Drunk Driving Accidents and Injuries
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys Fight for Your Rights
Drunk driving accidents are not accidents. Before the crash that caused your injury, someone made the decision to get behind the wheel of a car after he or she had been drinking. When a drunk driver injures another person in a car crash, they may be liable in both criminal and civil proceedings. The criminal case may punish the driver for breaking the law. However, it is the civil case that addresses compensation for you, the victim. Additionally, you may be able to collect compensation from several parties, depending on the circumstances of the crash.
In drunk driving cases, the attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. carefully investigate the circumstances leading to the crash to identify liable parties. Our car accident attorneys have the resources, experience and reputation necessary to help you stand up for your right to compensation. Even if the driver does not receive a conviction for driving under the influence, our legal team can help ensure that your personal injury case is successful.
How is a Civil Lawsuit Against a Drunk Driver Different from a Criminal Case?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state. As a result, when a drunk driver causes an accident, he or she may face criminal charges. These charges and the subsequent criminal case are meant to punish the drunk driver for breaking the law. If convicted, the drunk driver may face a fine, mandatory community service and/or jail time. The ultimate result of a criminal case protects people in the future. However, it does not help the victims who have already suffered injuries as a result of the drunk driver’s negligence.
Alternatively, a civil case allows victims of drunk driving accidents to seek compensation for their injuries and other expenses. In this kind of personal injury case, you may recover compensation for:
- Medical bills. This covers the cost of treatments and therapies relating to the injuries you sustained in the drunk driving accident.
- Lost wages. If you are unable to work due to personal injuries, you may seek compensation for your lost earnings.
- Pain and suffering. You may seek additional damages for the loss of quality of life caused by your drunk driving accident injuries.
- Funeral costs. You may seek personal injury compensation for these expenses if a drunk driver caused your loved one’s wrongful death.
- Punitive damages. These are damages above and beyond your actual losses, to punish the drunk driver.
Who is Liable for the Damages Cause by Drunk Driving Accidents?
In a drunk driving case, more than one person may be liable for your injuries and damages. First of all, the drunk driver is directly responsible for the crash. As a result, you may be able to collect compensation from the driver and/or the insurance policy. Additionally, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be in your best interest if the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement. If the drunk driver does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages, a lawyer can help you file a claim under your own coverage for underinsured and uninsured drivers.
In addition, you may have a personal injury claim against the establishment that sold the alcohol. Pennsylvania and New Jersey both have dram shop liability laws. These laws hold alcohol vendors like bars and restaurants accountable for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons. However, for a dram shop liability case, you must have evidence, such as security video footage or witness testimony, that proves the bartender or server sold drinks to the driver when he or she was already visibly intoxicated. These cases are often complex, so it is best to consult experienced car accident attorneys before you file a claim.
Hurt in a DUI Accident? Call Our Car Accident Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation
If a drunk driver your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys. We have law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but represent clients nationwide. We also handle cases on a contingency fee basis. So you pay us nothing unless we get results for you.