Seek Justice after a DUI Accident
Each year, millions of drivers get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), someone dies as a result of a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes. Drunk drivers risk their lives and the lives of others when they choose to operate a vehicle under the influence. This is especially true when the driver happens to be driving a large vehicle such as a commercial truck. These individuals must be held accountable for their negligence. If you or your loved one has been injured as a result of an alcohol or drug-related accident, an attorney from The Tawwater Law Firm in Oklahoma City, OK, can fight for justice on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation online with a drunk driving accident attorney or call (405) 607-1400 to review your legal options.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can severely impair cognitive and motor functions. Yet millions still choose to drive with alcohol or drugs in their system. The facts surrounding these types of accidents are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- More than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions nationwide in 2015.
- Drugs other than alcohol are involved in 16 percent of crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2016, the percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities in Oklahoma.
Injuries caused by a drunk driving accident can range from minor to severe. Victims may experience bruises and lacerations, as well as broken bones. Serious injuries include:
Injuries of this nature often require ongoing medical care, including hospital stays, rehabilitation, and even modifications to your home. They can also inhibit your ability to work, which can place a serious financial strain on your family. In order to accurately determine the full extent of your losses, you need a personal injury lawyer who can help you catalog how your injuries impact your quality of life.
The state of Oklahoma has a higher incidence of deaths from drunk driving accidents than the national average.
Compensation for Injuries
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses including therapy and rehabilitation
- Past and future lost wages
- Damage to your property
- Pain and suffering
In the event that your loved one was killed in a car accident, you can also file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. Compensation resulting from a wrongful death suit can cover funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and more.
Understanding DUI Liability in Oklahoma
While the liable party in a drunk driving accident is typically the driver themselves, Oklahoma has special laws in place, known as dram shop liability laws, which allow individuals injured by an intoxicated driver to seek additional compensation from the business that sold the alcohol. You may have a claim against a business if they knowingly provided alcohol to someone:
- Under age 21
- Who was already intoxicated
- Legally insane or mentally deficient
The basic concept of dram shop liability is that all vendors must act with a certain level of care when serving patrons. By serving someone who was visibly intoxicated, they failed to meet their duty of care. So when the drunk driver causes injury to another individual, the business can be held responsible for their negligent actions.
Our team understands the complexities surrounding DUI liability laws. We can investigate all aspects of your drunk driving accident and identify those at fault for your injuries. Then we can file a civil lawsuit on your behalf to collect the compensation you deserve.
What You Need to Prove in a Civil Case
Drunk driving accidents offer the possibility for both criminal and civil cases. In a criminal case where an individual is arrested for driving drunk, the State brings charges against the intoxicated driver and conducts a separate investigation to prove whether or not they are guilty of a crime. However, if you were injured due to the actions of a drunk driver, you also have the option to pursue a civil case, regardless of whether the driver receives a DUI conviction.
In order to collect compensation from a drunk driver in a civil case, you must be able to prove that:
- The driver who caused the accident acted negligently
- Their negligent actions directly led to the accident
- The accident caused significant damages
In general, less evidence is required to win a civil case than a criminal one. However, it can still be very difficult to collect compensation during a trial without the help of a drunk driving attorney. The insurance company of the drunk driver will often provide their own attorney.
Our team can handle all aspects of your case, including the investigation, so you can focus on what really matters: recovering and rebuilding your life. While many personal injury cases end in a settlement, our team of attorneys at the Tawwater Law Firm is willing to go to court to get the best possible compensation for our clients.
How We Can Help
We prioritize your health and safety, and we work to ensure you receive the care you need to recover from your injuries. While you focus on your health, we can work to build a strong case on your behalf. Our attorneys can review the police report detailing the incident, interview eyewitnesses, and gather all relevant evidence including photos and videos. In addition to pursuing the negligent driver, we can hold the establishment that served the driver accountable, if applicable. Dram shop laws enable us to secure maximum compensation for our clients and discourage others from serving those who are already impaired.
We Deal with the Insurance Company for You
Following your accident, the insurance company of the drunk driver will likely offer you a settlement. When they do so, their goal is to settle the case as quickly as possible to avoid paying for your future medical expenses. It is always important to keep in mind that the insurance company is not a charitable organization. The settlement they offer you is likely intended to minimize the financial impact on their company, rather than properly compensate you for your injuries.
We strive to secure the level of compensation you need to recover and provide for the long-term financial stability of your family.
Our attorneys at the Tawwater Law Firm have spent more than 36 years representing and litigating on behalf of clients after drunk driving accidents. Before you sign anything from the insurance company, have a member of our team review the document. We can ensure you receive the level of compensation you need to recover and provide for the long-term financial stability of your family.
Let Us Help You Focus on Healing
Though compensation cannot reverse the pain and suffering associated with an injury, it can ease your financial burden. Pursuing a claim can bring the negligent party to justice and discourage others from acting similarly. To discuss your case in more detail with an attorney from The Tawwater Law Firm, please contact us online or call us at (405) 607-1400.