Despite extensive efforts to discourage driving under the influence and harshly prosecuting people who choose to violate state law, thousands of car wrecks involving alcohol use still occur every year in Pennsylvania. If you were hurt in a collision caused by someone who was driving while intoxicated, you may have questions about your options for financial recovery and how you could best go about enforcing them.
Drunk driver car accidents in DuBois can serve as very strong grounds for civil litigation, but they can also make for more complicated claims than many people might assume. If you want the best odds possible of a favorable resolution in your situation, having help from a seasoned DuBois vehicle accident attorney could be a virtual necessity.
Proving Someone Involved in a Wreck Was Intoxicated
On the surface, demonstrating that someone else’s intoxication was the main cause of a traffic accident may sound like a simple process, and it sometimes is. If a police officer who responds to the scene of a car accident in DuBois issues a DUI citation against one or more people involved, the police report filed by that officer should provide clear evidence of the criminal charge and make establishing fault for the incident a relatively straightforward process.
However, if the police report does not indicate a citation or arrest for DUI, or if there is no police response to the scene at all, introducing evidence of alcohol impairment is more complex. It may be necessary to incorporate evidence from numerous other sources into a case against the allegedly drunk driver, such as eyewitness testimony about the number of drinks that were consumed and whether the driver was showing visible signs of impairment. Other evidence may include photos and debris from the scene, testimony from eyewitnesses, input from crash reconstruction experts, and footage from nearby surveillance or dashboard cameras. A knowledgeable local attorney could discuss in specific detail what might be required to build a comprehensive case for damages in a particular situation.
Dram Shop Liability in DuBois
It is worth noting as well that bars, restaurants, and other businesses that sell alcohol can sometimes bear civil liability for injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents. Under Pennsylvania’s “dram shop” law, any enterprise that knowingly serves alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated could be considered partially at fault for any motor vehicle accident that patron later causes while still drunk.
Recovering Comprehensively for All Available Damages
DuBois residents who can successfully prove that a drunk driver was to blame for a car crash that led to them getting hurt can demand full restitution for all economic consequences of their injuries. This could include not just emergency medical expenses for services already rendered, but also the expected costs of future medical and/or rehabilitative care, as well as lost work income, lost future earning capacity, and car repair or replacement expenses.
Importantly, a claimant’s right to seek recovery for non-economic losses like physical pain and psychological trauma can vary a bit depending on his or her insurance coverage. Legal counsel could clarify in more detail what means of recovery may be available for a specific plaintiff based on his or her unique circumstances.
Talk to a DuBois Attorney About Drunk Driver Car Accident Litigation
Drunk drivers put everyone near them at risk of serious injury, and they can—and should—bear financial accountability for harm that they cause through automobile accidents. Without guidance from a knowledgeable attorney, you may find that effectively establishing fault for this kind of wreck and recovering fair compensation alone can a lot more challenging than expected.