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Hit by A Drunk Driver: What You Need to Know

Gama Law Firm LLC Feb. 17, 2022

An estimated one in three traffic fatalities in the U.S. involve an alcohol-impaired driver. The problem of drunk driving also persists in Colorado. According to a report by the Colorado Department of Transportation, drunk drivers were involved in 30% of all fatalities across the state in 2019.

When involved in a car crash, you may be shaken and not thinking clearly, and the aftermath can be even more stressful and painful.

Handling a personal injury case after a car crash involving a drunk driver can be a complex process. That is why you might want to discuss your case with a knowledgeable drunk driving accident attorney to help you navigate the claims process. At Gama Law Firm, we assist people injured in all types of car accidents, including those involving drunk drivers, in Aurora, Colorado, and elsewhere in the state, including Denver, Castle Pines, Parker, and Centennial.

Steps to Take if You Get Hit by A Drunk Driver

A car crash involving an impaired motorist requires the injured victim to take a few special precautions and steps at the scene of the accident. If you were hit by a drunk driver, it is crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Get to safety. Try to get your vehicle to the side of the road if possible, or if the car is not in working condition, get out of the vehicle and wait for the arrival of the police away from traffic.

  2. Call 911. If you believe that the other motorist is impaired, it is imperative to call the police. If you or someone else involved in the accident, including the drunk driver, suffered injuries, make arrangements for an ambulance.

  3. Gather evidence. If the drunk driver attempts to drive away from the scene of the accident, make sure that you remember the vehicle’s license plate, car make, model, and color. If the driver remains at the scene, take photos of vehicle damage, skid marks, and other relevant details, including empty bottles or open containers of alcohol in the drunk motorist’s vehicle.

  4. Talk to the police. When police officers respond to the scene of your DUI accident, talk to them and tell them your side of the story. If you believe that the other driver is drunk, make sure to mention it.

  5. Seek medical attention. After any crash, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention to diagnose and document your injuries.

  6. Consult with a personal injury attorney. You must speak with legal counsel to know your options when pursuing financial compensation after a car accident involving a drunk driver. Your attorney can help you determine if any third party can be held liable for the DUI crash and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled.

Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents

While the drunk driver is always the primary defendant in DUI crashes, liability may always extend to a third party. In some cases, the injured party may file a lawsuit against the establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver before the collision. This is known as dram shop law in Colorado.

In Colorado, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other alcohol-serving establishments can be held liable for DUIs caused by their customers under the age of 21. The dram shop law also applies to situations in which an establishment served alcohol to an intoxicated customer. The establishment can be held liable for any resulting injuries and damages an intoxicated customer caused to other people after leaving the premises.

Damages for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries or Wrongful Death

When pursuing compensation after a drunk driving accident in Colorado, a victim can recover economic and non-economic damages. Depending on the circumstances of the DUI accident and the severity of the victim’s injuries, recoverable damages may include:

  • Medical bills

  • Loss of income

  • Diminished earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

  • Loss of enjoyment of life

  • Property damage

If an individual died in a collision after being hit by a drunk driver, the victim’s surviving family members might be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Speak with An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

As a victim of a car crash who was hit by a drunk driver, you need to understand your legal rights and options for compensation. At Gama Law Firm, we help accident victims and families involved hold impaired motorists responsible for their actions. Get a case review with our personal injury attorney in Aurora, Colorado, to discuss your DUI case. We serve clients also in Denver, Castle Pines, Parker, and Centennial, Colorado.