Drunk Driving Accidents Attorney In Michigan City, Indiana
Indiana Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyer
There is nothing more disheartening than realizing that an accident could have been completely prevented. This is especially true when the wreck was caused by a person who was under the influence behind the wheel. When you are seeking an experienced LaPorte County Indiana drunk driving accident attorney, you need to be prepared for what is involved in suing a drunk driver that hurt you or killed someone that you love.
Look for an attorney who has a background in filing car accident injury cases caused by people who were driving drunk.
Understanding Indiana's Legal Responsibilities
If we drive in Indiana, we should do everything we can to remain safe on the road and avoid illegal activity that could harm ourselves and others. Any time that the rules of the road like this are broken, this could be considered negligence. Any way you slice it, driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver's judgment and stopping ability.
A driver can be so impaired she can even drive in the wrong direction. Crashes that are caused by this behavior will also trigger criminal consequences. The law just doesn't tolerate folks who drink, drive and injure or kill people. In Michigan City, we have recently seen such an event where we lost two lives and another resident is going to prison for drunk driving.
Criminal courts might take up the role of punishing the negligent driver who caused the accident by issuing fines, revoking the license, and even sentences in prison or jail, but these decisions don't help you get back on your feet as a victim following an accident. Instead, such an accident can prompt a separate personal injury claim for the drunk driving accident.
Drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher can be classified as drunk in Indiana and can be punished under the law. Unfortunately, far too many people who have been hurt in drunk driving accidents had little or no opportunity to get out of the way of the drunk driver.
What Can an OWI Injury Lawyer Do?
An experienced Indiana operating while intoxicated accident attorney can play an important role in the development and pursuit of your case. Beyond protecting your legal rights and assisting in your fight to receive the highest compensation available, your attorney will investigate your claim looking at the evidence, such as breathalyzer, blood and urine test results of the drunk driver, police or surveillance video of the accident if available, pictures of the accident scene and vehicles involved, witness statements, police reports, criminal court records and medical records.
It is important that you be able to gather all evidence that can prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident due to his or her intoxication. This can be extremely difficult to show in court if the other driver declined a breathalyzer test at the crash scene.
At the time that the driver's blood was tested their blood alcohol level might have fallen below the 0.08 threshold and you might have to rely on other evidence to support your claim. An attorney can be an instrumental part of building a solid case based on interviews with witnesses, medical evidence, the driver's history involving past incidents with alcohol, and other factors. You can't afford to take the risk of fighting back without support from an attorney.
Can Anyone Else Ever Be Held Responsible in A Drunk Driving Accident?
In most drunk driving incidents, it is the individual driver. However, there are some circumstances in which another party could be held accountable under Indiana's Dram Shop Law. Indiana's Dram Shop Law IC-7.1-5-10-15.5 can hold businesses and people who "furnish alcohol" responsible for drunk drivers' actions.
However, under Indiana's law, there are two specific circumstances in which a certain party other than the individual driver could be held responsible for an auto accident induced by alcohol. This requires that (1) the person furnishing the alcoholic beverage had actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished; and (2) the intoxication of the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was a proximate cause of the death, injury, or damage alleged.
Common Injuries in Indiana Drunk Driving Accidents
The impact of a drunk driving accident can vary from one accident to another. This is why it is important for anyone who has been injured to schedule a consultation with an experienced Indiana drunk driving accident attorney.
It could be the victim's only opportunity to discuss avenues for recovering compensation and necessary next steps. When someone is injured in an accident, it can be overwhelming for the injured person to figure out what to do next, especially if they are not yet aware of how this accident could influence their life.
Some injuries require longer than others for recovery periods and some accident victims may never fully recover. Common injuries in drunk driving accidents include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, fractures, internal organ bleeding, head, neck and back pain and more. Anyone with a bad injury might not be able to return to work or live their life the way that they did prior to the accident. For any of these folks, speaking with a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney is the next step.
Getting Legal Help for Your Claim
You have a limited period of time in which to file an injury claim after an accident. This means that after an accident, you cannot wait any longer than two years from the date of the crash. Many of the personal injury claims brought about in relation to Indiana drunk driving accidents can be resolved outside of court in settlement negotiations, but you should never enter into that process on your own without legal counsel.
Settlement offers presented by the insurance company or the other side might not fully compensate you for your injuries, especially when it comes to calculations of future medical needs and expenses, and loss of future income. An attorney who knows how to evaluate the ways in which your life changed due to the accident can help you decide whether or not a settlement offer is fair considering your condition. Don't hesitate to contact a committed Michigan City, Indiana drunk driving accident attorney today.