Nearly nothing on the road is more dangerous and unpredictable than someone who is driving while drunk. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 10,500 fatal collisions had a connection to alcohol-impaired driving in 2020.
An Indianapolis DUI accident lawyer can help you to file a claim for your injuries and receive fair compensation. This may include compensation for lost income, medical costs, and more.
What Is Drunk Driving Under Indiana Law?
In Indiana, if a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or above, they are “operating a vehicle while intoxicated.” Rather than driving under the influence (DUI), Indiana uses the phrase “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). OWI penalties differ based on the number of convictions already accrued.
There are different BAC limits for minors and commercial drivers. A BAC limit of 0.02 is in place for drivers under 21 years old. The limit for a commercial driver is 0.04 BAC according to Indiana law.
How Is Negligence Established in a Personal Injury Claim?
When bringing a personal injury lawsuit for negligence after a drunk driving crash, you must prove the four elements of negligence are present: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
First, you will need to show that the other driver owed you a duty of care. A duty of care means a driver has to act as a reasonable, ordinary, and prudent driver on the road. As a general rule, drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws, drive safely, focus on driving, and not do anything that would likely result in an accident.
Breach of Duty
Next, you will have to show that the other driver breached their duty of care. A breach means the other party failed to adhere to the correct standard of care. Drinking and driving is a clear example of breaching the duty of care to others on the road.
Causation is the third piece of proving negligence. You need to prove that the breach by the other person caused the accident. This means that you would not have suffered your injuries if the driver had not breached their duty as a driver.
Even if all three elements above are met, you must also show that there are damages. This means you must prove that you sustained losses in some shape or form. For instance, if you suffered burns or broken bones in the accident, your medical bills would be proof of some of the damages you could recover.
Damages in a Drunk Driving Accident
The losses you experience will likely vary based on the circumstances of your particular accident. But they generally include economic damages and non-economic damages.
There are many kinds of economic damages a person may sustain in a drunk driving collision, but medical expenses and lost wages are probably the most common. Property damage also falls into this category.
You may also be able to receive compensation for non-economic damages after a drunk driving accident. Non-economic damages are more challenging to calculate than economic ones. They consist of damages like pain and suffering, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship.
Common Injuries in a DUI Accident
Multiple injuries can occur due to a DUI accident. While we cannot reverse the damage done by DUI accidents, we are here to help you receive compensation. Below are several of the most common injuries in a drunk driving accident.
Spinal Cord Damage
In a drunk driving collision, a victim can suffer major spinal cord injuries. Individuals may experience partial or even total paralysis as a result. These injuries can cause immense medical costs as patients go through long-term treatment.
Significant burns can happen in a DUI crash, resulting in a long recovery, extensive therapy, scarring, and permanent disfigurement. Burns can have a wide range of severity levels, anywhere from a first-degree to a fourth-degree burn. Moreover, the need for surgery and recovery time may prevent a person’s return to work.
Internal injuries, such as organ injuries, are frequent in drunk-driving crashes. Since this is not always apparent right away, it is vital that you get medical care immediately after a collision. Qualified medical providers can check you for hidden injuries and get you the appropriate treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
TBIs in a drunk driving collision are all too common. This type of injury is due to head trauma and can have serious consequences for the victim. For example, TBI patients may have memory problems or vision or hearing difficulties.
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How Our Lawyers Can Help You
An Indianapolis DUI accident lawyer at Gerling Law can analyze your claim in detail and fight diligently for you. Our caring attorneys are here to get you the best possible outcome. Our lawyers have over 125 years of combined experience and what it takes to advocate for you. Unlike many other law firms, we can help you 24/7 by phone or email. Call us today to get started filing your claim at 888-437-5464.