Bellevue Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
When someone drinks and then gets behind the wheel, they are not just being reckless with their own safety, but with the safety of everyone else on the road. The injuries caused by a drunk driver can be devastating and cause a lifetime of pain for the victim and their loved ones. Far too often, innocent victims are killed by drunk drivers, leaving their family consumed by grief and not knowing what to do next. At the Khan Injury Law, we defend the victims of drunk driving accidents and aggressively pursue litigation against the drunk drivers that have caused so much harm to our clients and their family members.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Drivers are considered alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter or higher. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported 10,497 deaths that occurred because of a drunk driving accident across the United States, equating to roughly one death every fifty minutes. Of those, two-thirds of the fatal accidents involved a driver with a BAC of .15 or higher. Fatal accidents involving drunk drivers accounted for 28 percent of all fatal vehicle accidents in 2016, and that year Washington state saw 537 deaths on the road from drunk drivers.
According to statistics, drunk driving accidents happen equally in rural and urban areas. They happen more often in July, May, and October than in any other months and overwhelmingly, seventy percent, happen at night. Eighty-six percent of drunk driving accidents in 2016 took place on non-interstate roads as opposed to on the highway.
Damage Caused By Drunk Drivers
When a driver gets behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol or taking drugs their normal brain function is delayed, and it affects their abilities behind the wheel. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination. Judgment, concentration, comprehension, coordination, visual acuity, and reaction time all become impaired. Drugged driving is just as dangerous because they can also affect judgment, reaction time, motor skills, and memory behind the wheel.
The injuries caused by drunk drivers can oftentimes be more severe than other types of car accidents because the driver lacks the cognition and reaction time to try and avoid or mitigate the crash. Many drunk driving accidents involve head-on collisions or roll-over accidents given the force and speed of the car of the impaired driver. The harm caused by drunk driving accidents can take years to recover from or become a lifelong injury. The most common injuries caused by drunk driving accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Bulging or herniated discs;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Nerve damage;
- Broken bones;
- Amputated limbs;
- Internal organ bleeding and damage; and
Major injuries such as these require extensive medical treatment, surgery, and rehabilitation. Some may even require expensive medical devices such as wheelchairs and make you unable to return to your normal job. The true cost for a drunk driving victim can be astronomical.
We Are Here To Help
Restitution for Drunk Driving Accidents
The people who drive under the influence and cause you harm must be held accountable for their actions, and if you have been injured by a drunk driver you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Victims of drunk driving accidents can seek restitution for compensatory and non-compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages are for out-of-pocket expenses and other physical damage. This includes medical expenses both current and future, lost wages, loss of earning potential, rehabilitation and therapy costs, and property damage. Non-compensatory damages are for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement or disability, and any other non-tangible harm. In fatal drunk driving accidents, the victim’s family can file for wrongful death compensation. This includes restitution for any final medical bills, funeral costs, and the loss of companionship, consortium, love, and security.
Under Washington law, the final compensation for personal injury claims is governed by the pure comparative negligence doctrine, otherwise known as contributory fault. This means that the court takes the award and reduces it by the percentage that the victim was found at fault for the accident. For example, if the victim of a drunk driving accident was given $1,000,000 in compensation but found ten percent at fault, the final award would be for $900,000. Pure comparative negligence applies to cases of personal injury and wrongful death.
We Know How To Recover Damages
When the reckless actions of a drunk driver hurt you and your family that person must be held accountable for their actions. You do not have to suffer through the injuries caused by a drunk driving accident alone. Contact one of the personal injury attorneys at the Khan Injury Law today to schedule a free review of your case.