Even the most responsible of drivers aren’t safe from accidents caused by others, and of the types of other dangerous drivers on the road, drunk drivers are some of the worst. Nationally, drunk drivers are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths per year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and locally, drunk driving accidents are very common.
At the law firm of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado Springs drunk driver accident lawyers understand how terrifying and maddening being involved in a crash with a drunk driver can be. If you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver, our experienced auto accident lawyers can provide you with the representation and counsel that you need moving forward. Reach us today for your free consultation.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Colorado
Every year in Colorado, there are thousands of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and hundreds of DUI-related deaths and injuries. As reported by the Colorado State Patrol, Department of Public Safety, the years of 2016 and 2017, the most recent years for which data is available, each witnessed more than 500 drunk driver-involved deaths and injuries per year. What’s more, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, nearly 60 people are arrested for drunk driving in our state per day.
Drunk driving in Colorado is penalized with criminal penalties and administrative penalties. However, many argue that these penalties are not harsh enough, as a first-offense DWI charge is only penalized as a misdemeanor offense, and rarely result in any jail time. Regardless of the criminal consequences that a drunk driver may face, though, if you are involved in a crash with a drunk driver, you maintain the right to bring a civil action for damages against them.
Damages Caused By a Drunk Driving Accident
Being hit by a drunk driver can be an absolutely terrifying experience, as well as one that results in devastating consequences. Many of these crashes occur head on and at high speeds. In addition to the property damage costs that a victim of a drunk driving crash may face, any occupants of the motor vehicle hit by the drunk driver may suffer serious injuries, including:
Traumatic brain injuries;
Bone fracture injuries;
Spinal cord injuries;
Soft tissue injuries; and
These injuries may be very painful, expensive to treat and lead to long-term disability and impairment. In addition to injuries, a victim may also suffer lost wages and other financial harm as a direct result of the crash.
Holding a Drunk Driver Liable for Harm
If you are involved in a crash with a drunk driver, you may have the right to bring a civil action against the drunk driver to hold them liable for the full extent of harm that you have suffered. This means that you can seek compensation for the full value of your:
Property damage expenses. Any costs to damage to your vehicle or other property that was damaged in the accident, ranging from clothing to technology to personal items, can be sought by filing a claim against the drunk driver/the drunk driver’s insurer.
Medical expenses & other economic damages. Medical expenses typically comprise the bulk of an automotive claim after a drunk driving crash. You deserve compensation for all of your medical expenses, including future medical expenses you are expected to incur related to the crash. Lost wages and loss of earning potential can also be significant. You may also have suffered permanent impairment.
Noneconomic losses. The noneconomic effects of a serious crash can be significant, leaving an injured person with psychological harm, emotional distress, fear of vehicles in the future, and long periods of time dealing with physical pain and suffering.
Punitive damages. These are damages intended to punish the drunk driver.
What You’ll Need to Prove in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Bringing forth a claim against a drunk driver isn’t as simple as merely reporting the accident to the insurance company and hoping that the rest will be handled; instead, in order to get the maximum amount of compensation available to you, it’s important that you know what you’ll need to prove in order to hold the drunk driver liable. In order to win a civil action, you’ll need to prove that the drunk driver in question breached the duty of care owed to you, that the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of your accident and injuries, and that you suffered actual damages as a result. You will also need to prove that he was negligent.
Note that the burden of proof in a civil action is by a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower burden than in a criminal case, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to hold them liable; instead, you’ll need to prove that they acted negligently, and that this negligence was the cause of your accident.
At the office of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado Springs drunk driver accident lawyers know how to prove negligence and damages, and will aggressively advocate for your right to your full compensation award.
Call Our Colorado Springs Drunk Driver Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you deserve compensation and justice. At the law firm of McCormick& Murphy, P.C., our experienced drunk driving accident lawyers know how to get our clients the results that they deserve. For your free consultation with our Colorado Springs drunk driver accident law firm, please call us directly today or send us a message telling us more about your accident and injuries.