Accidents involving an intoxicated driver differ from and are more serious that accidents where an intoxicated driver is not involved. The primary difference is that due to the highly reckless and irresponsible behavior exhibited by the intoxicated driver, they are typically arrested at the scene; in fact, the only time the intoxicated driver will not be arrested are in the cases where the intoxicated driver has been killed in the accident or has sustained severe injuries and requires medical attention and will be arrested by police following medical attention. Under South Dakota Certified Law 32-23, a driver is considered to be under the influence or intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or greater, having used marijuana or other controlled substances. When an intoxicated driver is suspected, there are additional measures that police will employ at the accident scene including use of breathalyzers or blood test to verify alcohol levels and will likely take video of other tests administrated to evaluate the sobriety of the suspected intoxicated driver.
The scope of damages and injuries in these accidents are also immediately more severe and therefore the legal landscape too is more complicated to navigate. Due to the fact that there is an intoxicated driver, punitive damages are available and an intoxicated driver has no option to claim damages. Because of the severity of accidents with intoxicated drivers, it is essential that you have professional help from an attorney to make sure that all of your rights are protected, especially if the drunk driver is uninsured.
If you find yourself in an accident with a driver you suspect is intoxicated, call 911 immediately to get police and medical assistance to the accident site. Also, do not engage with intoxicated driver as by the sheer fact that they are driving under the influence suggests that they may not be in a stable state of mind. Tend to yourself, passengers in your vehicle or other bystanders while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. Any pictures you or a bystander can take of the accident immediately after it occurred showing property damage and injuries are very helpful evidence in your claim.
Once you’ve retained us, we will go to work for you and create a case with claims to make you whole and address areas of compensation that you have rights to receive. These include but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses related to the treatment of the deceased.
- Funeral and burial expenses should there be a fatality.
- Loss of income, financial support and other benefits.
- Loss of love, guidance and companionship.
- Emotional care which can be a lasting requirement especially in cases where children have lost a parent or a spouse is lost.
- Pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages can be available in cases where the driver was not behaving as a reasonable or rational person would while operating a motor vehicle.
It is critical that you act fast and we understand the difficult time this presents your family and remaining loved ones. Please call us at (800)-XXX-YYYY and we’ll get on the case, protect your interests and ensure that your case get proper attention. We will take the pressure off you and fight to ensure that you are successful with your claim.