It is hard to tell if drunk driving is increasing or decreasing. While driving under the influence can have catastrophic consequences, some drunk drivers get lucky and manage to avoid both accidents and detection by authorities. This makes accurate statistics difficult to find, but overall, the data appears to indicate a decrease in drunk driving.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Reports on Drunk Driving Rates
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drunk driving deaths have decreased over the past 40 years. This is great news, but it does not necessarily mean that drunk driving itself has decreased along a similar trajectory or by a similar margin.
A chart put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that self-reported rates of drunk driving have gone down in recent years. However, these numbers can fluctuate from year to year, making it tough to say if this is an overall trend or just a phase.
Drunk driving occurs among all genders and age groups. However, the CDC reports that drunk driving-related death rates in 2018 were highest in the 21- to 34-year-old age range and amongst male drivers.
Seeking Compensation for Your Accident
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be to recover compensation for your damages in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
Depending on the nature of the victim’s injuries and the personal injury laws of their state, the recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit may be economic or non-economic.
Economic damages may reimburse you for the monetary losses you suffered because of the accident. These may include things like:
- Loss of wages or benefits: e.g., the income you would have earned if you had not been forced to take time off to recover from your injuries
- Medical costs: e.g., emergency room visits, prescription medication, medical tests, therapy sessions, etc. Both current and future medical costs may be recoverable.
- Property damages: e.g., fixing or replacing your vehicle.
Non-economic damages may reimburse you for the physical and mental costs of the accident. These may include things like:
- Pain and suffering: e.g., if you sustained painful injuries, or you were diagnosed with a mental disorder that is linked to the accident or your injuries
- Diminished quality of life: e.g., if you cannot play favorite games or sports, or if you can no longer manage certain everyday tasks independently
- Disability: e.g., your injuries resulted in a temporary or permanent physical or mental disability
What Legal Representation Can Do for You
If you would like help with your insurance claim or lawsuit, you may be able to get it in the form of legal representation. A lawyer may be able to handle multiple aspects of your case when they represent you. Their services may include:
Building Your Case
A lawyer can review and investigate your accident. This can be an important step for several reasons. First, it may back up your claim with evidence and demonstrate to the responsible party’s insurance company that you have a viable case for compensation.
Second, it can make sure that all of the liable parties are identified and held to account. In drunk driving cases, the primarily liable party is typically the drunk driver. However, in some cases, there may be other liable parties. For example, if the drunk driver’s car malfunctioned, the auto manufacturer may be liable.
Fighting for Compensation
After filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, the next step may be the negotiating table. Your lawyer can communicate with the liable party’s insurance company and negotiate with them on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer can take your case to trial.
Call Morelli Law Firm for a Free Consultation on Your Case
Regardless of the numbers—whether drunk driving is increasing or decreasing—drunk driving crashes continue to have devastating consequences for victims.
At Morelli Law Firm, we believe that drunk drivers should be held accountable for their negligent behavior. A lawyer from our firm may be able to handle all aspects of your case when we represent you. Our service areas include New York City, Long Island, New York State up to Albany, Northern New Jersey, and Philadelphia.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800. We may be able to take your drunk driving accident case on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required.