Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer
Representing Injury Victims & Families Who Have Lost a Loved One at the Hands of a Drunk Driver
Alcohol related accidents and fatalities affect the lives of thousands of innocent people each day in the United States. According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), one in three individuals in the US will be involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, while on average one person will die every 50 minutes due to an alcohol related accident.
Drunk drivers account for millions of dollars in liability each year. More importantly, the devastation that they cause from killing innocent people can never be repaired. It doesn’t have to be this way.
DUI Car Accident Lawyers
When an individual chooses to get behind the wheel after having too many drinks, they are not only putting their own life at risk, but also the lives of all of us and our loved ones.
At Dore Law Group, PLLC, we take drunk driving seriously, as the person responsible makes a conscious choice to put the lives of others at risk. We believe that drunk drivers and others responsible for alcohol-related injuries and death should be held accountable to the full extent of the law for their actions, including criminal proceedings, if warranted.
While we cannot bring back those who have been killed or initiate criminal proceedings, we can and will go after drunk drivers who injure our clients or cause the deaths of their loved ones, and seek from them the full amount of compensation that may be owed by them for the injuries they caused.
The Dangers of Drunk Driving
Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is one of the most irresponsible things a person can do. Drinking alcohol impairs a person's mental and physical faculties; both of which are critical for safely operating a motor vehicle. As a person becomes intoxicated, their reaction times are slowed, memory and reasoning functions become impaired, their mood may begin to swing, and their coordination is altered.
A person who has had too much to drink may:
- Drive far slower than appropriate given traffic conditions
- Drift between lanes into other vehicles
- Drive faster than is safe
- Hit something or someone without even realizing it
- Tailgate other drivers
- Fail to obey traffic signals such as red lights
Drunk driving is not only dangerous - it is a criminal act punishable by harsh fines and possible jail time. While a drunk driver may be held responsible by the state in criminal court, criminal drunk driving cases do not provide compensation to the victims of drunk driving accidents. If you were injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you will need to pursue a separate civil action against the driver to recover damages.
Innocent Lives Are Affected
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll an accident caused by a drunk driver can have on the victim and their family. Drunk driving accidents often result in serious personal injuries such as neck and back injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, burn injuries, and even death. For those injured, these accidents often result in lost time from work, pain and suffering, large medical bills, and many other damages and hardships.
Our skilled attorneys can help you seek compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and other income
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability benefits
- Wrongful death (if a loved one was killed)
Dram Shop Laws in Washington State
A drunk driver is obviously responsible for any accident they cause. What many people do not know, however, is that negligent bar owners and social hosts may also be held partially responsible for drunk driving accidents.
Washington's dram shop statute states that businesses who sell alcoholic drinks or hosts who serve alcohol to a person who is clearly intoxicated can be held strictly liable for any injuries or deaths that a drunken patron or guest causes. This law is meant not only to protect already inebriated individuals from overindulging in alcohol and potentially being injured or killed, but also to protect the public at large.
For example, say John goes to Bob's bar after work and has several drinks. Despite being clearly intoxicated, Bob continues to serve John drinks throughout the night. John eventually leaves, tries to drive himself home, and hits a pedestrian with his car. In this scenario, the injured pedestrian would have grounds to file a claim against both John (the driver) and Bob (the bar owner) for negligently over-serving John.
While every case is different, liability under Washington's dram shop law can involve any of the following:
- Serving liquor without a license
- Failing to properly train employees who serve alcohol
- Serving alcohol to an underage driver
- Serving alcohol to an already drunk person
- Social hosts negligently providing alcohol to a minor
Since turnover at restaurants and bars can be high and witnesses can become difficult to track down, it is crucial that dram shop DUI cases be investigated by a skilled attorney as soon as possible after an accident. An attorney can review key evidence such as credit card statements, surveillance footage, and witness testimony to determine how much alcohol was served to a driver and how long prior to your crash.
Our Kent DUI Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you or a family member has been injured or if a loved one has been killed as the result of a drunk driving accident, please call us. Our founder, Jim Dore, Jr., has had more than 30 years of experience as a personal injury and trial lawyer.
We will take the time to thoroughly investigate the accident, review accident and medical reports, depose eyewitnesses and those who may be responsible, and, if necessary, hire accident reconstructionists and other experts. We will do our utmost to hold those responsible for the accident accountable for the full measure of damages that they have caused, and to obtain for you and your family all compensation that may be due.
To find out more, please call us so that we can set up a free no-obligation consultation at your convenience so that we may learn about the facts and circumstances of your accident and the injuries suffered. You can also learn more about how we can serve you, and we can explain the options that might be available for your case, and how the litigation process works.
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