The consumption of alcohol has a variety of impacts on the human body, one of which is the ability to drive safely. Despite having a blood alcohol level within the legally acceptable range, it may still have adverse effects on driving skills such as reducing reaction time and coordination. Tragically, accidents caused by such preventable circumstances often result in harm or death to innocent victims.
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Devastating Consequences: Understanding the Physical Trauma Caused by Drunk Driving Accidents
Individuals operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol are less equipped to make split-second decisions to avoid a collision compared to those who are sober. This, coupled with their impaired driving habits, can result in severe injuries or even death for the victim. Injuries sustained in these incidents often include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a devastating injury that victims of drunk driving accidents often suffer from. This type of injury can result in significant changes to a person’s memory, reasoning, emotions, vision, hearing, and more, affecting their ability to perform basic daily tasks and work. TBI can range from mild to severe, with symptoms ranging from a headache and confusion to loss of consciousness and even coma.
In addition to TBI, spinal injuries are also a common consequence of drunk driving accidents. Spinal injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis, and can also cause herniated discs, chronic pain, and nerve damage. These injuries can have a profound impact on a person’s life and can limit their ability to perform daily activities.
Organ damage is another type of internal injury that can result from drunk driving accidents. In these cases, the lungs, kidneys, and spleen are the most commonly damaged organs. Organ damage can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention and surgery.
Limb injuries are also a common outcome of drunk driving accidents. These injuries can range from broken bones to crushed limbs, and may require surgery and long-term physical therapy. In severe cases, amputation may be necessary to save a person’s life.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries, such as torn or stretched ligaments, tendons, and muscles, are also common in drunk driving accidents. These types of injuries can result in limited mobility and long-term chronic pain, and may require a year or more of physical therapy before surgery is considered.
Finally, burns are another type of injury that can result from drunk driving accidents. When the crash is severe enough, vehicles can catch on fire, resulting in serious burns that can cause permanent disfigurement, scarring, infections, and psychological trauma. In severe cases, the victim may need extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover.
The dangers of drunk driving are a reality, with innocent people suffering injury and death every day. We are dedicated to taking a strong stance against drunk drivers and ensuring that our clients receive full compensation for the damages they are entitled to under the law. We believe that those who engage in drunk driving must be held accountable for their actions.
If you have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be eligible to receive two types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for the harm you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, emotional distress, and other costs related to your injury.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, may be available if the responsible driver was drunk or acted recklessly. These damages can be awarded to both punish the driver for their behavior and discourage others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. We are committed to pursuing punitive damages when they are permitted by law, in order to achieve the fullest possible recovery for our clients.
Statistics About Drunk Driving Accidents in California
As of 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in California, there were over 15,000 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) and over 300 deaths related to drunk driving. These statistics highlight the ongoing problem of drunk driving in the state and the need for continued efforts to prevent it.
It’s important to note that these statistics may have changed and for the most up-to-date information, you should check with the California Highway Patrol or a local government agency.
Things to Do Following a Drunk Driving Accident
It’s important that you understand that it’s critical to take certain steps following a drunk drinking accident in San Diego such as:
- Call 911 and wait for the police or State Highway Patrol to respond.
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries.
- If possible, take photos of:
- Your injuries
- The accident scene
- The vehicles involved in the collision.
- Write down:
- The name, address, and phone number of all witnesses to the accident.
- Keep a daily diary to record:
- How you feel
- How your life has been affected as a result of the accident.
Things NOT TO DO Following a Drunk Driving Accident
It’s just as important to recognize that there are several steps that you should not take following a drunk drinking accident including:
- DO NOT speak with any insurance company until you have spoken with a lawyer.
- DO NOT sign anything sent by an insurance company. Show these documents to your lawyer.
- DO NOT allow any insurance company to take your “recorded statement”.
- DO NOT discuss the facts of the accident or your injuries with any insurance company.
- DO NOT refuse medical treatment if you are hurt.
Why Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Are you on the fence about whether or not it’s worth it to reach out to a personal injury lawyer in San Diego? It’s important to remember that car accidents are often more intricate than they appear on the surface. The insurance company is likely to have teams of trained professionals, including lawyers, who are tasked with safeguarding the company’s interests. Standing alone, it can be challenging to go up against such a formidable adversary.
A 2004 Insurance Research Council study found that injured individuals received 3.5 times more in settlements when represented by a lawyer. The insurance industry is driven by profit, and insurance companies aim to pay out as little as possible. Hiring a personal injury lawyer from HHJ Trial Attorneys can help level the playing field and maximize your settlement.
What to Expect from HHJ Trial Attorneys
As trusted car accident and personal injury attorneys in San Diego, there are many things that you can expect when you work with our team of lawyers:
- A thorough examination of your case, including a discussion of the accident and your injuries.
- Assistance in securing medical treatment if necessary.
- Management of all communication with the insurance company concerning your personal injury claim.
- Gathering of all necessary documentation, including accident reports, medical records, bills, and evidence.
- Investigation of insurance coverage matters and opening of appropriate claims.
- Timely and professional responses to all your questions.
- Assembly of all evidence for review by the insurance company once treatment is completed.
- Negotiating with the insurance company to secure the highest possible offer.
- Guidance in determining the best course of action, whether it be settlement or litigation, once the highest offer has been obtained.
- Proper disbursement of settlement funds, in accordance with state and federal laws, to protect your interests.
- A trusted partner who will support you throughout the duration of your case.
Should You Settle With an Insurance Company Before Speaking with a Car Accident or Personal Injury Attorney?
The answer is a resounding NO. Many individuals who attempt to handle their case alone end up causing harm to their case. Some believe they will receive a larger settlement without the help of a lawyer, but the opposite is true. On average, individuals represented by a lawyer receive 3.5 times more in settlements than those who attempt to handle their case on their own. When unrepresented, the insurance company has the upper hand in negotiations and may make a low and unfair offer. Attempting to rectify a damaged case through litigation can be time-consuming and expensive.
Don’t let the insurance company exploit your situation further by making you a victim a second time. Hire HHJ Trial Attorneys from the outset to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the highest possible settlement.
The traffic accident attorneys at HHJ Trial Attorneys have dedicated their careers to assisting those who have been hurt in crashes. Our California drunk driving accident lawyers have assisted numerous victims and their families in finding closure and comfort after devastating car accidents. We have strongly advocated for our clients to secure the largest compensatory awards possible. Discover how we can support you today through a complimentary consultation.