Seattle Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving is not a victimless crime. Every year thousands of innocent people are injured or killed due to a person’s reckless decision to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is why DUI carries serious criminal penalties in Washington State. But jail time for a drunk driver does little to compensate the victims and their families for the damages caused.
That is why if you have been injured or lost a family member to a drunk driver, you need to pursue your own independent course of legal action to seek justice. An experienced Seattle drunk driving accident lawyer can advise you on taking civil action against a drunk driver or other third parties whose negligent acts led to an accident. At the Emerald Law Group, our team will expend every effort to obtain justice for you and your family following what should have been a preventable DUI accident.
Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable for the Damage They Caused
Everyone who operates a motor vehicle has a duty of care towards everyone else on the road. For example, every driver must obey the traffic laws and operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. A driver who fails to fulfill this duty can be held liable in a civil personal injury case if their actions harm others.
This is especially true for drunk driving accidents. We all know that drunk driving is illegal. In Washington, a driver over the age of 21 is considered too drunk to drive if their blood-alcohol content is 0.08 percent or greater. For drivers under 21, that threshold is just 0.02 percent. Put another way, it may only take 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks to impair someone to the point where it is a crime for them to get behind the wheel of a car.
Seattle prosecutors take DUI cases very seriously. Even a first offense for drunk driving can lead to some jail time and a substantial fine. But if a drunk driver injures someone, the victim has the right to bring their own civil lawsuit for damages. Such personal injury claims can demand compensation for out-of-pocket losses such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering. And in cases where a drunk driver’s actions lead to someone’s death, the victim’s estate or family can bring a wrongful death claim seeking additional damages.
It is also important to understand that DUI is not limited to alcohol. A person can be too impaired to drive after using any sort of drug, such as marijuana, or even prescription medication. Drunk driving is also frequently accompanied by other reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding and swerving in-and-out of traffic, which can help prove negligence in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Emerald Law Today
Drunk driving often leaves victims and their families struggling to pick up the pieces. But you do not have to go through this rebuilding process alone. A qualified Seattle drunk driver lawyer can help you demand civil justice from the responsible parties. Contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation.