During the holiday season we see an increase in drunk driving accidents. The reasons vary, but there are many holiday parties during the season and alcohol consumption increases during this time. What you do to protect yourself if involved in an accident with a drunk driver is very important for you to get the recovery you deserve.
What is drunk driving in Indiana?
In Indiana the legal limit is .08 percent when the potential intoxicated driver takes a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement. There are other guidelines if you are a commercial driver or under 21 years of age. For commercial drivers, they are legally intoxicated at .04 percent or more. In Indiana, you face jail time for the first OWI offense you have. If you are the cause of a serious accident, you could face many charges other than just an OWI. In addition to criminal charges against a drunk driver, you may be able to seek recovery from their insurance.
What can I do to be safe when consuming alcohol?
Getting behind the wheel following a night of drinking is irresponsible and dangerous, yet people take the risk daily. According to the NHTSA, roughly thirty-two (32) people die in drunk driving crashes per day. In 2020 alone 11,654 people died in alcohol related accidents, which is a substantial increase from 2019. Statistics show roughly thirty (30%) percent of fatal accidents involve drunk drivers. This is a startling statistic. Getting behind the wheel while “buzzed” is just as bad as being intoxicated. After drinking alcohol, you are impaired in ways you may not imagine. Alcohol effects your ability to think clearly, slows your response time, and affects physical muscle function. To operate a vehicle of any kind, you need to be clear headed and focused all of which you cannot do when intoxicated.
It is important to take safety measures should you plan on drinking and need to leave the location you are at. You could do the following to keep yourself as well as others safe:
- Use a Taxi service
- Call an Uber/Lyft
- Call a friend or relative to come get you
- Have a designated driver
- Stay where you are
What if I am involved in a drunk driving accident?
Imagine being out one weekend evening, or even on New Year’s Eve and a car crosses the center line striking your vehicle head-on. Through no fault of your own you are now involved in a drunk driving accident. What you do next is critical.
If you are involved in a drunk driving accident you should:
- Call 911
- If able, exchange insurance and contact information while waiting for the police
- Document the scene with video footage or photographs
- Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
- Seek medical care immediately
- Do NOT give any recorded statements until you have spoken with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Now that the initial shock has worn off from the accident, you may be severely injured or be lucky enough to have only minor injuries. Either way, you should follow the steps above and be sure that you get the advice of a Personal Injury Lawyer. A reliable firm should be able to discuss the accident with you and let you know if an attorney is warranted for your claim. There are some claims that do not require an attorney to get involved, however if you were injured it is best to have representation.
What recovery can I receive after being involved in a drunk driving accident?
When you are involved in a drunk driving accident there could be a few different ways to receive recovery for your injuries. It will be dependent upon the facts of the accident, who was driving, if they are over the legal limit in Indiana, and if they were working at the time of the accident.
You may make a recovery against:
- Individual wrongdoer’s auto insurance policy
- DRAM shop action against the bar the wrongdoer was drinking at prior to the accident
- Homeowners claim if the wrongdoer was drinking at a person’s home
- Employer auto insurance policy if the wrongdoer was working at the time of the accident
How can a personal injury attorney help me when I have been hit by a drunk driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver a personal injury attorney can be of great benefit to you. Not only can they guide you through the claims process, but they handle the claim for you leaving you to only worry about healing. Speaking with an attorney following an accident can get you acquainted with what to expect moving forward. It also ensures that all sources of recovery have been considered. Call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at (317) 236-9000 for a free consultation today!