Handcuffs, car keys, alcohol

Personal Injury Rights Associated with a Drunk Driving Accident

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports that there were nearly 5,000 alcohol-related car accidents in 2010. Driving under the influence is a serious issue in the state.

In Oklahoma, it is against the law for motorists to have a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or above. When a drunk driver is involved in an accident, he or she can cause serious harm to others, as well as property damage.

Driving while drunk leads to all types of injuries. In the worst cases, it can result in death. Some of the most frequent accident injuries include the following:

  • Bone breaks
  • Brain harm
  • Lacerations of the body
  • Spinal cord injuries

This list makes up only a sample of the harm that can be experienced in a drunk driving car crash.

After an accident, many people are not able to work. The financial consequences of being a victim can be life changing. The good news is that a person injured in a serious accident may pursue legal action against a reckless driver.

Recovery in a personal injury suit

Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, additional recovery may available to an accident victim or his or her family. Specifically, a harmed individual could potentially sue a drunk driver for compensatory or punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are generally used to compensate the victim for financial loss, which resulted from the crash. For example, one might pursue compensatory damages for the following:

  • Medical treatment and medical costs.
  • Medication costs.
  • Property damage.
  • Lost wages.

There may be financial losses that evolve from the incident. If this is the case, the victim could work with his or her attorney to pursue recovery.

Accountability beyond the motorist

In some cases, additional parties - other than the driver - could be a fault for the victim's harm. In Oklahoma, an individual may seek recovery against a drinking establishment, including a bar or restaurant, for accident-related harm. These regulations, dram shop laws, prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to the following persons:

  • Those under age 21.
  • Those who are visibly intoxicated.

If one is harmed in an auto accident, and the motorist was served in violation of the aforementioned dram shop laws, the victim (or victims) could initiate a case against negligent parties who provided illegal service.

The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be serious and consuming. Moreover, the financial consequences can be detrimental to a family. If you or a person very close has been involved in a serious collision involving drunk driving, take the time to speak with a seasoned personal injury law attorney.