When people drive under the influence of an intoxicant such as alcohol, it is never a wise idea. All Arizona drivers understand this is an illegal action and that the courts throughout the state will issue stiff penalties to the drivers who are convicted of this infraction. Tragically, these penalties are not enough of a deterrent to keep drivers from operating a vehicle after they intoxicate themselves in some manner. They place their own bodies in danger on top of those around them.
In the following information, you will learn certain Arizona DUI statistics along with damages that one may seek when he or she has suffered an injury at the hands of an intoxicated, Arizona driver. In addition, we explain what steps you need to take when you or a family member have been involved in a DUI car accident in Arizona and why it is important to hire a car accident lawyer to help with your case.
Similar to other states, the public is pressuring Arizona authorities to reduce the occurrences of drivers ingesting an alcoholic beverage or other intoxicant before operating a vehicle on the state’s roadways. Citizens turn to radio and television ads, public service announcements and other types of media to place pressure on the state’s authorities on this issue.
In spite of all these efforts and stricter DUI laws in recent years, too many issues are still occurring across Arizona. Sadly, intoxicated drivers kill about 300 individuals each year in Arizona and injure another 15,000 unlucky people with their illegal actions.
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A person who is arrested on DUI charges that result in death or injury of another, he or she typically faces one of two legal issues. The death of another under these circumstances leads to the police and prosecutors pursuing the conviction of the guilty party on serious criminal charges in court, such as vehicular manslaughter. If others just suffer injuries instead of fatalities, the DUI driver will likely need to pay substantial fines or spend time in jail depending upon the circumstances of the accident.
Cases for civil suits to gain adequate compensation that the injured parties file are often strengthened when the driver first is convicted in criminal court of DUI or related charges. For this reason and others, the burden of proof is higher with cases in criminal court than with ones in civil court since the criminal defendant’s case must be proven beyond all doubt. When this results in a guilty verdict, it presents believable evidence that the defendant was indeed negligent when injured parties file a civil claim.
Depending on the severity of the accident involving a drunk driver, additional types of damages may be available to the person who files claims against an intoxicated driver when it causes fatalities or injuries. Learn further information about some of the damages of which we speak.
1. Damages for Compensatory Purposes
Usually, compensatory damages always are available in all personal injury cases. The purpose of these damages is to compensate plaintiffs for their injuries. For example, all of the costs that the plaintiff incurs such as the cost of medication, medical treatments and ongoing medical care on top of other financial suffering or loss of income, which is the result of the defendant’s negligent actions, are recoverable by the plaintiff. The court also may award damages to the plaintiff for suffering and pain to compensate for a lower quality of life that the plaintiff now faces.
2. Damages of a Punitive Nature
Certain civil cases that involve personal injury claims permit the court to award punitive damages since driving intoxicated is such a reckless action, especially when the defendant had an extremely high blood-alcohol content or BAC at the time of the accident. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish a defendant and to offer compensation to the plaintiff who suffered due to the defendant’s unlawful conduct.
3. Third Party Damages
In Arizona, the intoxicated driver may not be the only one to pay damages when a person suffers injuries fatal or not in a DUI accident. Plaintiffs also have the right according to Arizona law to name restaurants, bars and other places that serve alcohol as defendants when the situation merits such an action. The legal statute that allows this is called the Dram Shop Act, and it is designed to hold the above establishments accountable for continuing to serve alcohol to a person when he or she clearly is already drunk.
Not only is it stressful and painful to suffer injuries at the hands of a drunk driver, it is also complicated to pursue your legal rights in the matter given the various parties who may be at fault in your specific case. When you or a family member suffers harm through the actions of an intoxicated driver, schedule an initial consultation with an Arizona DUI accident attorney at Cantor Injury Lawyers to learn what assistance he or she will provide to you.
Contact a DUI accident attorney at Cantor Injury Lawyers by filling out the online free consultation form on our website or through calling 602-254-2701 if you or a family member suffers an injury in a DUI or DWI accident.
Lawsuits often require filing within a specific time period called the Statute of Limitations. For this reason, it is crucial to contact us immediately to safeguard your rights for compensation monetarily or otherwise.
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