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Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Arizona
It only takes a moment of failure to pay attention to the road, and if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that moment of failure is even more likely to occur. Driving under the influence occurs when a driver fails to adhere to the laws that govern how much alcohol a person may consume and still drive safely. In some cases, driving under the influence involves illegal drugs or prescription drugs which are being abused or misused by the driver.
In any case dealing with an Arizona drunk driving accident, the victims may be entitled to compensation for their personal injuries; however, the process of recovering damages can be complex and daunting.
How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents in Arizona?
Unfortunately, Arizona drunk driving accidents are common. In fact, one news source reports that Arizona is among the top ten states for fatal car accidents resulting from drunk driving. According to the state’s Department of Transportation, alcohol-related crashes in 2022 accounted for 4.57% of all crashes and 17.15% of all fatal crashes in the state, and over 200 Arizonians died in alcohol-related accidents.
There are many reasons why driving under the influence is dangerous and likely to cause serious damage and injury. Alcohol and drugs reduce a driver’s reaction time, making it less likely that they will be able to slow down or stop in time to avoid a crash. They may impair the driver’s coordination, causing them to engage in unsafe maneuvers such as following too closely or cutting in front of another vehicle. Moreover, alcohol and drugs may impact a driver’s self-control and judgment, making it more likely that they will drive negligently or recklessly or engage in risky behavior on the road.
Types of Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
There are various types of injuries that victims suffer during drunk driving accidents, and some of those personal injuries can be quite serious or even catastrophic. The following are some examples of common injuries in a drunk driving accident:
- Concussions, head injuries, and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries, including in some cases full or partial paralysis
- Back, neck, or shoulder injuries
- Internal organ injuries or bleeding
- Broken bones or fractures
- In very serious cases, loss of limbs or amputations
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Abrasions, cuts, and bruises
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- In the most catastrophic cases, the wrongful death of a loved one
What Is Driving Impaired?
Driving impaired is a reckless act that causes thousands of serious accidents each year. A driver could face a DUI charge for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance. Under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381, it is unlawful for a driver to be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating substances.
Driving under the influence of any substance — even legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs — is illegal in Arizona. A DUI conviction could lead to jail time and hefty fines. An impaired driver could also face civil liability for any injuries or damages he or she inflicted while driving under the influence.
What If the Driver Took Prescription Drugs?
It will not matter that the driver has a valid prescription from a physician for the drugs he or she took before operating a motor vehicle if those drugs cause driver impairment. It remains against the law for someone to drive while drugged and impaired, even if the drugs were legal.
Most medications with potential side effects like drowsiness or dizziness will include warning labels or instructions from physicians not to operate heavy machinery while on the drug. It is the driver’s responsibility to understand how a prescription medication will affect his or her ability to drive before getting behind the wheel.
What Are Arizona’s Marijuana Laws?
Driving impaired can also refer to driving while under the influence of cannabis. The State of Arizona prohibits possession and use of marijuana unless the user has a valid medical marijuana identification card. Impairment by cannabis, legally or illegally, could still result in a DUI charge if the driver is too intoxicated to control the motor vehicle. Any trace of cannabis in a driver’s system could be enough to serve as evidence of fault for a DUI accident.
How Much Is My Arizona Drunk Driving Accident Case Worth?
It is difficult to predict the exact amount that your drunk driving accident claim might be worth because there are many different factors that may influence your total recovery. For example, the value of your case will depend on the type of accident you have suffered, the extent of your personal injuries, and the total amount of expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
It will also depend on the level of fault liability by the other party and will consider whether you may have been partially responsible for the accident as well, which can reduce your recovery amount. The willingness of the other party and their insurance company to reach a fair and reasonable settlement is also a key factor in determining the total value of your claim.
Generally speaking there are certain specific and general damages that you may be able to recover after your drunk driving accident claim. You may recover your out-of-pocket costs, including the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle, and any lost income or wages if you cannot work due to your injuries.
You may also recover your medical expenses, such as doctor and specialist visits, hospital stays, prescription medication costs, and medical testing or imaging expenses. As general damages, you may be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and the general decline in your quality of life after the accident.
How Long Do I Have To File a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit in Arizona?
Each type of claim has a specific statute of limitations, which is the filing deadline for your lawsuit. In Arizona, personal injury matters such as a drunk driving accident lawsuit are required to be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If you fail to file by that deadline, you may miss out on your chance to recover compensation. It is very important that you understand the deadline for your lawsuit so that you don’t miss your chance at recovering damages, which is why a consultation with a knowledgeable Arizona drunk driving accident attorney can be invaluable.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Drunk Driving Accident in and around Phoenix
The help of an experienced personal injury lawyer after a drunk driving accident cannot be understated. Drunk driving accident cases can quickly turn complex, and you should not try to go it alone. An attorney will help you investigate the facts of your case, research the laws involved, and collect and preserve important evidence in your claim. They will also accurately assess the full value of your damages so that you can be sure you are asking for fair compensation.
It is important to note that in a drunk driving accident case, issues of liability and damages can be quite complicated. The party at fault may try to pin liability on someone else, including the victim whose personal injuries have resulted from the accident. The insurance company will also try to limit liability, often offering low-ball settlement figures in an attempt to get you to settle outside of court, particularly if you are not represented. They may also refuse to consider the full amount of your damages, making it important that you engage the services of a lawyer who can value and assess your damages accurately.
A drunk driving accident claim that involves the other party’s insurance company can be difficult to resolve on your own — after all, insurance companies typically have significant resources and legal teams on their side. The help of a knowledgeable lawyer can be invaluable in communicating with the insurance company. They will negotiate on your behalf with the company towards a fair and reasonable settlement offer, and if settlement is not possible, an experienced Arizona car accident lawyer will file your claim in the proper court, understanding the process and procedures involved. They will build a strong case to present to the jury on your behalf.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Gerber Injury Law Today
At Gerber Injury Law, we have helped clients achieve justice and fair recoveries for their injuries for nearly 30 years. Clients throughout Arizona trust us with their most complex cases. In fact, we have recovered more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts since 2001. A drunk driving accident can leave you with significant injuries and financial losses, but you don’t have to try and figure out the claims process on your own.
Our compassionate, knowledgeable Arizona drunk driving accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for the damages you’ve incurred as a result of your loved one’s untimely death. We can meet with you one-on-one to discuss how we will use our tailored legal strategies to help you achieve your goals, and we will guide you through the claims process to make it as stress-free as possible. Call our Arizona personal injury attorneys for a free consultation 623-486-8300 or click here to reach us online.
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