When the holidays get underway, most people focus on spending time with people they care about and celebrating safely. However, it is not uncommon for accidents to occur during this time, and often, the drunk driving accidents in Denver during the holidays are some of the most tragic. When a person who is intoxicated decides to get into a car, they put the lives of many others on the roadways at risk.
If you are the victim of drunk driving, or you lost a family member as a result of a drunk driving accident, you should seek out the help of a Drunk car accident attorney in Denver to support and guide you through the legal process. These are some of the most challenging accidents because they are often avoidable.
Why Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen During the Holidays?
The risk of being hit by a drunk driver when you are on the road during the holidays is not as low as you may believe. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 31 people died in a drunk driving accident during the Christmas holidays in the state of Colorado in recent years. Additionally, drivers under the influence accounted for about 36 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state.
When a person gets hurt due to a drunk driver, the question “Why?” commonly arises. Often, there’s no way to comprehend why someone chooses to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Yet, these accidents are much more common during the holidays for several reasons.
- People are celebrating with alcohol more often. Family gatherings and nights out with friends often lead to an increased amount of alcohol consumption.
- Some people may use alcohol to deal with the holiday as an escape and will head to the bar.
- There tend to be more people on the roadways during the holiday season, especially during peak travel weekends. With more traffic comes a higher risk of accidents, and a drunk driver is more likely to strike someone.
- There is also an increased risk of speeding and reckless driving as people go from one location to the next to find family and friends or to meet various deadlines.
- During this period, there are increased holiday gatherings, even daytime workplace events, which increases the number of drunk drivers on the roadways during the day.
- In Denver, there is also a significant increase in the number of tourists in the area. Tourists, who may not need to get up for work the next day, are also likely to overconsume alcohol as they celebrate the holidays with family and friends.
These are just some of the reasons these types of accidents occur. When a person decides to get into a car after consuming alcohol, they can be putting many other lives on the line. In these situations, you, as the victim, may have the right to pursue financial compensation for your damages.
It is Not Always Just Alcohol
You should always note that impaired driving can also refer to impairment caused by drugs, both illicit and prescription. During the holidays, a person who gets behind the wheel after using any substance that makes it hard for them to react to changing conditions is putting others at risk. This includes drugs such as benzos, cannabis, and prescription painkillers, for example.
What Makes Drunk Driving Accidents So Dangerous?
Drunk driving is more than just testing high on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. When a person’s BAC reaches a level above the legal limit of 0.08, that means that, in most cases, some level of impairment is possible, meaning a person is:
- Unable to react fast enough to changing road conditions
- Less likely to respond to light changes
- More likely to speed or swerve between lanes
- Less likely to avoid accidents when they begin to occur
- More likely to strike an oncoming driver if they doze off
These types of accidents can occur on any of Denver’s streets, including the highways, the minor routes leading to and from the area’s resorts and hotels, the large bar and restaurant areas, and even small neighborhoods.
What to Do If A Drunk Driver Hits You
If you are in a car accident with a drunk driver, you will likely call the police and receive medical care. Most of the time, these cases will result in the drunk driver receiving a citation and, in some cases, jail time and fines. Yet, much more is often at stake here for you, the victim. That is why you must follow a few steps to protect yourself in these situations to recover the compensation owed.
Get the Medical Care you Need
Get to the emergency room, document your injuries, and follow up with your medical providers. You should seek out care to restore your health and well-being. In addition to physical care, consider your emotional and mental well-being after such an event, and speak to a therapist and get support during your recovery. Your healing should be your priority.
Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Denver to Help You
One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself is to hire a drunk driving attorney. An attorney will work with you to determine the best strategy for your situation. Typically, this involves determining your losses and seeking a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company. However, this process is not always straightforward since the other driver may not have insurance or need more insurance to cover your losses.
Furthermore, insurance companies often try to pay you minimal compensation for your losses. An attorney is crucial to protect you from mistreatment by insurance adjusters and ensure fair payment. Attorneys can navigate insurance negotiations, safeguard your rights, and advocate for a fair outcome. Their involvement protects against unfair settlements proposed by insurance companies.
What Type of Losses Can You Be Owed?
When you are in a drunk driving accident in Denver, your losses can be numerous. It is not uncommon, for example, for a high-speed accident along I-270 or US 40 to cause damage, injuries, and loss of life. Even in a slower-moving accident, the damage can be significant. You should receive compensation for all of the losses you have. Your attorney can assist in identifying those, which may include:
- Medical bills: This includes emergency medical bills, costs for your in-hospital stay, ongoing care bills, fees for specialized services, and any other medical-based expenses you have to pay as a direct result of your accident.
- Property damage: If you have damage to your vehicle or other belongings due to the accident, you can also file a claim for those losses.
- Lost time at work: You may have missed some medical care and recovery time. You deserve compensation for those losses.
- Pain and suffering: Those who are in a drunk driving accident experience significant pain during the accident as well as in the recovery process. Some people also develop chronic pain.
- Emotional trauma: These types of accidents often carry emotional trauma due to what you experienced. You may need support from therapists for some time as you work to recover.
- Loss of earning capacity: Individuals confronting severe injuries, including permanent damage, may no longer perform their jobs and struggle to maintain the same earning potential.
Your car accident attorney focuses on the accident’s impact on your life, aiming to assess immediate and potential long-term consequences to get you your rightful compensation.
Who Is Responsible for Your Losses?
In many situations, a drunk driving accident looks pretty straightforward. The person who got into the car and drove it, causing your accident, is responsible. There are times when other parties may also be liable for your losses. For example, if a drunk truck driver hits you, the company that allowed the driver on the roadways (and sometimes knew of these risks) can be responsible for your losses as well. There are other times when a person continues to serve a patron at a bar alcohol, knowing they are intoxicated and driving home. They may be at fault as well.
Collaborating with an attorney remains the best approach to determining liability for your losses. Their experience helps navigate the complexities, identify responsible parties, and build a solid case to secure rightful compensation. Entrusting your case to a seasoned attorney ensures your rights are protected, improving the chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
What You Should Do Now If You Are a Victim
If you’ve become a victim of a drunk driving accident in Denver, seeking immediate assistance is crucial. Once you’ve obtained necessary medical care and filed a police report, finding a reliable attorney to guide you through this challenging situation is essential. When searching for an attorney, there are several critical factors to consider:
- Do they have experience helping victims of drunk driving?
- Does the legal team have the time to dedicate to your case?
- Does the law firm have a strong reputation for fighting to protect their client’s rights?
- Will they work to settle the case or go to court to fight for maximum compensation?
- Can they handle more complicated cases, such as those involving truck accidents?
- What are their client testimonials like?
- Do they have reviews that indicate their ability to meet client needs and expectations?
Wrongful Death Claims From Drunk Driving
Wrongful death claims arising from drunk driving accidents are particularly tragic and legally complex. When a loved one loses their life due to the negligence of an intoxicated driver, pursuing a wrongful death claim becomes crucial for seeking justice. Here are key aspects to consider:
- Criminal and Civil Proceedings: The intoxicated driver may face criminal charges, but a wrongful death claim operates in civil court, allowing the family to seek compensation for their loss.
- Establishing Negligence: Proving negligence is central to a wrongful death claim. This involves demonstrating that the drunk driver breached their duty of care, directly causing the fatal accident.
- Compensation for Damages: Wrongful death claims seek compensation for various damages, including funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income, and the emotional pain and suffering endured by the surviving family members.
- Punitive Damages: In cases involving drunk driving, punitive damages may be pursued to punish the intoxicated driver for their reckless behavior and deter others from driving under the influence.
Navigating a wrongful death claim is emotionally challenging, and seeking legal representation is essential. An experienced attorney can guide the family through the legal process, ensuring that their rights are protected and advocating for fair compensation in the aftermath of a devastating drunk driving accident.
If your family member died due to a drunk driving accident, make sure the attorney you hire has experience in advocating for individuals facing these types of risks.
Often, personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation to discuss your case with you. Before settling with the insurance company or agreeing to funds that do not meet your financial goals, seek a legal team to guide and support you throughout this complicated process. You deserve to fight for compensation if you suffered an injury in a drunk driving accident in Denver during the holidays.