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Drunk driving cases are often among the most serious car accidents people are involved in. If you have been in a car crash with a drunk driver, you should notify the driver’s insurance company immediately. The drunk driver will most often be arrested for driving drunk. That means that there could be two cases against the drunk driver. The cases can proceed at the same time. One case will be a criminal case that will be brought by the city or the state prosecuting attorney. The driver will be charged with drunk driving, and if the driver is convicted, the driver could face jail, a fine, community service, or all three.
The other case, which a personal injury attorney could work on, would be what is called a civil case. In a civil case, the drunk driver is sued, and typically the car insurance company for the driver will be forced to pay damages to the injured driver. These damages could include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but often times the cases may not overlap, meaning that the cases will be heard and decided separately. In a civil case, where the only thing the victim can receive is money for their injuries, the drunk driver’s car insurance company will be the one to work with and negotiate a settlement on behalf of the drunk driver.
Most states have strict laws when it comes to drunk driving. In Washington State, for example, the law says a person is guilty of drunk driving when the person has “within two hours after driving an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher by the person’s breath or blood or a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by the person’s blood.”
The statistics regarding drunk driving are very alarming. One third of traffic deaths involves a drunk driver in the USA, and 50% of all traffic deaths are related to drunk driving. There were 25,619 people who were arrested for drunk driving last year. And 100 people, per day, were arrested on Thanksgiving, New Years, and Christmas for drunk driving, when the drunk driving rate is at its highest.
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