Did You Know?
-An estimated 11,773 people died in alcohol related traffic collisions in 2008.
-Three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related collision at some point in their lives.
-The costs of damages from alcohol related car crashes is approximately $51 billion.
Unfortunately, there are countless victims of drunk driving collisions every day because people don’t think that drunk driving is a serious crime. Car crashes that are caused by drunk drivers are entirely avoidable because they are caused by carelessness, not from circumstances beyond the control of the driver at fault. Fortunately, there are steps that victims of drunk-driving collisions can take and in the new Washington State Drunk Driving Collision Victim Handbook provided by the Davis Law Group outlines the legal rights for victims of drunk driving. It contains useful information to help you understand the legalities of being a drunk-driving victim, and about the monetary compensation for which you may be entitled.
In addition to potential criminal charges, drunk drivers are also liable for damages that can be used to compensate for medical bills, lost wages or income, property loss, disfigurement, injuries, loss of enjoyment of life and the death of a family member. Injuries from drunk driving collisions can have life-long implications and cause financial strain for the victims and their families. As a victim, you may be entitled to civil damages for injuries and a judge can also make the wrongdoer pay “restitution” which reimburses victims for the economic damages they have suffered, including lost wages, medical expenses, mental health counseling, etc. In addition to economic damages, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and wrongful death compensation. Although Washington State Law does not authorize punitive damages, but Davis Law Group supports a legislative amendment to our current drunk driving laws that would allow a victim to recover punitive damages from the wrongdoer.
It is important to know that drunk drivers may not be the only ones held liable. In addition to collecting civil damages and restitution, Washington’s Dram Shop law may allow you to impose liability on the drinking establishment. This law states that the establishment or social host who serves alcohol to a person who appears intoxicated, maybe civilly responsible for paying damages to victims injured in a subsequent drunk driving collision.
Under the Crime Victim Compensation Fund, Washington State provides financial assistance for victims of crimes, including drunk driving collisions. Victims of drunk driving collisions may qualify for certain benefits if they suffered an injury or severe emotional distress. In conjuncture with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Davis Law Group agrees that there are no “accidents” that cannot be prevented and are committed to informing victims of their rights when it comes to the law. This information and more can be found in Washington State Drunk Driving Collision Victim Handbook that is available now for free from Davis Law Group, P.S.