The Michigan drunk driving accident lawyers at our law firm represent injury victims and their families against drunk drivers and the establishment that served the alcohol. The injuries from a drunk driving accident are often catastrophic and even deadly. We hold the drunk driver and owner of the vehicle accountable for the devastating effects of the accident.
Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
Despite all of the publicity and warnings about the dangers of drunk driving, there are still staggering numbers of accidents every year in Michigan caused by drunk drivers. The Michigan chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that in 2013, there were:
- 215 Drunk driving fatalities (.08 BAC or higher) which accounted for 23.9 % of all total traffic deaths
- 4,633 Alcohol related crash injuries
- 8,892 Alcohol related crashes
- DUI arrests: 34,393.
- DUI convictions: 16,470
The statistics do not include information about the serious injuries caused by drunk drivers in non-fatal accidents. These injuries are often catastrophic and include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, and other serious injuries. Victims also suffer psychological trauma from being hit by a drunk driver.
Can I Sue the Drunk Driver For Causing the Accident?
A drunk driver is liable for all injuries caused to another person in accident while intoxicated or operating under the influence of alchohol. In addition to the criminal penalties and fines, a civil lawsuit can be filed to seek compensation from the driver and owner of the vehicle for injuries and harm caused in the accident. The insurance company for the driver and the owner of the vehicle typically pays the settlement in the case. If the drunk driver was in the course of employment, the employer may also be responsible for the injuries caused in the accident.
Can I Sue the Place that Sold Liquor to the Drunk Driver?
The Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 (Dramshop Act) permits certain persons to bring a cause of action against the retail licensee that unlawfully served alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person or a minor, resulting in injury, death, or property damage. To recover damages under the Dramshop Act, a plaintiff must show that injury or death was caused by a retail licensee’s unlawful selling, giving, or furnishing of alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor. Retail licensees include bars, restaurants, sports arenas, hotels, banquet halls, and any business with a retail liquor license. These businesses and places often pay substantial settlements for their own negligence.
What Are The Michigan Dramshop Law Requirements?
The Michigan Dram shop law requires that an investigation begin as soon as possible after the accident. It also requires that the bar or restaurant in question be notified in writing about the claim within a very short time period. The failure to give this timely notice can destroy your claim.
Our drunk driving accident lawyers hire private investigators to interview witnesses and other bar patrons to prove that the establishment served alcohol to the intoxicated motorist shortly before the accident. Any delay in beginning your investigation may result in difficulty tracking down these witnesses at a later time so you should call an attorney immediately to begin working on the case. This also applies to families seeking compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident.
Winning Your Drunk Driver Accident Lawsuit
Our legal team will do everything possible to prove that the drunk driver that hit you was negligent and caused the crash. We also take every measure to determine whether the establishment that sold the liquor to the drunk driver can be held liable to the victim. In most cases, we:
- Get all police accident reports
- Get all blood alcohol level tests and toxicology reports
- Subpoena video from bar or restaurant where the drunk driver was drinking prior to the crash
- Get witness statements from other people in the bar, as well as bartenders and servers
- Subpoena videos of the accident from the police car
- Subpoena any traffic light video cameras
- Subpoena surveillance video from buildings in the area to see if they captured the accident on video
- Subpoena the 911 call made after the accident
- Interview all eyewitnesses with our own special investigators
- Take measurements of the roadway and area of the accident
- Hire nationally respected bicycle accident reconstruction expert witnesses to analyze the accident
- Have a 3d animation created to demonstrate how the accident occurred to the judge and jury
What is the Compensation in a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
Compensation in a lawsuit refers to the settlement money awarded to the victim of a drunk driving accident. If the case goes to trial, the jurors are asked to evaluate the different damages for a specific case. The jury then decideds the dollar amount for each type of damage claim proven at trial.
For a auto accident lawsuits in Michigan, the types of allowable damages include:
- Pain & Suffering (at the time of the accident, during the period of recovery, and going into the future)
- Fright & Shock
- Psychological Injuries (such PTSD & depression)
- Scars & Permanent Disfigurements
- Disability from Work & Activities (time away from work and being unable to participate in recreational activities)
- Loss of Income & Wages (past, present, & future)
- Bystander Claims (witnessing a family member injured in an accident)
- Death (filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit)
What Are The Damages in a Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit?
In fatal drunk driving accident cases, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases seek damages for conscious pain and suffering of the victim from the time of accident until death, the loss of society and companionship of surviving family members, loss of income and support, and other economic damages.
The lawsuit can be brought by a family member of the decedent and is filed on behalf of the entire family. The person bringing the suit is appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate for the purposes of filing the case, but all family members have rights in the suit. The parties need a judge to approve the settlement and the amount of the settlement shares for each family member. Family members who do not agree with the settlement or their shares of it can appear at the court hearing and object. The judge may then hold a hearing to determine the fair distribution of the shares to each person.
Free Michigan Drunk Driver Accident Book
To learn more about your legal rights after a Michigan drunk driving accident, you should order our FREE book, "The Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Handbook" by Michigan lawyer Lawrence J. Buckfire. The book explains all of your legal rights and responsibilities after the accident.. Our book sells for $14.95 on Amazon but Lawrence will send it to you for FREE!
Statute of Limitations in Michigan Drunk Driver Accident Cases
There are strict time limitations for filing drunk driving accident claims and No-Fault Insurance claims in Michigan. If you miss a deadline, your claim will be lost forever. To avoid this severe consequence, you should contact the Michigan drunk driver accident attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. immediately.
Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Review
Best Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Our legal team includes the most successful drunk driving accident attorneys in Michigan. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. and our lawyers have won the top awards in the legal profession, including:
- U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms
- "Best Michigan Personal Injury Attorney" by American Lawyer Academy
- Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Michigan
- Honored as "Super Lawyers"
- Top Martindale-Hubbell Rating (AV) for Skill & Integrity
Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer No Fee Promise
Our Michigan car accident lawyers will represent you in your case under our NO FEE PROMISE. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. You have absolutely no obligation for legal fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain a settlement for you, you owe us nothing!
Contact Your Michigan Drunk Driver Accident Lawyers
Call us now at (800) 606-1717. Our attorneys and investigators will start working on your case immediately and begin gathering the witness statements and evidence to prove and win your case.
Warning: There are strict time deadlines for suing drunk drivers and the bars that served them alcohol before the accident. Call our accident injury lawyers now to file your lawsuit and get your settlment.