Minnesota makes more than 25,000 drunk driving arrests each year, and that just represents the number of people who have been caught in the act. Odds are the number of people who get behind the wheel when they are under the influence is multiples times higher, and this can make the road a dangerous place. If you are injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, you may believe you have a slam dunk case, but you may have additional options at your disposal. We explain your compensation options if you are injured by a drunk driver in this blog.
Injured By A Drunk Driver – Your Options
If you were injured in a traffic accident involving a drunk driver, odds are you’re going to be very angry about the situation. However, don’t let this anger lead you to make misguided decisions or jump at the first award option. The case should be pretty easy to prove, but maximizing your award amount will only be possible with a lawyer by your side.
Minnesota is considered a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, but drunk driving claims are a little different. The other driver will be charged with driving under the influence, but you may be surprised to learn that these criminal charges will have no influence on your civil suit. That being said, if you sue the drunk driver, their insurance company will likely admit negligence. This turns the incident into a standard automobile accident case where fault is admitted, so you’ll be able to collect property damages and medical bills, but your compensation options for pain and suffering may be limited because negligence has been admitted, but the driver’s intoxication level is not brought into the equation.
If you’re interested in getting a larger award for pain and suffering, we’ll need to work on making the driver’s intoxication a point of emphasis. One way we can do this is by determining where the driver consumed alcohol. For example, if they had a blood alcohol content of 0.24 and they had been at the same bar watching football all day, you may be able to pursue compensation from the restaurant or bar that overserved them under Minnesota’s dram shop laws.
These dram shop laws hold businesses accountable for knowingly overserving patrons. It is illegal for bars or restaurants to sell alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated, and if they do so and later that individual causes an accident, the business can be held partially responsible. By naming the bar as a co-defendant in your injury case, intoxication level will become a relevant factor in your case. How drunk the defendant was at the time of the accident, how much they drank and when they were served will all be established during your case, and this can lead to a much bigger payout from the insurance company.
Let us work to prove that both negligence and intoxication played a role in your car accident so that you can get the biggest compensation award possible. We’ll collect witness statements and review video evidence to show that the obviously intoxicated person was still able to purchase alcohol if we decide to pursue a dram shop claim. You focus on your health while we maximize your claim. If that sounds like something worth pursuing, reach out to the experienced team of trial attorneys at Hey Workers today.