Drunk driving is a serious issue that can place you or a loved one at serious risk of injury or death. Drunk driving claims the lives of over 10,000 people in the U.S. every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even though every state has laws that make it illegal to drive while impaired, drunk driving remains a leading cause of traffic injuries and deaths in Colorado and across the country.
Colorado crash trends from recent calendar years in Colorado show that drunk driving continues to be one of the top three causes of fatal and injury crashes, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for more than a fourth (27%) of Colorado’s 605 traffic deaths in 2016, according to the NHTSA. Drunk driving deaths increased by 5.9 percent in 2016 from the previous year.
In 2017, the Colorado Highway Patrol issued more than 4,400 citations for driving under the influence and troopers investigated 504 alcohol or drug-related car accidents involving injuries or deaths as of early December, according to traffic safety statistics. Those numbers will increase when complete data for 2017 is available.
To discourage drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior such as drunk driving, states use a number of approaches. For example, states often use public education campaigns to teach residents about the consequences of drunk driving with the goal of changing social norms. Some states also actively support the use of alternative transportation after drinking such as public transportation or various local and national rideshare programs.
State laws aim to discourage driving under the influence and to punish repeat offenders more harshly. In fact, civil and criminal law are both used to influence the behavior of Colorado drivers. These laws often determine the extent of liability a drunk driver will face.
Legal Liability After a Drunk Driving Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, the drunk driver may be charged by police or the highway patrol. The local prosecutor will decide whether to pursue criminal charges against the drunk driver according to Colorado criminal statutes. If convicted, the driver may lose his or her license and face fines and jail time for driving under the influence. However, a criminal conviction will not provide accident victims with any compensation for medical bills, lost wages or other losses.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may have a legal right to seek compensation for your losses. To do so, you will need to pursue a separate civil lawsuit demanding compensation for your losses. A personal injury case is a civil case and it proceeds separately from a criminal prosecution.
If a drunk driver injured you, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. In addition, if you lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, you might be entitled to compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death statutes give the surviving family members a legal right to sue the drunk driver for the loss of earnings, companionship, or other expenses from the death of a loved one.
Our attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm have decades of experience representing accident victims and families harmed by drunk drivers in Colorado. We understand the laws that apply to these cases. We have been litigating personal injury cases since 1977 and understand how to advocate for you when dealing with insurance agents and opposing counsel.
We have the experience to investigate the accident and identify all the potentially liable parties. This may include the drunk driver or the persons that served alcohol to the driver. It is common knowledge that selling alcohol to minors is illegal. However, you may be surprised to learn that bar owners and businesses licensed to sell alcohol may be liable if they sell alcohol to an individual who is visibly intoxicated or to anyone age 21 who then causes injury to someone else. Our experienced attorneys will determine which claims will be best to pursue and will calculate the full extent of your losses.
We Handle Drunk Driving Accident Cases
For over 40 years, The Sawaya Law Firm has fought for injured Coloradans and established a Heritage of Justice. We know how to build a compelling case for compensation for DUI accident victims. That involves gathering evidence from the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, working with qualified experts, and organizing insurance information and medical bills. Our attorneys handle the details and legal issues so that you can focus on recovering.
Because of the different laws that may apply to drunk driving accidents, working with a knowledgeable Denver DUI injury attorney who knows how to handle these cases is very important. Insurance companies will often seek to settle a claim for as little as possible and do not always have your best interests in mind. With 22 attorneys and over 90 staff members, we have the resources to make sure that an insurance company considers all the full value of your losses. Our attorneys fight for DUI accident victims to receive full compensation for their claims.
Drunk driving accidents may have ripple effects throughout communities in Colorado due to the financial costs and social losses these accidents can cause. We understand that these accidents can seriously harm individuals both physically and emotionally. To be the best possible advocates and counselors, we always prioritize the needs and concerns of our clients and regularly provide case updates. Our legal team is guided by core values that reflect our compassion and zealous commitment to serving our clients.
There is only a limited amount of time to gather evidence, find witnesses and file a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver. It’s important to contact an experienced attorney right away so the attorney can start investigating your injury case.
The Sawaya Law Firm is proud of our decades of experience serving people all across Colorado. We have offices in Denver, Greeley, and Colorado Springs. We strive to provide unparalleled representation for each client. Contact us today at 720-709-2802, or toll-free at (866) 841-1612, to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. Any information we receive during the consultation will remain confidential.