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A generation after North Carolina’s Safe Roads Act imposed stricter penalties for drinking and driving, drunk drivers still cause thousands of car accidents in our state every year. Drivers who drink and drive know they are breaking the law and regardless of what they tell themselves, they should understand that they are acting recklessly and dangerously.
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Seek Recovery From Reckless & Irresponsible Drivers
It is only fitting that drunk drivers are held accountable for the harm they cause, and those injured or who have lost loved ones because of a drunk driver’s recklessness are properly compensated for their losses. The Hickory, Charlotte, Greenville, Rock Hill, & Columbia drunk driving accident attorneys of The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor work diligently to obtain the maximum compensation available for clients whose lives have been upended by a drunk driver.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney in person or over the phone by calling (800) 351-3008.
The Recklessness of Driving After Drinking
It is well-known that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal and dangerous. It is taught in school and emphasized in driver education, as well as in numerous safety campaigns.
A driver experiences a decline in visual functions and the ability to perform two tasks simultaneously, even with a blood-alcohol concentration of .02, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a .05 percent BAC, a driver experiences difficulty steering and a diminished ability to respond to emergency driving situations. At .08 percent BAC, a driver is legally drunk and likely to experience impaired perception, difficulty concentrating, and controlling their vehicle’s speed.
A driver need not be legally drunk to crash their car or to be held responsible for injuries and other damage they caused in a crash. Indeed, the N.C. DMV says there were 761 crashes in the state in 2015 in which the driver had a BAC of .01 to .07 percent.
Civil law allows the victims of another person’s negligence, recklessness or criminal activity to seek financial restitution for their losses. A person injured in a car accident caused by a drunk or drinking driver may seek compensation, regardless of whether the driver has been convicted of driving while impaired (DWI) or related offenses.
Recoverable damages from drunk driving accidents include:
- Loss of income
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit would have to show that the defendant driver’s negligence or recklessness led to the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries and other losses. Of course, if the driver had already been convicted of driving while impaired, it would be strong evidence of the driver’s liability.
Dram Shop Liability in N.C. Drunk Driving Accidents
In drunk driver cases that involve drivers younger than 21 years old, the legal age to consume alcohol, one or more third-party claims may sometimes be pursued.
North Carolina’s dram shop law says that someone who sells or furnishes an alcoholic beverage to an underage person can be held responsible if the young driver becomes impaired and injures someone while impaired, and it can be shown that their impairment was the proximate cause of the injury.
More plainly, a store owner who sells an underage person alcohol or a party host who serves alcohol to underage guests may be held responsible if that person drives afterward and causes an accident. This may include a clerk at an ABC store or a convenience store, a restaurant or club employee, or misguided parents who host their children’s teenage friends and allow them to drink.
We Provide Legal Help to Drunk Driving Victims
The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor investigates drunk driving accidents and establishes the extent of your injuries and losses. We can determine who should be held legally responsible for the harm victims have suffered and press them for compensation.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash caused by a drunk or drinking driver in the Carolinas, we want to help you. We cannot change what has happened, but we can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover financially from the injustice you have suffered.
Call (800) 351-3008 to and ask to speak with one of our Hickory drunk driving accident lawyers serving North and South Carolina.
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