About one-third of all traffic accident fatalities are alcohol-related. Drunk driving causes a needless loss of life every year. Even though it is preventable, roughly 10,000 people die in these crashes across the country each year, according to recent statistics. This means that many victims and families across the country live with the effects of drunk driving accidents. 

You do not have to face the devastating aftermath of a drunk-driving crash alone. An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer at Sabbeth Law can serve as your advocate.

If you suffered injuries after a drunk driving accident, you could seek compensation for your injuries. Surviving family members who lost a loved one to a drunk driving accident can also bring a wrongful death case and seek compensation.

We are familiar with the drunk-driving laws in Vermont and New Hampshire that may affect your claim and are experienced in litigating these types of claims. 

Why Choose Sabbeth Law for Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim?

When selecting Sabbeth Law for your drunk driving accident lawyer, you choose a dedicated legal team committed to securing justice and compensation. We have a history of successfully handling drunk driving accident cases and obtaining fair compensation for our clients. Our team understands the emotional and physical toll these accidents can take. We approach each case with compassion and empathy. 

We treat every case uniquely, tailoring our approach to your specific needs and circumstances. Our attorneys are well-versed in drunk driving laws, and we can handle your case with precision and experience. 

At Sabbeth Law, we are dedicated to standing by your side, fighting for your rights, and working tirelessly to help you rebuild after a drunk driving accident. We offer a free initial consultation to assess your case and provide guidance on your potential claim. Contact us today to start your journey towards justice and compensation. 

Where to Find Sabbeth Law

Lead attorney Michael Sabbeth and his team represent personal injury clients in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Our offices are located at 201 Dewitt Drive Suite 1, White River Junction, VT 05001. To speak to a drunk driving accident lawyer, call us at (802) 230-1295.

Drunk Driving by the Numbers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 32 people in the United States die in drunk driving accidents every day—an average of one person every 45 minutes.

In a recent report, NHTSA revealed that 11,654 people died in drunk driving traffic accidents in a single year—a significant increase from the prior year’s data when 10,196 fatalities occurred. 

The report also shares these drunk driving statistics:

  • Approximately 30 percent of all car accident deaths in the country involve drunk drivers.
  • Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens and young adults. About 25 percent of all fatal crashes involve underage drinkers.
  • Drivers in the age groups 21 to 24 years old and 25 to 34 years old have the highest percentage of drunk drivers.
  • Men are more likely to drive drunk and get into an accident than women at a ratio of four to one
  • 27 percent of motorcycle riders killed in crashes were alcohol-impaired, giving motorcycles the highest percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes of any other type of vehicle.
  • Of those killed in drunk driving accidents, 13 percent were the passengers of drunk drivers, 14 percent were occupants of other vehicles, and 11 percent were non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • More drunk driving crashes happen at night than during the day, with the rate of alcohol impairment being three times higher at night than during daytime hours.
  • More drunk drivers are on the road on weekends than on weekdays. 

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Increases the Risk of a Crash

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the probability of a fatal crash increases after a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05. This probability rises even more when the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08.

That’s why 49 states made driving illegal with a BAC of 0.08 or greater, and Utah outlawed driving with a BAC of 0.05 or above. 

What to Do if You Are in an Accident With a Drunk Driver

Being involved in an accident with a drunk driver can be a traumatic experience.

Here are the steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Ensure Safety: Prioritize your safety and the safety of others. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic. Activate hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  • Check for Injuries: Assess yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 immediately if anyone is hurt or requires medical attention.
  • Contact Law Enforcement: Report the accident to the police and make it clear that you suspect the other driver is under the influence. This will trigger a DUI (driving under the influence) investigation.
  • Gather Information: Exchange information with the drunk driver, including their name, contact details, and insurance information. Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and license plates.
  • Witnesses: If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information. Their statements may be valuable later.
  • Do Not Confront the Drunk Driver: Avoid engaging in confrontations or arguments with the drunk driver, as this can escalate the situation.
  • Avoid Making Assumptions: While you may suspect the driver is intoxicated, let law enforcement professionals determine their condition.
  • Document the Scene: Take notes on the accident, including the date, time, location, and weather conditions.
  • Stay Calm: It’s natural to feel anger and frustration but remain calm and avoid any aggressive behavior.
  • Report to Your Insurance: Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with all relevant information.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t immediately feel injured, it’s a good idea to seek a medical evaluation. Some injuries may not manifest right away. A medical record that establishes the injuries in connection to the accident also may be valuable if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
  • Consult an Attorney: Reach out to a personal injury attorney with experience in handling drunk driving accident cases, especially if you or a passenger were injured. An attorney can explain your legal options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
  • Keep Records: Maintain records of all medical treatment, expenses, and communication related to the accident. You will need this for your legal case. 

You may recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from a liable drunk driver. An attorney can pursue this compensation for you. 

Seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to protect your rights and recover fair compensation for your losses. 

How Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help Me?

A drunk driving accident lawyer plays a crucial role in helping victims of drunk driving accidents seek justice and compensation. They represent victims in legal proceedings, such as filing personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits against the at-fault drunk drivers.

A lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction, to support your case. Lawyers act as advocates for the victim, negotiating with insurance companies and opposing legal teams to ensure their client receives fair compensation. 

They work to secure compensation for accident victims, covering medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Lawyers experienced in handling drunk driving accident claims have a deep understanding of drunk driving laws and personal injury law, ensuring they can build a strong case. 

Your lawyer will usually work toward a settlement, but if an agreement cannot be reached they will prepare the case for trial and represent you and other victims in court to secure the best possible outcome. 

Specific laws and regulations pertain to drunk driving accident cases. For personalized guidance on your case, consult an experienced local attorney who can provide you with the most accurate and current information and who knows the laws and regulations where you file your case. 

Both states also have specific statutes of limitations for personal injury claims, including those resulting from drunk driving accidents. Your local attorney knows these time limits and will file your claim within the required timeframe. Not filing in time may prevent you from bringing a claim. 

Beyond handling the legal aspects of the drunk driving accident lawsuit, attorneys can provide emotional support to victims, understanding the trauma and stress associated with such accidents. 

The drunk driving accident lawyers at Sabbeth Law work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if we win the case, which eases your financial burden. 

A personal injury lawyer experienced in handling claims for people injured or killed in a drunk driving accident is there to guide victims through the legal process, fight for their rights, and ensure they receive the compensation and justice they deserve. Their goal is to help victims recover physically, emotionally, and financially from the consequences of a drunk driving accident.

Recovering Compensation from a Drunk Driving Accident

When a drunk driver causes an accident and you must deal with injuries and other losses, you could recover compensation. The laws in every state around the country allow victims and their families to recover economic and non-economic damages from drunk drivers. Damages refers to any accident-related expenses and hardships you may face.

You could get damages for your:

  • Medical bills, such as for ambulance services, medications, physical therapy, hospitalizations, diagnostic tests, and other care needs.
  • Future treatment costs.
  • Lost income.
  • Reduced earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Property damage.
  • Wrongful death damages if you lost a loved one. 

A car accident lawyer can file an insurance claim or lawsuit to go after the funds you need. They can negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial. In many cases, you can successfully reach a settlement without going to court. However, a lawyer can handle the litigation process for you if you must go before a jury. 

Even if the defendant faces criminal charges for the accident, you may need to bring a civil case to get compensation. The criminal case may bring you a measure of justice, but it will not pay for your losses. 

What if the Other Driver Has Been Convicted of a DUI?

If the other driver in the accident is convicted of a DUI, it can significantly improve your case and the legal actions you can take. Consult a personal injury attorney experienced in DUI-related accidents. They can help you understand the legal implications and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.

Your lawyer can:

  • Document the Conviction: Obtain information about the DUI conviction, including the date, location, and any relevant court documents. This can serve as valuable evidence in your case.
  • Report to Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company about the DUI conviction of the other driver. This information may affect your claim and could potentially lead to a higher settlement, as the conviction is a clear indication of the other driver’s negligence.
  • Preserve the Evidence: Your attorney will work to preserve evidence related to the DUI conviction and the accident, including police reports, witness statements, and any court records.
  • Seek Compensation: The fact that the other driver was convicted of a DUI can strengthen your case for compensation. You may recover compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
  • Negotiation or Lawsuit: Your attorney will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement. If they refuse to settle, your lawyer may advise pursuing a lawsuit to seek compensation through a court judgment. 

In some states, dram shop laws make establishments, such as bars or restaurants, liable for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who later cause accidents. Your attorney can assess whether these laws apply in your case. 

Remember that a DUI conviction is a criminal matter and results in penalties imposed by the state. Your personal injury case is a civil matter, seeking compensation for your losses. The two processes are separate but can influence each other. Keep in close contact with your attorney to understand the progress of your case and any legal actions being taken.

What if the Other Driver Was Acquitted?

An acquittal means that, in the eyes of the criminal court, there was not enough evidence to prove the other driver’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This can make it more challenging to prove their liability in your civil personal injury case. A personal injury attorney experienced in handling cases involving acquitted DUI drivers can assess the specifics of your case and provide guidance on how to proceed. 

Keep in mind that civil cases have a lower standard of proof compared to criminal cases. In civil cases, the standard is typically preponderance of the evidence, meaning it’s more likely than not that the other driver was at fault.

Work with your attorney to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. This may include police reports, witness statements, medical records, and expert testimony. 

If it’s challenging to prove DUI, your lawyer will explore other forms of negligence that might have contributed to the accident like distracted driving, speeding, or other reckless behaviors.

In complex cases, your attorney may engage expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts, to provide testimony in support of your case. 

How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Driving?

When people first learn to drive, they learn that alcohol reduces the brain’s ability to function. It impairs your thinking and reasoning skills, leading to poor judgment. It slows down your reaction time, hinders your concentration, compromises your eyesight, and disrupts your muscle coordination, among other things.

It’s clear that you need each of those faculties for effective, safe driving. If you have even one of these symptoms, the chance of a car accident increases. 

The BAC measures the volume of alcohol per 100 mL of blood. A breath test determines a driver’s blood alcohol level by measuring air molecules containing evaporated alcohol from the lungs. Drivers may also receive a blood test that directly measures the alcohol concentration of the blood.

Generally, the higher the BAC, the worse the potential effect on driving. Some states have laws that give special enhanced penalties for driving with a very high BAC level. 

What Are the Signs of Drunk Driving?

Given the way alcohol can affect a driver’s functioning, numerous signs can indicate impaired driving.

A driver under the influence of alcohol may display the following behavior:

  • Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
  • Erratic braking
  • Tailgating
  • Swerving
  • Speeding
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Weaving across the road
  • Driving on curbs and sidewalks
  • Striking or narrowly missing a person or object, such as a sign or another vehicle
  • Abrupt stopping for no apparent reason
  • Delayed response to traffic signals
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Erratic or illegal turning
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road 

If a drunk driver causes an accident for one of these or other reasons, they could bear liability for the crash and resulting damages.

Contact Sabbeth Law Today

If you’ve been a victim of a drunk driving accident, your path to justice and compensation begins here.

At Sabbeth Law, we’re dedicated to guiding you through this difficult journey, ensuring your rights are protected, and helping you rebuild your life. We have a strong track record of securing compensation for drunk driving accident victims, and we understand the emotional toll of such accidents. Our compassionate team is here to support you every step of the way. Your case is unique, and we treat it as such.

Our tailored strategies are designed to meet your specific needs. Our attorneys are well-versed in drunk driving laws, ensuring your case is handled with precision. Don’t wait; let us help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact Vermont personal injury lawyers at Sabbeth Law today for a free consultation. Call (802) 392-0621 or fill out our online contact form. Your journey to recovery begins now.