Drunk Driving Accidents

A person whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs should never get behind the wheel. When an impaired person makes the reckless decision to drive anyway, the results can be tragic.

Each year, more than 1,000 accident victims die in alcohol-related collisions in Canada, according to estimates by MADD Canada. And thousands of others suffer life-altering injuries in accidents caused by drunk drivers. In fact, Transport Canada estimates that alcohol was a contributing factor in about 30 percent of all accidents between 2003 and 2005.

A driver who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medications may be found guilty of the criminal charge of driving under the influence, or DUI. But if you have been injured or lost a family member because of an impaired driver, you may need to file a civil lawsuit to get the fair settlement you deserve.

The experienced car accident lawyers at Klein Lawyers can help.

Impaired Driving Accident Injuries

An accident caused by an impaired driver can result in devastating injuries and loss. MADD Canada reports that in 2010 alone, at least 1,082 people were killed and more than 63,000 were injured in drunk-driving crashes across the nation. Additionally, 210,932 impaired-driving accidents caused property damage, for which a driver might also be held liable.

Injuries that can result from an impaired-driving crash include:

  • Concussion and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash and other neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to internal organs, soft tissues, muscles or skin
  • Nerve damage
  • Crush injuries or amputations

In far too many cases, these injuries or a combination of injuries proves fatal, and family members lose a cherished loved one to another driver’s bad decisions.

Why File a Drunk Driving Lawsuit?

A drunk driving lawsuit may be an option if you have been injured or have lost a family member in an impaired-driving accident. The types of claims involved and the compensation available depend on the specific facts of your case. So it is important to speak to an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to help you make an informed decision.

Typical damages include:

  • Compensatory damages to repay the injured person or family for losses suffered as a result of the accident. Common items covered by compensatory damages include medical expenses, medication costs, therapy or rehabilitation costs, lost wages and property damage.
  • Punitive damages to punish particularly bad conduct and to send a message that similar behaviour will not be tolerated. Punitive damages may be available if the driver had very high blood alcohol content or was under the influence of powerful illegal drugs or prescription medications at the time of the crash.

In most intoxicated driving lawsuits, the impaired driver is the first person an injured person or family turns to when seeking damages. However, other parties may also be involved. For instance, a bar, restaurant or club may be liable for damages if it sold alcohol to a minor or a person who clearly was intoxicated and subsequently caused a car accident. Such claims against establishments are called “dram shop” claims.

Contact Our Vancouver DUI Injury Lawyers

At Klein Lawyers, we know that no two impaired-driving accidents or injuries are the same. We pull together a dedicated team of drunk driving accident lawyers and focus on the details of your claim, so we can be sure to pursue the compensation you and your family need. If you were injured by an impaired driver, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.