Top Five Things to Know About DUI Accidents
Most people will be involved in collisions at some point in their lives. While factors beyond anyone’s control cause some accidents, most can be prevented. For example, DUI accidents are entirely avoidable, yet they still occur regularly in Mobile and the surrounding areas. DUI accidents often cause devastating harm and, tragically, can lead to fatal injuries. There are five things people hurt in DUI accidents should know from the perspective of an attorney who has investigated accident scenes, one of which is that they have the right to seek compensation. If you were hurt in a DUI crash, you should speak to a lawyer about your potential causes of action as soon as possible. The dedicated Mobile personal injury attorneys of Tobias & Comer Law, LLC, possess the skills and resources needed to hold reckless people accountable for the harm they cause, and if we represent you, we will fight to help you seek justice for your losses.Top Five Things to Know About DUI Accidents – From an Attorney Who Has Investigated Accident Scenes:Intoxicated Drivers Have Impaired Judgment and Vision
Alcohol is a sedative, which means that it decreases a person’s ability to function properly or respond quickly. Among other things, it can cause double or blurred vision and alter a person’s depth perception. It also impairs people’s judgment and decreases their inhibitions, meaning they may lack the ability to determine right from wrong or make appropriate decisions. The physical impact of intoxication can prompt people to get behind the wheel, and if they do, they typically cannot drive safely.Drunk Motorists Demonstrate a Blatant Disregard for Their Own Safety Much Less Yours
Driving while intoxicated is a known hazard. As such, people that are willing to ignore the fact that alcohol impairs their reaction times and ability to operate a car carefully blatantly disregard their own safety when they get behind the wheel, let alone the safety of any other drivers or passengers they may encounter in their travels. If they cause a collision, they may be deemed accountable for damages beyond those meant to compensate for the actual harm they cause.
Specifically, Alabama law allows for the imposition of punitive damages in car crash cases where the injured parties demonstrate that the driver caused the accident intentionally engaged in fraud, wantonness, malice, or oppression. In cases arising out of DUI accidents, there is arguably strong evidence that the intoxicated driver acted with wantonness and malice, and therefore, punitive damages are warranted.The Importance of Seat Belts and Car Seats
While you may not be able to avoid risks presented by drunk drivers, you can take measures to protect yourself, including wearing seat belts and placing children in car seats. Under Alabama law, all occupants of a vehicle being operated on a public road are required to wear a seat belt, and children under a certain weight and age must be in appropriate seats with child restraint systems.
Such laws exist for the safety of drivers and their passengers, and numerous studies show that when people wearing seat belts were involved in collisions, they fared much better than people who were not wearing seat belts. Similarly, children in car seats typically have better outcomes after accidents than those that were not in car seats. While it is important to abide by Alabama’s motor vehicle safety laws, if you do not and are involved in a crash, your failure to use a seat belt or place a child in a car seat cannot be used against you as evidence of your contributory negligence.DUI Accidents Are Avoidable, Yet Are Still Rampant
DUI accidents are completely preventable; people who consume too much alcohol to drive safely merely need to decide not to drive and make other plans for their transportation. Still, DUI accidents are rampant in Alabama. A recent study indicated that Alabama had the fifth-highest rate of fatal DUI collisions, with close to 300 occurring each year.There Are Legal Consequences for Causing DUI Accidents
People that cause DUI accidents should face legal consequences. In addition to potential criminal penalties, they may be held civilly liable for any damages they cause. Generally, a person injured in a DUI accident will pursue negligence claims against the party that caused the accident. In order to establish liability for negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, the defendant breached the duty owed, and the plaintiff suffered measurable harm as a result of the defendant’s breach. In most cases arising out of DUI crashes, liability is clear, but defendants may dispute the extent of the plaintiff’s damages.Meet With an Experienced Mobile Personal Injury Lawyer
The experienced Mobile personal injury attorneys of Tobias & Comer Law, LLC, take pride in helping people hurt in DUI accidents pursue damages for their harm, and if we represent you, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. Our office is located in Mobile, and we regularly represent plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits in Mobile and throughout Alabama. You can contact us through our form online or at (251) 432-5001 to set up a meeting.