Our drunk driving accident lawyers represent individuals who are the victims of accidents that involve driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you’re hurt in a crash, we can help you assert your rights and claim financial compensation. You don’t have to go it alone.
Why Work With Christensen & Hymas Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys?
Being injured in an accident is already painful, stressful, and challenging enough. When that accident is the result of someone’s choice to drink and drive, the outcome can be devastating. Your life will never be the same. Even as you struggle to overcome pain and grief, medical bills begin piling up.
Don’t endure the frustration and pain of a drunk-driving accident alone. Our Utah car accident attorneys are here to help.
We understand that these accidents can be life-altering and debilitating. That’s why we strive to serve each one of our clients with professional integrity, legal expertise and personal compassion. We will handle every aspect of your case personally, with experience you can count on.
Utah has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the United States. These laws protect victims when they get hurt by those who choose to get behind the wheel intoxicated.
What is Utah’s drunk driving criminal law?
Utah’s drunk driving criminal law is Utah Code § 41-61-502. Driving with a bodily alcohol content of .05 or more is prohibited. It is also against the law to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that the person is no longer capable of safely operating a vehicle. Offenders face fines, jail time, license suspension, imposition of an ignition interlock device, and other penalties.
What is Utah’s drunk driving civil law?
Utah’s drunk driving civil law is Utah Code § 78B-5-818. Drunk driving qualifies as negligence under the law. A victim may claim financial compensation based on their damages and the principles of comparative negligence.
How to Prove Drunk Driving Caused the Accident
Unfortunately, drunk driving is the cause of many accidents on the road. However, you can hold the responsible party accountable. Drunk driving may be shown by:
- The results of a chemical test, like a breath or blood test
- Field sobriety tests like the walk and turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus
- Slurred speech
- Argumentative behavior
- Unsteadiness on feet
- Driving errors
- Statements and admissions
Our lawyers for DUI accidents can help you examine the facts and build the evidence to show drunk driving caused the crash and your injuries.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident Besides the Driver?
Besides the driver, others may be legally responsible for a drunk driving accident. An employer may be responsible for negligently hiring, training or supervising their employee. In addition, a bar or restaurant may be responsible for overserving a patron. Anyone else who contributes to the crash through negligence may also be named in a legal claim.
Is a Criminal Charge Enough if I’m the Victim of a Drunk Driver?
A criminal claim is vital to hold the offender responsible for drunk driving. However, the criminal claim alone isn’t enough to fully protect all the rights of a drunk driving victim. A civil lawsuit is necessary for the victim to claim all other damages to which they have a right, including lost income, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
Learn your Rights. Get Answers. Free.
Drunk driving statistics illustrate the physical and emotional harm caused by DUI crashes.
- About 30 people in the United States lose their lives from drunk driving accidents each day. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes.
- The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.
- One-third of traffic-related deaths are from drunk drivers.
- More than half of children killed by drunk drivers are riding in the car with the driver.
- Each year, about 1.4 million drivers get arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths.
- The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. Only time will sober a person up. Drinking strong coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower does not help.
- Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
- On average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
- The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before the first arrest.
To summarize, drunk driving is an epidemic that must be eradicated at all costs. Bringing a legal claim holds the offender accountable and helps society take a stand. It also provides needed financial relief for victims. It is the offenders and not the drivers who should pay the damages for a drunk driver.
Our lawyers for drunk driving accidents can represent you in everything needed to bring your claim for fair compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.
What is a DUI?
A DUI stands for driving under the influence. This means you have an excess of alcohol in your system that is more than the legal limit for your state. It can also mean that alcohol or drugs impair your ability to drive. DUI is a crime as well as civil negligence.
Do I have a drunk driving case if the driver refused to take a Blood Alcohol Test?
Yes, you still have a case if the driver refused to take a blood-alcohol test. There are other ways to show evidence of intoxication. Demonstrating drunk driving itself isn’t even necessary—showing negligence in any form is enough to prove legal fault for an accident case.
How is a civil drunk driving case different from a criminal drunk driving case?
A civil drunk driving case is different from a criminal drunk driving case in several respects:
- The burden of proof in a civil case is a preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower standard than in criminal cases.
- A victim decides whether to bring a civil claim; a state attorney authorizes criminal charges.
- The purpose of the civil case is to determine financial compensation for the victim; the victim is not the only focus of a criminal case.
- In the civil case, the victim decides when to accept a settlement; a state attorney makes decisions about plea offers in a criminal case.
We invite you to speak with our team of lawyers for drunk driving accidents to learn about how a civil claim can help you reach your goals.
A Drunk Driver Hit Me – What Should I Do?
Being in any type of accident is very stressful. Knowing the accident is because of a drunk driver can be especially infuriating. Understand what to do after an accident with a drunk driver:
1. Collect Information from the Scene
Getting as much information from the accident as you can help with your insurance claims as well as helps you with your personal injury claim. You should collect the driver’s contact, insurance, and vehicle information. Take pictures of the accident site and the vehicles involved.
2. Find Witnesses
Finding witnesses of the accident can be very beneficial for more perspectives about the accident. Make sure to get their contact information.
3. Call 911
Calling emergency assistance if someone is hurt should be the first priority. Victims of the car crash may need immediate medical care and along with emergency care, the police will be able to provide a police report for the accident.
4. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t have any obvious cuts or bruises, there may be internal damage or injuries that could take time before you begin to feel pain. Having a medical professional check you out is always the best idea. If you start to feel pain later, it may be too late for you to claim these injuries are from the accident.
5. Alcohol Involvement
If you suspect that alcohol contributed to the accident, letting an officer at the scene know may help with getting a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading for the other driver. Though the officers investigating the accident should be able to notice if the other driver is under the influence, they must have reasonable grounds or probable cause to believe that the driver was driving drunk. If the crash resulted in fatalities, the BAC of the victim and those involved should be tested to further investigate the cause of the accident.
6. Hire an Attorney
If you have injuries from an accident and you suspect or know that the other driver was under the influence, hire an attorney right away. They will be able to help you get the compensation that you deserve for the reckless behavior of another.
Being in an accident with a drunk driver can be incredibly trying and difficult for all parties involved. Depending on the accident’s severity, the person who is injured isn’t the only one who suffers.
Below is a list of resources for loved ones and individuals who have been hit by a drunk driver:
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This website provides information on drunk drivers and traffic safety. They share public studies, statistics and insurance information.
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Get news and updates on the latest drunk driving laws. Voice your opinions.
- The Century Council. The Century Council provides information, research, and statistics on drunk driving accidents and prevention.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Find resources to help prevent drunk driving and support systems for those who have lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents. Get involved.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Access information on alcoholic problems and drug dependence.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. See government resources for prevention of drunk driving, new laws, and information for crash victims.
- Utah Department of Public Safety. Find information from the Utah Department of Public Safety that is specific to the crime of drunk driving.
- Utah Personal Injury Lawyer. If a drunk driver has injured you, you are entitled to seek legal representation. Legal counsel can help you make good decisions for your situation.
Lawyers for Drunk Driving Accident Victims in Utah
We at Christensen & Hymas offer free, confidential consultations. Learn about your case and how we provide professional and compassionate legal services for drunk driving victims. Contact us today to discuss your legal rights.