Suing Drunk Drivers
The statistics are appalling: in 2010, 10,288 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in this country. That equates, on average, to a person being killed by a drunk driver every 51 minutes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that represents a 4.9 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities from the previous year. But, drunk driving continues to account for 1 in 3 deaths on American roadways each year. Many drunk drivers are repeat offenders, according to a recent report issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ("TBI"). According to that TBI report, there were a total of 137,183 arrests for DUI between 2002 and 2007. 21% of those offenders were rearrested for violating the DUI law at least two times during that time period, and 34% of the repeat offenses occurred within 0-6 months of the original arrest date. Drunk drivers are one of the greatest dangers on our roads. Often, the people irresponsible enough to drive while intoxicated are the same people driving with little or no liability insurance. Victims and their family members frequently ask, "Can I sue a drunk driver?"
When a family has been struck by the violence of a drunk driver, no amount of money ever will compensate for the tremendous loss suffered by that family. But our civil justice system provides those innocent victims with the right to seek compensation from those who carelessly or recklessly disregard others' safety by drinking and driving or by supplying alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated people. Often, prosecuting a lawsuit against a drunk driver, bar, or nightclub is necessary to obtain fair compensation for DUI victims.
Drunk drivers should be pursued aggressively within the law--regardless of their level of insurance or assets. In cases where the drunk driver was a minor, or a visibly intoxicated patron of a bar or restaurant, the person or entity supplying the alcohol should be pursued equally as aggressively. If a seller of alcohol emphasizes profit over public safety, or an irresponsible adult facilitates drunk driving by minors, then in certain situations they can--and should--be held accountable to the victims of their carelessness and recklessness. That is what happened in a recent liquor liability lawsuit in Rutherford County, Tennessee, where the jury awarded my client a verdict in excess of $10 million against an international, publicly traded restaurant chain that served too much alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer.
I represent victims of drunk drivers. I do not defend drunk drivers. If you want to learn more about suing a drunk driver, please contact me or request a free evaluation of your case. For more information on the tragic epidemic of drunk driving in this country, please visit the website of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which offers numerous resources for victims of drunk driving, including tips on selecting an attorney to bring a civil claim or lawsuit against a drunk driver for personal injury or wrongful death.