A Philadelphia police officer is facing charges of driving under the influence after being involved in a car accident while he was off duty. The accident occurred around 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 16, 2020, on Roosevelt Boulevard and resulted in the officer's vehicle flipping over. The officer was given a breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident, which showed he was over the legal limit.
Tens of thousands of accidents involving drunk drivers occur in Pennsylvania each year. It's important for a victim of a drunk driving accident to understand his or her legal rights after such an accident.
Recovering Compensation from a Drunk Driving Accident
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone who was driving under the influence, a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover compensation for the damages that you have suffered. A successful personal injury action can result in compensation for damages including:
- Medical expenses stemming from the accident, including hospital costs, surgical expenses, and costs of rehabilitation;
- Lost wages as a result of being unable to work after an accident;
- Loss of earning capacity if you are permanently disabled as a result of your accident;
- Physical pain that you suffered during and after your accident; and
- Emotional trauma that you endured as a result of your accident, such as depression, anxiety, or inability to sleep.
In some cases, an additional form of compensation called "punitive" damages may be awarded to to you. Whereas compensation provided for the above losses is meant to make a victim whole again, punitive damages are intended to punish the drunk driver who caused the accident and serve as an example to deter people from engaging in the same conduct in the future.
Liability for Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
Although the concept of holding a drunk driver responsible for his or her actions is easy to comprehend, the fact that someone other than the driver can be liable for a victim's injuries may come as a surprise.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by an intoxicated minor, the driver isn't the only person who can be held liable for your injuries. Through the theory of "social host" liability, if a person allows a minor to consume alcohol in their home and the intoxicated minor causes a car accident, the person who provided alcohol to the minor can be held financially responsible for the victim's injuries.
A victim of a drunk driving accident can also recover compensation from someone other than the driver using dram shop laws. These laws extend liability for a drunk driving accident to servers in restaurants, bars, and other businesses serving alcohol. If a server knowingly and intentionally continues to serve alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated, a victim of an accident caused by the drunk patron may be able to recover compensation from the server or business.
The team of personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are committed to providing clients injured in automobile accidents with quality legal representation. Fill out an online case evaluation form or call our office to discuss your accident with a member of our legal team.