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Pursuing lawsuits against drunk drivers

submitted by Stark & Stark, Attorneys at Law

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29 people die each day in the United States as a result of drunk driving.

That is one fatality every 50 minutes caused by drunk driving.

While drunk driving deaths have decreased significantly in the last 30 years, drunk driving crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives each year. Most recently, in 2010, the NHTSA estimated that drunk driving accidents resulted in $44 billion in losses caused by fatalities and damages.

Alcohol is a depressant that reduces brain function and impairs thinking, muscle coordination, and reasoning.

All of these functions are essential to driving a vehicle safely.

If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you most likely can pursue a lawsuit against the drunk driver through the civil justice system.

Many times, drunk drivers face criminal charges with restitution. Generally, the restitution does not compensate victims for all of their damages.

Under Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop law, a business or individual who gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person is legally responsible for any damage that person might cause.

“Visibly intoxicated” is not the same as “legally intoxicated.”

A driver can be legally intoxicated without being visibly intoxicated.

In fact, most people do not start showing visible signs of intoxication until they reach a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10.

As such, if you are injured as a result of a drunk driver, there needs to be an immediate and aggressive investigation to determine the BAC of the drunk driver, and to find out who provided the alcohol to the driver.