Drunk Driving Accidents and Injuries

drunk driving accident

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 Can Be Held Liable for Drunk Driving Injuries?

Determining the cause of a drunk driving accident may seem simple, since the drunk driver was obviously negligent. However, depending on the circumstances, other parties may share the blame as well. After a drunk driving accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against:

  • Impaired Drivers: Both drugs and alcohol can contribute to a DUI related injury. If you sustained a serious injury or lost a loved one due to an impaired driver’s actions, then his or her insurance policy should compensate you for your losses.
  • Vendors: As a rule, bartenders and vendors have a responsibility to monitor when a customer orders a drink. Pennsylvania law restricts the sale of alcohol to someone younger than 21 years of age. Additionally, there are laws against selling to someone who is impaired or visibly intoxicated. If a vendor violates these laws, then you may be able to hold the business or owner accountable for your accident and injuries under Pennsylvania dram shop law.
  • Party Hosts: “Social hosts” (people who are hosting a party or event that serves alcohol) have a legal responsibility to refrain from furnishing alcohol to minors. If the host knowingly allows a minor guest to drink and that guest later causes a drunk driving accident, then the host may be liable for the injuries and damages.

Injured? Call Our Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

The accident attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., believe in protecting victims’ rights. Our record of success stems from our experience and compassion. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today to speak with one of our Philadelphia drunk driving accident attorneys. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In a free initial consultation, we can review your situation and let you know how we can help.