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Car Accidents with Drunk Drivers

Casey Woodruff

drunk drivingMany people who drive drunk do so without realizing the risk that they are imposing on others. The CDC reports that nearly one in every three traffic-related deaths involves a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. Many of the people killed did not make the choice to drive drunk, but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fortunately, the law provides a way for people injured in drunk driving traffic accidents to recover for their injuries. People injured in any type of car accidents may pursue a claim for negligence against the person whose carelessness caused the accident. This is particularly easy to prove in cases where alcohol impairment was the cause of the crash because of a doctrine known as negligence per se. Despite the well-known dangers of drunk driving, individuals make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking on a regular basis. Thus, it is important to know the signs of drunk driver and how best to avoid them.

Negligence Per Se

Lawsuits related to traffic accidents are almost always founded on a claim of negligence. One of the key elements of prevailing on a negligence claim is proving that the driver who caused the accident violated their “duty of care.” The duty of care is the requirement imposed by law that drivers take reasonable care in order to avoid injuring other people. However, the standard of what qualifies as a “reasonable” amount of care is fairly flexible, and it can be difficult to nail down concretely.

Yet, there are some situations where deviations from the duty of care are simple to spot because of the doctrine of negligence per se. Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that comes into play when someone has violated a law designed to keep people safe and done harm as a result. In those cases, the courts recognize that violating the law inherently means the person violated their duty of care. This can make holding drunk drivers accountable for the accidents that they cause much easier.

Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents

You can protect you and your family from drunk drivers by recognizing the signs of intoxication among other drivers. Erratic driving such as swerving/drifting between lanes, being unable to maintain a constant speed, slow response to traffic signals, or driving well below the speed limit can all be signs of a drunk driver on the road. When a person encounters a drunk driver on the road, the best thing to do is give the driver some space and stay well behind them. Attempting to pass the driver is more likely to trigger a collision. People should also take down their license information, pull over, and alert the police to take the danger off the road.

Drunk drivers can cause serious harm to other people on the road. If you or one of your loved ones was injured by a drunk driver, contact an attorney at Woodruff Johnson & Evans for help.

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