Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States. It is estimated that roughly 28 people lose their lives in alcohol-related crashes each day in the United States. This averages to one drunk driving fatality every hour. During 2014, 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving accidents throughout the country.
Over one million people are arrested each year for drunk driving. Unfortunately, this number does not include individuals who choose to drive while intoxicated, but are never caught. Each time someone gets into his or her car after drinking alcohol, that person puts everyone on the road in danger.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, alcohol-related traffic statistics for the state include:
- Drunk driving accidents for the first half of 2016 (January through June) totaled 3,168
- From 2006 through June 2016, there were 74,472 alcohol-related traffic crashes in the state
- Knox County had the third highest number of drunk driving accidents for the past decade (5,164 from 2006 through June 2016)
- During 2015, 220 people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Tennessee compared to 235 deaths during 2014
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you have the legal right to sue the drunk driver who caused the accident. Contact one of our Knoxville auto accident lawyers for more information and a free consultation by calling 865-292-2307.
Proving Fault In A Drunk Driving Accident
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is illegal in Tennessee as it is in every state. A driver who is convicted of drunk or drugged driving faces severe punishments, including fines and jail time. However, a drunk driver or drugged driver also faces a civil lawsuit if someone was injured as a result of the accident.
As with any other traffic-related injury, the victim must prove that the driver was at fault for the accident AND the victim must prove he or she has suffered damages as a result of the accident. A court will not automatically assume a driver is at fault based on a DUI charge and/or conviction alone. You must have evidence proving the other driver caused the accident. A Knoxville drunk driving accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case.
Once you prove the drunk driver caused the accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. Damages in a drunk driving accident include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills and expenses, including past, present, and future medical bills
- Lost wages, including compensation for past, present, and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity, bonuses, raises, and other income
- Property damage
- Cremation, burial, and funeral expenses, in the event of a drunk driving fatality
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering
- Loss of support, guidance, companionship, and intimacy
- Long-term personal care and/or medical care
- Out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. travel expenses, medical equipment, over-the-counter medications, etc.)
- Permanent disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement
The damages in a drunk driving accident will vary according to the circumstances of each case. Our Knoxville DUI accident attorneys offer free case evaluations. Take advantage of this free legal service before you speak with the other driver’s insurance adjuster. The insurance company for the other driver is not working for you and it does not have your best interest as its top priority. Let our attorneys work for you. Our lawyers aggressively protect your legal rights and we have your best interest as our top priority.
What Should I Do If I Am In A Drunk Driving Accident?
If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, seek medical attention immediately. You need to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible for your health and well-being as well as your accident claim. Aches, pains, and other symptoms may be an indication of a more serious injury; therefore, it is always best to be checked by a physician after any traffic accident. Furthermore, you need to document your injuries in order to file an accident claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company.
Write down everything you can remember about the accident as soon as possible. Memories begin to fade. Get as much on paper as you can while it is fresh in your mind. Even the smallest detail can be very important for your case. Continue keeping notes throughout your recovery. Provide details regarding your pain level, the things you cannot do because of your injuries, and how your injuries impact your daily life and your relationships with family and friends. This information will help your attorney as he prepares a claim for physical pain and emotional suffering.
As soon as you are able, contact Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC to speak with a personal injury attorney. The insurance adjuster may try to convince you that you do not need an attorney — do not fall for this tactic. Protect your legal rights by hiring a trusted car accident attorney.
Call Our Office Today For More Information
Call Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC at 865-292-2307 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation with a Knoxville auto accident lawyer. Our attorneys are here to provide trusted legal counsel, support, and guidance as you work to put your life back together after a drunk driving accident.