.