If you or a loved one has been involved in a Michigan drunk driving car crash, financial compensation may be available for your significant losses. Many injured victims of alcohol-related crashes fail to receive the financial compensation they need and rightfully deserve. Drunk driving crashes often result in more serious injuries because of the violence and intensity at which occur. DUI crashes also often times involve speeding. There is no question that the involvement of an impaired driver heightens the probability of vehicle occupants suffering major injuries.
At the law firm of Buckfire &Buckfire, our Michigan auto injury attorneys have significant experience representing victims of drunk driving accidents and getting the maximum amount of compensation for their injuries suffered. Every case is different and the severity of injuries resulting from each individual crash is different. Every personal injury case we accept, we dedicate our full time and energy to ensure you receive the best settlement.
Alcohol Increases Severity of Injuries
When one compares drunk driving accidents with collisions that do not involve an impaired driver, it is clear that the presence of alcohol increases the risk of serious injuries. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, only 0.3 percent of non alcohol-related Michigan car accidents in the year 2012 resulted in fatalities compared to 2.6 percent of all alcohol-related car accidents. During that same year, non-fatal injuries were suffered in 18.9 percent of all non-alcohol-related car accidents compared to 39.8 percent of all alcohol-related crashes. Therefore, there was about a 20 percent greater chance of suffering an injury when alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.
How Alcohol Impairs Your Ability to Drive
There are many reasons why drinking and driving is dangerous. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to:
- Coordinate motor skills: Loss of coordination can affect your reaction time and ability to react to changing traffic conditions.
- Make sound decisions: Alcohol affects mental functions and judgment. Reason and caution can be reduced after only one or two drinks.
- Concentrate on multiple actions: Impaired drivers struggle to concentrate on multiple tasks at once.
- See and hear clearly: Alcohol impairs visual acuity, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to determine the direction of sounds.
Michigan DUI Law
Under Michigan Section 257.625, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while "under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance or a combination of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance." Additionally, drivers under the age of 21 cannot drive with a blood alcohol level of .02 percent or higher and motorists 21 years of age or over cannot operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level at or above .08 percent.
Liability for Michigan Drunk Driving Accidents
A driver does not have to be convicted of drunk driving to be held civilly liable for an accident. When the victim of the crash is not offered fair compensation, he or she may file a claim to hold the at-fault driver financially responsible for the damages suffered in the crash. During the claim process, the victim will have to show that the at-fault driver's negligence contributed to the crash and drunk driving certainly amounts to negligent driving. An experienced Michigan car accident attorney is often needed to protect the legal rights and best interests of victims and their families.
The Value of a Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Claim
It can be challenging to determine the potential value of an injury claim. In general, drunk drivers can be held accountable for all losses suffered by the victims. Financial losses that can be covered by filing a personal injury claim include medical bills, hospitalization costs, lost future wages and the cost of rehabilitation services. In cases involving serious injuries, financial support may be available for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The experienced Michigan auto accident lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. can help you better understand your legal rights and options. If a drunk driver has injured you or a loved one, please contact us at 1-800-606-1717 for a free, no-obligation consultation.