If you have been injured by an intoxicated driver, he or she may be liable for your damages regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Since it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, drunk drivers may be presumed negligent by the court.
At the law firm of McCarthy Weisberg Cummings in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, our attorneys hold drunk drivers financially accountable for the injuries they cause. We offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions about DUI accidents.
Criminal and Civil Penalties for Drunk Drivers
Drunk drivers who injure people in accidents may be subject to both criminal and civil court proceedings. The criminal justice system is about punishing the drunk driver.
The civil justice system, on the other hand, is about compensating the victims.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you can seek compensation for all of the damages you have suffered, including past and future medical care, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent impairment. The court may also award you punitive damages, which is additional compensation intended to punish the reckless behavior of driving drunk.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit, for example, if you were hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver. If you lost a loved one due to a drunk driver’s actions, you could file a wrongful death suit. While the inebriated driver will face punishment by the law, filing a lawsuit could be your only chance of obtaining compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Bar and Restaurant Liability
If the drunk driver was served alcohol at bar or restaurant when he or she was obviously intoxicated, the establishment may also be liable for your damages. It will extremely important to get in touch with a DUI attorney in Harrisburg to try and obtain compensation from a bar or restaurant, however. It can be extremely difficult to prove this type of case.
For example, you’ll have to not only prove that a restaurant or bar employee provided alcohol to a patron who was visibly intoxicated, but you’ll also have to prove that the driver was intoxicated when they left the establishment. In addition, you’ll have to show evidence that the reasonable actions of the bar or restaurant led to the accident.
To prove this type of case, you will very likely need witnesses to confirm that they saw the patron swaying, slurring or otherwise indicating intoxicated behavior. The timeline between the bar or restaurant’s service and the DUI car accident will also be critical. If there was too much time in between, it will be very difficult to assign liability to the establishment.
The defense may be able to argue, for example, that the intoxicated person went to a house party after leaving the bar/restaurant, and that was the reason the accident occurred. You’ll need an experienced DUI attorney to make the strongest case possible to hold the establishment accountable for the actions of its employees in helping to cause the accident.
To ensure that you receive full compensation for everything you have lost, our lawyers for DUI cases will seek compensation from all possible sources, including your own coverage for uninsured or under insured drivers.
Contact A Lawyer Today
For a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers regarding a DUI accident claim or DUI injury settlements, call 717-238-5707 or contact us online. If you have been injured by a drunk driver or have tragically lost a loved one, we can help. We represent clients in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding cities.