Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Meet the Attorney
A drunk driving accident in Phoenix typically involves a collision or crash caused by one driver who is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This impaired driver's judgment, coordination, and reaction time are significantly compromised due to their intoxication. An accident can occur on one of Phoenix's busy streets or highways, such as the I-10 or the Loop 101, or even on smaller local roads.
The impact of such accidents can range from minor fender-benders to catastrophic, life-altering events. They often result in injuries to the parties involved, damage to vehicles, and sometimes even fatalities.
The aftermath of a drunk driving accident in Phoenix usually involves law enforcement response, medical care for the injured, and potential legal proceedings to determine liability and seek compensation for those affected. These accidents are not only legally significant but also deeply emotional and can have far-reaching consequences for victims and their families.
If you have experienced the trauma of a drunk driving accident, it's important to remember that you're not alone in this journey. For help after a serious accident, contact the experienced Phoenix drunk driving accident lawyers at Impact Legal. We will work to secure compensation for your injuries and losses.
Why Choose Impact Legal for Your Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
In a difficult time dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, Impact Legal is committed to providing the expertise, support, and legal representation needed to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. We have years of experience handling cases related to drunk driving accidents.
The Phoenix personal injury attorneys have a strong track record of successfully securing compensation for victims of drunk driving accidents and helping clients rebuild their lives after such traumatic events. We approach each case with compassion, ensuring that clients feel supported throughout the process. The firm places clients at the center of our practice, tailoring legal strategies to meet your individual needs and objectives.
An in-depth understanding of the local legal landscape is invaluable in pursuing successful claims. With offices located in Phoenix, we are familiar with local and state laws that may affect your right to file a personal injury claim. Call us at 602-345-1818 to talk to an attorney about your unique case. We're ready to help.
Our Phoenix Office Location and Headquarters
Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys is located at 16202 North Cave Creek Road, Suite D, Phoenix, AZ 85032. You can call us at 602-345-1818 to meet with one of our personal injury attorneys to discuss your claim.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
In its most recent report, Responsibility.org reported Arizona had 260 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in a year. These crashes accounted for 26.5 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the reporting period.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers or motorcycle riders (operators) are considered alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) are 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Any fatal traffic crash involving a driver/rider with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher is considered an alcohol-impaired-driving crash, and fatalities occurring in those crashes are considered alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities.
In its recent two-year study, NHTSA found that Arizona is one of the leading states in the country for traffic crashes and drunken driving. The state placed eighth overall in the number of fatalities linked to alcohol impairment.
Data shows there were 716 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in Arizona in the two-year reporting period. This reflected a 43 percent increase from the previous report. In one year, 36 percent of Arizona traffic fatalities were related to drunken driving, according to the data.
In the most recent reporting period, the NHTSA noted the total percentage change for alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities nationwide (+14 percent) was higher than for total traffic fatalities (+10 percent). Additionally, the monthly percentage changes for alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities were higher than the monthly percentage changes for total traffic fatalities in all months except August.
Of the 46,484 passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatalities, 10,049 were alcohol-impaired (22 percent). Of that number, 4,299 were only alcohol-impaired (9.2 percent), 2,456 were both alcohol-impaired and unrestrained (5.3 percent), 1,565 were both speeding and alcohol-impaired (3.4 percent), and 1,728 were all three simultaneously (3.7 percent).
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Arizona law (ARS 28 1381) prohibits any person under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drugs to drive or physically control any vehicle. The law applies to any intoxicating substances, not just alcohol.
The Implied Consent Law binds Arizona drivers. Licensed drivers automatically consent to blood alcohol concentration or drug content (BADC) testing if police arrest them for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (DUI).
Someone stopped for driving under the influence with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more (0.04 in a commercial vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license) will lose their driving privilege on the spot.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident with a Drunk Driver
If you're in an accident with a drunk driver in Arizona:
- Ensure Safety: First, prioritize safety. Move to a safe location if possible, and check for injuries, both yours and others involved.
- Call 911: Contact the police immediately to report the accident. Mention the suspected drunk driver.
- Gather Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. You can include their license plate, driver's license, and vehicle details.
- Don't Confront the Driver: Stay safe and avoid confrontation with the drunk driver.
- Document the Scene: If it's safe, take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible signs of impairment.
- Witnesses: Get witnesses’ contact information.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don't feel injured, see a doctor. Injuries may not immediately appear.
- Report to Your Insurance: Notify your insurance company about the accident.
- Consult an Attorney: A personal injury attorney experienced in handling drunk driving accident cases in Phoenix can advise you on your legal options.
Stay composed and avoid any arguments with the other driver. Your safety and well-being come first.
How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Driving?
Alcohol consumption significantly impairs a person's ability to drive safely. It impairs decision-making, leading to risky choices on the road. It also slows down reaction time, making it difficult to respond quickly to unexpected situations.
Alcohol affects coordination and fine motor skills, making it challenging to control a vehicle. It can lead to blurred or double vision, making it harder to see the road and other vehicles clearly.
Concentration and attention are compromised, leading to distractions and an increased risk of accidents. Alcohol also reduces inhibitions, potentially leading to reckless behaviors while driving.
All these factors combined significantly increase the risk of accidents when driving under the influence.
What Are the Signs of Drunk Driving?
Here are common indications of a drunk driver:
- Weaving or Swerving: Drunk drivers often have difficulty maintaining a straight lane, causing them to weave or swerve within their lane.
- Excessive Speed Variance: Rapid acceleration or deceleration, or driving significantly above or below the speed limit, can indicate impairment.
- Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle, with little room to react, is a red flag.
- Delayed Response: A drunk driver might react slowly to traffic signals, stop signs, or other vehicles.
- Straddling Lane Markers: Drunk drivers may straddle the lane lines or drive in the middle of two lanes.
- Driving on the Curb or Shoulder: Impaired drivers may mistakenly drive on the curb or the shoulder of the road.
- Excessive Braking: Frequent and unnecessary braking can be a sign of impairment.
- Driving at Night Without Lights: Forgetfulness to turn on headlights at night is a sign of potential drunk driving.
- Inconsistent Signaling: Failing to use turn signals or using them inconsistently is a clue.
- Erratic Stops: Abrupt stops or stops in places where they shouldn't occur are concerning.
If you observe a driver exhibiting these signs, keep a safe distance, do not confront them, and report the situation to the police. Your safety and the safety of others on the road are the top priorities.
If you are in a traffic accident with someone you suspect is under the influence of alcohol or another substance, report your suspicion to the police investigating the crash and to your lawyer.
How Can a Phoenix DUI Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A Phoenix DUI accident lawyer can help you after an accident with a drunk driver in Arizona.
Here's how they can assist you:
- Legal Guidance: They will provide you with skillful legal advice tailored to your specific situation.
- Investigation: Lawyers will investigate the accident thoroughly, gather evidence, and work to establish fault.
- Negotiation: They can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for damages and injuries.
- Legal Representation: If necessary, they will represent you in court and handle all legal proceedings related to your case.
- Understanding the Law: A knowledgeable Phoenix attorney will explain the relevant laws in Arizona, helping you understand your rights and obligations.
- Maximizing Compensation: Their goal is to maximize the compensation you receive, covering medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.
- Emotional Support: A compassionate lawyer can provide emotional support during a challenging time, guiding you through the legal process with care and understanding. They handle the legal complexities, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
Consult a DUI injury attorney after a drunk driving accident to protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.
Recovering Compensation from a Drunk Driving Accident
In cases of injuries or death resulting from a drunk driving accident, an attorney may seek compensation to help victims and their families recover.
These may include:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for all medical costs related to the accident, including hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, and ongoing medical care.
- Property Damage: Repair or replacement costs for damaged vehicles, personal belongings, and other property affected by the accident.
- Lost Income: Reimbursement for income lost due to injuries or disability resulting from the accident, including future lost earnings if the victim is unable to work.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional suffering, as well as reduced quality of life due to the accident.
- Loss of Consortium: This compensation addresses the impact the accident has on the victim's relationships, including loss of companionship and support.
- Legal Fees: Recovery of attorney fees and legal costs associated with pursuing the case.
- Wrongful Death Damages: In the case of a fatality, compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional suffering experienced by surviving family members.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, punitive damages may punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior and deter future drunk driving.
The specific compensation sought will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, the severity of injuries, and applicable state laws.
An experienced Phoenix DUI accident lawyer will work to ensure that victims and their families receive fair and just compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of a drunk driving accident.
Establishing liability for a drunk driving accident typically involves several key steps.
Here's how we determine liability:
- Police Report: The initial police report will often provide crucial information. It may include observations of the drunk driver's behavior, field sobriety test results, and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels.
- Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses can provide valuable accounts of the accident, including whether they observed signs of impairment in the drunk driver. Statements from witnesses who saw the drunk driver consuming alcohol before the accident can also be persuasive.
- Chemical Tests: BAC tests, such as breathalyzer or blood tests, can establish the level of intoxication at the time of the accident.
- Field Sobriety Tests: Results of field sobriety tests conducted by law enforcement officers can be used as evidence of impairment.
- Traffic Violations: Any traffic violations, such as running red lights, speeding, or reckless driving, can be used to demonstrate the driver's negligence.
- Video Evidence: Surveillance cameras, dashcam footage, or even footage from nearby businesses may capture the accident and the drunk driver's behavior.
- Prior Convictions: If the driver has a history of DUI convictions, this can demonstrate a pattern of reckless behavior.
- Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts, can provide professional opinions on the accident and its consequences.
- Admissions of Guilt: Sometimes, the drunk driver may admit fault or intoxication, which can be used as evidence.
If the other driver in a car accident was convicted of a DUI, it can strengthen your case.
A DUI conviction is strong evidence of the driver’s negligence and impairment at the time of the accident. This can make it easier to establish the other driver’s liability for the accident. The DUI conviction is a matter of public record and serves as a formal acknowledgment of the driver’s unlawful behavior.
The driver’s auto insurance may be directly affected by a DUI conviction. Their insurance company may offer a larger settlement due to the clear negligence of their policyholder.
In some cases, the fact of a DUI conviction may allow you to seek punitive damages in addition to compensation for your losses. Punitive damages punish the driver for their reckless behavior and deter others.
If the other driver in a car accident was acquitted of DUI, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t pursue a personal injury claim. An acquittal in a criminal DUI case is a separate legal matter from a civil personal injury claim. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas in civil cases, it’s a lower standard, typically preponderance of the evidence.
Witness statements, physical evidence, or other factors still support your personal injury claim. Even if the DUI charge didn’t lead to a conviction, you may pursue other claims against the driver, such as reckless driving, speeding, or other traffic violations that contributed to the accident.
Arizona also follows a pure comparative negligence system. Under this system, each party involved in an accident, including the plaintiff (injured party), can be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident.
In a DUI accident, if the intoxicated driver is at fault but you’re assigned a percentage of fault, you can still pursue a personal injury claim. The fact that the other driver was driving under the influence can significantly increase liability.
Consult a personal injury attorney experienced in handling DUI accident cases. They can assess the specific circumstances, gather evidence, and advise you on the best course of action.
Claims are bound by the Arizona Statute of Limitations, which is the time limit for filing a personal injury claim. Failing to file within this timeframe can affect your claim’s value. The statute of limitations in Arizona is typically two years.
Contact Impact Legal Today
After an accident with a drunk driver or driver under the influence of other substances, you need experienced legal guidance.
Contact Impact Legal drunk driving accident attorneys today. We're here to provide the support and representation you need to navigate the complexities of your case. We make your well-being and the compensation you deserve our top priorities.
We explain the legal process in a straightforward manner, ensuring you understand every step of your personal injury case or wrongful death claim. Your case is unique, and we tailor our strategies to fit your specific needs and circumstances.