Washington DC Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Victims injured in auto accidents caused by the negligence or recklessness of others have the right to file personal injury claims as a means to recover financial compensation for their damages, including medical bills, lost work wages, and more. Victims injured by drunk or drugged drivers, for example, have this right.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a drunk driving accident? Contact our firm today! Discuss your rights during a FREE consultation.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our attorneys have experience fighting on behalf of drunk driving accident victims and their families. Driving under the influence is a negligent and illegal act – and it is something all motorists know can cause harm.
The Dangers of Drunk Driving Accidents in Washington DC
Drunk driving accidents are some of the most dangerous and devastating types of accidents that can occur on our roads. These accidents often involve serious injuries or even death, and they can have a lasting impact on the lives of those involved.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident
If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for any injuries that you have suffered. Once you have been seen by a medical professional, you should then contact a Washington DC drunk driving accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights and options under the law and will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Common Injuries in a Drunk Driving Accident
A few common injuries are often seen in drunk driving accidents. These injuries can include broken bones, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to be properly diagnosed and treated for your injuries.
Washington DC Statute of Limitations on Drunk Driving Accidents
In Washington DC, the general statute of limitations for filing a drunk driving accident claim is three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years from the accident to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If you do not file a claim within this time frame, you will be barred from doing so and may not recover any compensation for your injuries. However, there are different deadlines for different causes of action, such as for wrongful death claims (which have a 2-year statute of limitations in Washington, DC) In addition, many claims have certain notice requirements which are much shorter. You should contact a qualified Washington DC car accident lawyer, as soon as possible, to discuss the deadlines that apply to your case.
Legal Fault and Damages in Drunk Driving Car Accidents
If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may be wondering who is at fault and what kind of damages you may be entitled to. The answer to these questions will depend on the specific facts of your case. However, in general, the at-fault driver will be liable for any damages that an injured person has suffered as a result of the accident. These damages can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Comparative Fault in Washington DC
In a comparative fault system, each driver is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. For example, this means that if one driver is considered 80% at fault and another 20%, then each party will pay their proportional share of damages based on those percentages (e.g., $100,000 total in losses equals an award worth $80,000 from Driver A to B since they caused more harm than anyone else). If the case involves a head-on collision between two cars, Washington, DC does not apply comparative fault. However, Washington, DC, does apply comparative negligence for bicycles and other vulnerable users. If you were a bicyclist, pedestrian, or other vulnerable user, and you were 50% negligent or less, you can recover 100% of your damages.
Contributory Negligence in Washington DC
If you are in an accident involving only cars, in Washington, D.C. and you are 1% negligent, and your negligence was a cause of the collision, you will not be able to recover for your injuries or damages. In other words, if both parties contributed in some way to causing an accident, even if one party only shares a small percentage of fault, neither party will be able to recover for their damages. However, if you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, or other vulnerable user, you could be up to 50% negligent, and still recover 100% of your damages.
Can a Business be Held Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident in DC?
Washington, DC has dram shop laws. Dram shop laws allow victims of drunk driving accidents to file a claim against the business that served alcohol to the at-fault driver. You can hold an establishment liable if they sold alcohol to:
- Minors under the age of 21
- A person who is already intoxicated
- A person who appears intoxicated
- Someone with “notoriously intemperate habits,” such as an alcoholic
If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case against the business.
Drunk Driving Criminal Charges vs. Civil Liability
It is important to understand that filing a civil claim against the at-fault driver is separate from any criminal charges that may be filed against the driver. Criminal charges are brought by the state and are meant to punish the offender.
On the other hand, a civil claim is brought by the injured party and is meant to compensate them for their injuries. You can file a civil personal injury claim even if the at-fault driver is not convicted of a crime.
Driving Under the Influence
It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher in Washington DC.
Underage Drinking and Driving
The legal drinking age across the United States is 21. If an underage driver is pulled over and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol in breath, blood, and urine, they are subjected to the same offenses as drunk drivers over 21. The penalty for consuming alcohol while underage is a civil fine of up to $1,000.
Penalties for DUI in Washington DC.
The penalties for DUI in Washington DC can be quite severe. For a drunk driver’s first offense, they may face up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and 6-month license revocation. If they have multiple offenses, the penalties become even more severe, with the possibility of a longer jail sentence and much higher fines.
Wrongful Death Drunk Driving Crashes
In Washington DC, if a drunk driver causes a car accident that results in the death of another person, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.
Wrongful death claims are civil actions that allow the victim’s family to recover damages such as medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Help You with Your Claim?
An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer can help you with your claim in several ways. First, they will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine who is at fault and what damages you are entitled to.
Estimate the Value of an Accident Claim
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to estimate the value of your claim and fight for the maximum compensation that you are entitled to.
Handle Negotiations with Insurance Companies
An experienced auto accident lawyer will also be able to manage negotiations with the insurance companies. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying out claims.
They will do everything they can to lowball you and offer you a settlement that is far less than what your claim is actually worth. An experienced lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance companies and fight for the full compensation you deserve.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver?
There are a few things that you can look for to help you spot a drunk driver on the road. If you see a driver swerving in and out of their lane, driving erratically, or making sudden turns, they may be drunk. If you see a driver speeding or tailgating, they may also be intoxicated.
If you suspect that a driver is drunk, the best thing to do is to get out of their way and call the police.
What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You
The Washington, DC car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
How Much Are Drunk Driving Accident Claims Worth?
The best way to find out what your case might be worth is to speak with an attorney with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our accident lawyers have obtained settlements for various car accident cases.
Here are a few of our case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Contact a Washington DC Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, DC Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC. We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.