Accidents with a Drunk Driver in Alabama
Using a motor vehicle to get to work, to school, or to run errands and tasks is a must for many Alabama residents, and as such, there are thousands of licensed drivers in the state. When a driver gets their license, they agree to uphold a standard of care when operating a motor vehicle, which includes driving within the limits of the law.
Unfortunately, drivers do not always adhere to this standard. Not only do drivers break the law on a routine basis by speeding, making illegal lane changes, and driving while distracted, but a percentage of drivers in Alabama also get behind the wheel while intoxicated. The problem is so large in Alabama that between the years of 2003 and 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 3,190 people were killed in the state of Alabama in accidents involving drunk drivers.
Drunk drivers have no business being on the road in Alabama. When a person does decide to operate their vehicle while impaired, they increase the risk of accident and injury for everyone they may encounter – passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver in Alabama, Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, wants to meet with you today. Chip Nix can help you better understand your rights to recovery of damages, and how to hold a drunk driver liable for your injuries.
Injuries and Damages in Drunk Driving Crashes
As stated above, there were an average of more than 300 people killed per year in the state of Alabama in alcohol-related crashes over a 10-year period, highlighting just how severe and devastating alcohol-related crashes can be. This statistic, however, fails to account for the number of serious injury crashes that occurred, leaving thousands more with life-changing injuries. Some of the most common injuries that are suffered in drunk driving crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Traumatic brain injuries have the potential to occur any time that the head is impacted with a severe amount of force, or the head is shaken back and forth rapidly. While there are different types and severities of TBIs, all have the potential to significantly affect a victim’s livelihood and well-being. In some cases, TBIs are so severe that a person will never be able to return to life pre-accident.
- Spinal cord injuries. One of the most devastating accident types are spinal cord injuries, which occur when the spinal cord–the collection of nerves that runs the length of the spine–is damaged. Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent total or partial paralysis, leaving a victim in a wheelchair for the remainder of their life.
- Bone fractures, crush injuries, and amputations. When a drunk driver hits another vehicle or a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist when traveling at a high speed, the force of the accident may be so severe that (if the accident occurs in a car) the car’s frame does little to prevent severe injuries. As such, victims could sustain serious bone fractures, crush injuries, and even amputation injuries. Like TBIs and spinal cord injuries, these injury types are often very painful, expensive to correct, and have the potential to alter the course of a victim’s life forevermore.
- Soft tissue and external injuries. The body’s soft tissues refer to muscles, ligaments, and tendons that allow for movement and hold our bones in place. When these are stretched, severed, or moved quickly or forced into unnatural positions, they can be significantly damaged. While the good news is that soft tissue injuries are not life-threatening on their own, they can be disabling and very painful. In addition to soft tissue injuries, a person hit by a drunk driver may also suffer an array of external injuries, including facial injuries, lacerations, cuts, bruises, and road rash/road burn injuries.
It is important to note that the injuries listed above are only physical injuries. In addition to pain and disability, a person who is hit by a drunk driver may also incur high medical bills, suffer lost wages and income, develop psychological illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, and experience physical pain and emotional anguish. At Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, we believe victims deserve to be compensated for all of these losses.
Holding a Drunk Driver Liable for Losses
When a car crash occurs in Alabama, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for losses sustained by any of the accident victims. To recover damages for your losses, you will need to prove that the driver who hit you was indeed at fault for the crash. If the driver was drunk at the time of incident, you can use the results of a breath or blood alcohol test to prove that the driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent or above, making them guilty of both negligence and negligence per se.
However, keep in mind that even if the driver’s BAC was not tested following the crash, or the BAC reading shows that the driver was below the legal limit of .08 percent, but still had some alcohol in their blood, you can still hold the driver liable by proving that the driver acted negligently. Negligence is a breach of the duty of care owed to you, and if you can prove that the driver was: impaired to any degree; or/and performed an action that was the direct cause of your accident, you can hold the driver liable for your damages.
How Our Experienced Alabama Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Can Help You
When you are hit by a drunk driver, you deserve an advocate on your side who will fight hard for you. At the offices of Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, not only will our talented Alabama drunk driving accident lawyer help you to gather the evidence necessary to prove fault, but he will also build your case, valuate your damages, and negotiate aggressively for the settlement that you deserve. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our law firm today, call us now at (334) 279-7770 or reach out to us online.