A Monroe County newspaper publisher was critically injured recently in an accident that involved a drunk driver. The intoxicated driver crossed the center line and struck the publisher's vehicle head on. Authorities arrested the drunk driver and charged him with vehicular assault and his fourth DUI. A car accident like this should never happen, but when it does, legal action should be taken.
A drunk driving accident can have serious, life-altering consequences. A victim can be left disabled or with serious injuries that require long-term care. Death is also a tragic ending to these types of accidents. Yet, through all the pain and struggle of a physical and emotional recovery, drunk drivers also leave their victims in financial despair, many times unable to pay for the medical services that they so desperately need.
It is for this reason that legal action is often necessary in these situations. By bringing a lawsuit against a drunk driver responsible for a crash, a victim can obtain compensation. These awards can help pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and, in some cases, punitive damages. Once a victim obtains these recoveries, she can then focus on her physical and emotional recovery and getting life back to as close to normal as possible.
To succeed on a claim brought against a drunk driver, a victim must prove negligence on behalf of the drunk driver. A plaintiff can establish this by providing blood tests of the drunk driver that the police took. Additionally, if the drunk driver was drinking at a bar where the bartender should have prevented the patron from driving, that bar may be sued under dram shop laws. This leaves victims of drunk driving with multiple avenues to recovery.
Drunk drivers need to be held accountable for the harm they have caused their victims. While criminal proceedings can have a deterrent effect, civil suits add pressure to individuals and liquor-serving establishment to prevent drunk driving. Such harsh actions are perhaps the best way to let future negligent individuals know the consequences of drinking and driving.
Source: wate.com, "Driver charged with fourth DUI following accident with Monroe Co. publisher," Oct. 18, 2012