A night out on the town can take a tragic turn if you come into contact with someone driving under the influence. The CDC reports that impaired drivers are involved in about 30 percent of all collisions, with one person dying every 48 minutes in a crash caused by someone driving under the influence.
If you are involved in an auto accident with an intoxicated driver, do not accuse the driver of being impaired and do not listen to his or her attempts to talk you out of calling the police. Write down as much information about the accident as you can, since impaired drivers will at times attempt to flee the scene before the police arrive.
Request immediate medical attention for any injuries you sustain, even if they seem relatively minor. The jolt of adrenaline you receive when you’re involved in an accident can limit your ability to accurately assess an injury. If you fail to see a doctor right away, this may cause problems if you decide to seek future compensation for your injuries.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered a serious criminal offense. In Idaho, a first time DUI carries jail time of up to six months, fines of up to $1,000 and between 90 and 180 days of license suspension even if the accident causes no injury or property damage. And, for subsequent situations, there is a 10 year look back period in which prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing.
We handle the civil side of these cases for the times an impaired driver causes property damage and/or serious injury. The civil suit covers reimbursement costs for your medical care, damage to your vehicle, lost wages, any future reduction in earning capacity and the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
If someone is killed in an accident involving a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the decedent’s estate or heirs can file a wrongful death claim. Such claims are must be made on behalf of a close family member, such as a spouse, parent or child. A wrongful death suit can seek reimbursement for medical expenses, funeral costs and lost wages, as well as compensation for the loss of companionship the decedent provided the plaintiff(s).
Protecting Your Legal Rights
A skilled personal injury attorney can help protect your legal rights if you or someone you love has been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to helping families receive the compensation they deserve to move forward with their lives after an auto accident. Please give us a call today at (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.