We all know that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is both dangerous and illegal. Even if you have never tried driving while under the influence before, you are probably still fully aware of how difficult it is: After all, numerous statistics show how much more dangerous it is to drive after drinking.
Unfortunately, not everyone else takes these dangers seriously. Accidents involving impaired drivers happen all the time in Philadelphia. When they do, they often cause serious injuries, drastically impacting the lives of those who were abiding by the law.
If you have been a victim of an accident involving an impaired driver, you need legal representation to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve. You did not cause the accident, so there is no reason why you should be the one to pay for your suffering.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Philadelphia
Just like in all other states in the U.S., it is illegal to drive while under the influence in Pennsylvania. Doing so can lead to significant penalties, including hefty fines, a license suspension, and even jail time.
Nevertheless, people continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in our state. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 10,550 crashes in the state in 2014 that were alcohol-related, resulting in no fewer than 333 fatalities. In all, alcohol accounted for 28% of the fatalities on the road that year.
At these rates, one person died nearly every day of the year from a car accident that was caused by someone drinking.
Even if the accident was not a fatal one, alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania often lead to serious injuries. Out of the 10,550 accidents that were alcohol-related, 7,265 people were hurt, with many of them requiring extensive medical attention for life-altering injuries.
After an Accident With an Impaired Driver
If you get into an accident with an impaired driver, calling the police is important, even if the accident was a minor one. This is important because driving drunk is per se negligent, making the drunk driver responsible for the crash. If you do not notify police of the crash, then there is no evidence that the other driver was under the influence, and you could be found liable for the accident.
Unfortunately, if the other driver in the accident knows that they are under the influence, they may urge you not to contact the police and might want to resolve the accident as quietly as possible. They might even offer to pay for the damage in cash. For several reasons, this might not be the best idea.
One reason is that injuries in a car accident, even a minor one, can be serious in the long term. Whiplash can be a debilitating injury but often does not show itself for several days after the accident. Informally settling the accident with an inebriated driver will leave you without recourse, should you later find out that you have been hurt in the accident.
Another reason why you should always report accidents with impaired drivers is that you do not know for sure how much damage has been done until you get a repair bill. Informally settling an accident before this time can mean you are under compensated.
Personal Injury Claims for Accidents with Impaired Drivers
After an accident with someone who was driving while under the influence, the inebriated driver will likely face criminal charges. These charges, however, only punish the other driver for what they have done – they do not make you any better off.
This is where a personal injury claim can help. By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the impaired driver, you can go to court to get compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and future loss that the crash caused.
Philadelphia Impaired Driver Accident Attorneys
The personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help. By fighting for your rights and interests both in and out of court, we do all that we can to ensure that you get compensated for the injuries you have suffered at the hands of an impaired driver. It is unfortunate and frustrating that a law-abiding driver should ever suffer at the hands of someone else who does not take the safety of others seriously. That is why we do all that we can to make sure you get the compensation you need for a speedy recovery. Contact our law office online or at (800) 529-6162.