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What are the costs associated with a drunk driving accident?

Drunk driving is a very real problem throughout Tennessee and the United States as a whole. Intoxicated drivers have impaired judgment, decreased reaction times, and slowed motor skills. These factors, when combined with the operation of a motor vehicle, can be deadly. Victims of a drunk driving accident can be left severely harmed, sometimes suffering permanent disability or even death. Recovering from such a wreck can be physically painful, emotionally trying, and financially devastating.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated the costs associated with both a fatal and an injurious drunk driving accident, and the numbers are staggering. For an injurious crash, the estimated costs for a drunk driving accident victim are nearly $100,000, almost evenly split between monetary costs and loss of quality of life. For fatal drunk driving wrecks, a family loses, on average, $3.5 million. Here, slightly more than $1 million in damages come in the form of monetary costs like medical expenses and funeral costs, while nearly $2.5 million in damages come in the form of loss of quality of life.

Though prevention programs, increased sobriety checkpoints, more vigilant police, and harsh criminal penalties may help curb drunk driving, these measures do nothing to help victims and their families alleviate their financial losses. Perhaps the only way to remedy such a situation is for victims and their families to file a negligence lawsuit against the party or parties who harmed them.

The mere thought of going through the legal process can be daunting. Yet, experienced Knoxville attorneys are willing and able to help victims assess their case. After thorough contemplation of the facts and the law, victims may be able to make legal decisions that allow them to recover the compensation to which they are entitled.

Source: NHTSA, "Impaired Driving in the United States" accessed on Feb. 20, 2015

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