Typically, a serious drunk driving accident results in two separate cases. The driver may have to defend against criminal chargers, while in the civil forum; the victim may pursue a personal injury claim. The offending driver may indeed be facing serious criminal penalties, not to mention a sizable monetary obligation if he or she loses the civil lawsuit.
These legal consequences may serve an important role in deterring many individuals from driving after they have been drinking. Yet nearly one-third of traffic deaths in the United States continue to be alcohol-related. Drunk driving continues to cause far too many serious or even fatal injuries in Pennsylvania and across the country.
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Enforcement efforts are becoming more aggressive, such as Pennsylvania approving sobriety checkpoints and lawmakers discussing penalties such as ignition interlocks. Given this political climate, a victim of a drunk driving crash may be approached by the offending driver’s insurance company with a settlement claim. Yet a quick resolution may not be the best. Without an attorney’s help, unfortunately, this offer most likely will not be the full recovery that a crash victim deserves.
Our law firm can help a crash victim value his or her potential claim. If a settlement offer has been made, we can offer advice on whether that amount is fair or should be rejected in favor of a lawsuit.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control, “Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Pennsylvania,” copyright 2014, CDC