According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone in the U.S. dies in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes. That’s 28 people a day. Among the survivors of these drunk-driving accidents are many left with severe injuries.
You may not know where to begin when you’ve been injured in a drunk-driving accident. You’re likely facing medical bills, missed time from work, and emotional suffering. The DUI accident lawyers at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer are here to guide you through the process.
Arizona Drunk Driving Statistics
A recent State of Arizona Highway Safety Annual Report states that a leading cause of death on Arizona roads is alcohol and drug-related crashes. They report that 28 percent of the state’s traffic-related fatalities involved at least one driver above the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The state is working to protect Arizona drivers, and a recent year saw over 27,000 impaired driving arrests.
What to Do After Being Injured in a DUI Accident
It can be difficult to remember what to do in the chaos after a DUI accident. If you were injured in a drunk-driving accident, follow these steps:
- Call 911 – Immediately after the crash, you should call 911 for police and emergency services to come to the scene. They can create an accident report and make sure you are safe.
- Document evidence – While at the scene, try to get photo and video evidence. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information.
- See a medical professional – If you’re not taken to the hospital, you should still see a doctor within 72 hours after the crash. This will allow you to have your injuries documented and establish that they were caused by the DUI accident.
- Don’t say too much – Don’t give too much information to the insurance companies before speaking with a car accident attorney. Don’t post anything about the accident on social media either. They will try to use anything you say to minimize or deny your claim.
- Contact a DUI attorney – Your priority should be healing from your injuries. A DUI accident lawyer can handle the insurance companies, collect evidence, and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Arizona Dram Shop Laws
The impaired driver isn’t always the only one held responsible for a DUI accident. Arizona has dram shop laws. These laws state that the alcohol vendor who served the impaired driver the alcohol can also be liable for the drunk-driving accident. It requires one of the following:
- The impaired driver was obviously intoxicated
- The impaired driver was under the legal drinking age, and the vender either knew or didn’t ask for their ID
If the alcohol vendor served the impaired driver alcohol and the driver then caused a DUI accident, they may also be liable for your injuries. This law only applies to vendors legally licensed to serve alcohol, though. It specifically excludes social hosts serving alcohol to legal-drinking age guests. However, hosts can still be held responsible for serving minors.
An experienced Phoenix DUI accident attorney can help determine all parties liable for your injuries. A lawyer can also gather all the evidence needed to prove their responsibility for the drunk-driving accident.
How to Prove the Other Driver Was Drunk
You may suspect the driver who hit you was intoxicated, but you’ll need evidence to support it. It’s not going to be helpful to confront the driver. However, you should let the police know if you notice any of the following from the other driver:
- Slurred speech
- Smell of alcohol
- Difficulties concentrating
The police will be able to perform any needed testing to confirm if the driver is intoxicated. If they can prove the driver is drunk while at the accident scene, this can significantly help your case.
You may need to provide the evidence that you and the police collect at the scene to the insurance companies or the court to prove that the driver who injured you was driving impaired. A DUI accident victim attorney can gather this and present it for you to seek the compensation you need.
Compensation You Can Recover in an Arizona DUI Accident Claim
If you were injured in a drunk driver accident in Phoenix, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault parties. This can include the following compensation from the impaired driver or the alcohol vender:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
It would be helpful to frequently report your injuries, pain, and suffering in a journal during this time to help quantify your losses. You should also keep all medical bills and records, pay stubs showing missed work, and anything else that can support the physical and emotional distress you have been facing.
Talk to an Experienced Phoenix DUI Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a Phoenix drunk-driving accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with this all on your own. The DUI victim attorneys of Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer are here to help you obtain the evidence you need, communicate with the insurance companies, and pursue a lawsuit if needed.
Call or contact Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer online today for a free case evaluation. Find out how we can help you seek the compensation you need to recover from your DUI accident injuries.