Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Mobile
It is an unfortunate fact that countless number of drivers get behind the wheel after consuming an alcoholic drink or two, or more, and are involved in an auto accident. Even one glass of wine or a beer can be a contributing factor to a drunk driving accident, especially when combined with other bad decisions such as speeding, failure to yield, tailgating, and drug use.
The decision to drink and drive has given Alabama the dubious distinction of being 5th in the nation for the highest rate of impaired driving deaths. Alabama’s roads are among the nations’ most dangerous with a drunk-driving fatality rate of 5.49 per 100,000 drivers.
That translates to 268 drunk driving fatalities in the state in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Every year in Alabama, there are between 240 and 298 alcohol-related fatalities on our roads and those numbers seem to be holding steady, despite education efforts.
According to NHTSA, one-out-of-three fatalities involved a driver who had some degree of blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Head-on collisions after drinking accounted for 14.6% of all driving fatalities in 2017.
In addition to injury and death, a DUI-related auto accident can lead to a number of serious charges, license suspension, fines, and jail time.
J. Allen Brown is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has represented clients in Alabama who have been injured in DUI accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by an impaired driver, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses, and that driver should be held accountable.
What is Drunk Driving?
Not only is drunk driving illegal, but it is reckless and likely to cause harm to others.
A driver is considered alcohol-impaired when:
- His BAC is 0.08% or higher, though impairment can
occur with any degree of alcohol consumption.
- An officer at the scene has an option to arrest a
driver even if the BAC is below that 0.08% threshold. It is up to the officer’s
discretion to decide if the driver appears impaired.
- NHTSA reports that 68% of deaths associated with drunk driving involved at least one driver who was intoxicated at nearly twice the blood alcohol content (BAC) level or .15% or higher.
- The legal drinking age in Alabama is 21, so for
underage drivers, the state says they shall not drive a vehicle if there is
even a 0.02% alcohol in their blood.
- School bus drivers can have no more than .02% BAC and .04% for commercial vehicle drivers.
A field sobriety test may be used with an instrument that measures the amount of alcohol in exhaled breath. The alternative is a blood test taken from the motorist.
A drunk driving accident can result in a range of penalties since Alabama takes this offense very seriously.
DUI- Who is At Fault?
While driving drunk is illegal and there are criminal penalties the at-fault driver may face, that is of little consolation if you are dealing with a death or life-altering injuries.
Families can be thrown into turmoil if the breadwinner is unable to return to work and the family is facing mounting medical bills. You deserve relief from this drivers’ reckless decisions.
Not only may the drunk driver be the at-fault party, but attorney Brown will prepare your case by investigating whether any others may have contributed to the accident.
For example, under Alabama law, a bar or liquor store who serves someone who appears to be intoxicated may also be held responsible for the accident. These are known as Dram Shop Laws (Alabama Code §6-5-71), and Alabama is one of 43 states that have some version of these laws.
Additionally, a social host could face liability for providing alcohol in excess to guests who appear intoxicated or to underage guests.
In that case, the injured party would file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the driver, and a dram shop claim against the bar or establishment. In the case of a party or open air alcohol venue, a claim against the vendor or social host.
The laws are intended to hold anyone responsible for your DUI injuries accountable, including an individual, or business third party.
DUI Accident Injuries and Costs
Do not speak to the insurance company for the other side or the other driver after any DUI auto accident.
The insurance company does not have your best interest at heart and will rarely make an offer that satisfies the degree to which you are injured.
Your injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head, neck, spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Burns or loss of limbs
Your injuries may involve thousands of dollars in medical
bills, the cost of rehabilitation, lost wages, disfigurement, and pain and
suffering. You or your loved one may never again be able to return to work in
the same capacity following your auto accident.
Actual damages will allow you to recover the quantifiable losses caused by someone else’s negligence to cover the costs of your injuries.
Exemplary damages include non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. In many DUI accident cases, we will ask for punitive damages which are intended to punish the bad decisions of the at-fault driver.
Nearly all personal injury cases must be filed within two
years of the date of injury under Alabama law, so it is recommended that you call
our office as soon as you can following the injury.
Contact Our Mobile, AL Law Firm
An experienced Alabama DUI accidents attorney, J. Allen Brown will work hard to protect your rights and seek the best avenue to file your civil claim against the at-fault party.
Whether we negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver or prepare your case for trial. Either way, you will have a skilled, caring, advocate on your side.
Call J. Allen Brown at 251-220-3199 to arrange a meeting in his Mobile office so he can begin gathering the facts of your case and answer any questions you may have during this difficult time. Please do not decide to go it alone.