In Utah, drunk driving accidents are not only dangerous but also a severe violation of the law. Victims of these accidents face physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. Sadly, they’re often left grappling with these challenges alone. The good news is that legal assistance can make all the difference. That is where our team can help you.
The team at Good Guys Injury Law is dedicated to helping those affected by drunk driving accidents. We understand the pain you’re going through. We also know how critical legal support is during this time. That’s why we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our drunk driving accident attorneys can guide you through your personal injury claim.
Learn more about a drunk driving accident claim below. Then, give us a call to schedule a consultation with our drunk driving accident lawyers.
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Build Your Case With an Experienced Utah Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
From injuries to property damage, the aftermath of a drunk-driving collision is often overwhelming. However, with a skilled attorney by your side, the path to justice becomes clearer. It’s about more than compensation; it’s about holding the responsible parties accountable.
Our team at Good Guys Injury Law has years of experience in this field. We’ve seen the tactics that insurance companies use to minimize payouts. We’re also familiar with the intricacies of Utah law. With this knowledge, we build a solid case that stands up to scrutiny.
Every victim’s situation is unique, and we recognize that. We tailor our strategies to your specific needs by taking a personalized approach. We’re committed to ensuring you get the justice you deserve. Let us fight for you and your loved ones.
Understanding Utah Drunk Driving Laws
In Utah, the laws against drunk driving are strict and clear. These laws aim to reduce accidents and safeguard innocent road users. They set the ground rules for permissible alcohol levels in drivers. Violating these rules can result in hefty penalties, both legal and financial. A few key laws to note include:
UT Code § 41-6a-501
This statute defines terms related to driving under the influence (DUI) in Utah. It outlines what constitutes being “under the influence” and the tests that can determine it. The code also describes the penalties for refusing these tests.
UT Code § 41-6a-502
This code states that operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05% or higher is not allowed. Note that this is lower than most other states. Violation of this rule is a clear case of driving under the influence. The penalties can be severe, including license suspension and hefty fines.
UT Code § 41-6a-509
This section deals with drivers under 21, the legal drinking age. It strictly prohibits these young drivers from having any detectable alcohol in their system while driving. Violators can face swift legal consequences.
UT Code § 41-6a-517
Under this statute, certain repeat offenders are subject to harsher penalties. This includes mandatory jail time and longer license suspensions. The goal is to deter repeated DUI offenses.
These are just a few of the legal statutes that could apply to DUI accidents. As a drunk driving accident victim, seek medical care for your serious injuries first. Then, schedule a case consultation with our drunk driving accident lawyer.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Utah
Every year, drunk driving incidents wreak havoc on Utah roads. Sadly, these aren’t just numbers; they represent real people with families and dreams. Recent stats show a concerning trend, with drunk driving cases on the rise. According to the DPS Dashboard, Utah set a record for drunk driving fatalities in 2022, reporting 62 deaths. This highlights the dangers of driving while drunk.
Types of Drunk Driving Crashes in Utah
Drunk driving can lead to various accident types. Each of these carries its own set of dangers and consequences. A few common types of drunk driving crashes include:
A. Rear-End Collision
Often caused by impaired judgment, rear-end collisions can be severe when a drunk driver is involved. They may not brake in time, causing heavy damage. Passengers in the front car are at risk for whiplash and other injuries.
B. Head-on Collision
This is one of the deadliest accidents. Drunk drivers may drift into oncoming traffic, causing a direct collision. The impact can be fatal or result in life-altering injuries.
C. T-Bone Collision
These occur at intersections when a drunk driver does not yield properly or goes through a red light. The side impact can severely injure those seated on the collision side.
D. Side Sweep Collision
When drunk drivers try to change lanes without checking blind spots, they might sideswipe another vehicle. This can send both cars out of control, risking further harm.
Drunk driving accidents aren’t mere fender benders. They can change or even end lives, leading to a wrongful death. Being aware of these crash types helps in understanding the potential risks.
Serious Consequences for Accident Victims
The physical harm after a drunk driving accident is clear, but the emotional and psychological scars last longer. Let’s delve deeper:
A. Traumatic Brain Injury
A drunk driving collision can lead to head trauma, shaking the brain within the skull. Such injuries can vary in severity, from minor concussions to more serious contusions. This might result in symptoms like memory loss, cognitive impairment, or even permanent disability. Ongoing medical assessments and treatments may be necessary for brain injuries, adding to their emotional and financial strain.
B. Broken Bones
The force of the crash often results in broken bones, from simple fractures to complex compound breaks. Recovery from these injuries can be prolonged, requiring surgical interventions and intensive physiotherapy. Some victims might never regain full functionality, affecting their daily activities and quality of life. The pain and inconvenience of these injuries can also lead to emotional distress.
C. Crush Injuries
Crush injuries are common in head-on or T-bone collisions, particularly in high-speed impacts. They occur when a part of the body, often limbs, gets compressed between two objects, such as between the car door and another vehicle. This compression can lead to severe tissue damage, nerve injuries, or even the need for amputation. Rehabilitation from crush injuries is often long and strenuous, with victims facing numerous challenges during recovery.
Fuel leaks, electrical malfunctions, and fires following a crash can result in burn injuries to victims. These burns vary in degree, from first-degree to more severe third-degree burns. They’re not only excruciatingly painful but can also leave lasting scars, affecting a person’s appearance and self-esteem. Additionally, the healing process can be long, often necessitating skin grafts and specialized treatments.
Every injury tells a story of pain and recovery. While some heal, others serve as life-long reminders of the incident. Be sure to see a doctor after a drunk driving crash. Then, let our personal injury law firm review your drunk driving case. We may be able to recover compensation on your behalf.
What To Do After Your Utah Drunk Driving Accident
In the aftermath of an accident, quick and informed decisions can make all the difference. A few key steps to follow include:
A. Get Medical Attention
Your health is paramount. Even if injuries aren’t visible, internal harm can exist. It’s crucial to seek medical help immediately.
B. Contact the Authorities
Always report the accident. Police reports are critical evidence in legal proceedings.
D. Keep the Evidence Intact
Photos, witness accounts, and even damaged clothing can serve as evidence. Preserve everything related to the accident.
E. Initiate Legal Action
Once you’re stable, consider legal recourse. An attorney can guide you on the best steps forward.
Taking the right steps post-accident safeguards your rights. It also ensures you’re on a path to recovery, both physically and legally.
Responsible Parties for Drunk Driving Accidents in Utah
Drunk driving accidents aren’t just the fault of the driver. Several parties might be involved indirectly. Identifying them is key to securing fair compensation.
In some cases, the driver might be under the influence but not directly responsible for the accident. Factors like poor road conditions or faulty car parts can also play a role. Knowing all possible culprits broadens the scope of your claim.
The person behind the wheel holds the primary responsibility. Their decision to drive while impaired is a grave mistake. If convicted, they face legal penalties, including jail time.
But beyond criminal charges, they’re also liable for the harm caused. Their insurance might cover some damages, but often it’s not enough. Direct legal action can ensure full compensation.
The Drunk Driver’s Employer
If the driver was on duty, their employer might be at fault, too. Companies are expected to monitor their employees and prevent such incidents. Failing to do so makes them liable.
It’s not just about having an intoxicated employee. It’s also about why they were drunk on the job. Employer negligence can play a big role in such scenarios.
The Store, Bar, or Restaurant That Sold Alcohol to the Drunk Driver
Establishments serving alcohol have a duty. They shouldn’t serve those visibly intoxicated or minors. If they do and that person causes an accident, they can be held responsible.
Serving someone more drinks when they’re already drunk is risky. The establishment should foresee the potential harm and act responsibly.
Social Host That Provided Alcohol to a Non-Related Minor
Social hosts, like party organizers, must be cautious. Providing alcohol to someone underage is not only illegal but also reckless. If that minor causes an accident, the host can be legally accountable.
It’s more than just breaking the law. It’s about the potential danger one exposes others to by such actions.
Four Elements to Establish Negligence in a Drunk Driving Accident
For a claim to be valid, the victim must have suffered actual harm. This could be physical injuries, property damage, or emotional trauma.
B. Breach of Duty
Each driver must take reasonable precautions to avoid an accident on the road. Driving while drunk is a breach of this duty, as it endangers others.
It should be evident that the driver’s actions directly caused the harm. This link establishes the driver’s responsibility.
D. Duty of Care
All road users owe each other a level of care. It’s the basic responsibility not to harm others through one’s actions.
Utah’s Statute of Limitations on Drunk Driving Accidents
In Utah, victims of drunk driving accidents have a limited time to file a lawsuit. This period, called the statute of limitations, is typically four years from the date of the accident. Missing this window can mean forfeiting your right to compensation.
Compensation Available to Utah Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Victims of drunk driving accidents in Utah can seek various compensation types. This helps them recover from the accident’s aftermath and rebuild their lives.
These are tangible losses with clear financial values. They include medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages. Insurance might cover some, but often it falls short.
Seeking these damages ensures you’re not burdened financially. After all, why should you bear the cost of someone else’s mistake?
These are intangible harms without clear monetary value. They cover pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. Putting a price on them is complex, but they’re critical to the victim’s recovery.
Such damages recognize the broader impact of the car accident. They compensate for the life changes and challenges the victim faces.
These are awarded in cases of extreme negligence. Their purpose is to punish the offender and deter similar behavior. They’re not tied to actual losses but are based on the offender’s actions.
Punitive damages send a strong message. They highlight the severity of the offense and the need for responsibility on the roads.
Reach Out To Good Guys Injury Law for a Free Case Evaluation With Our Utah Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
After a drunk driving crash, it is normal to feel lost and overwhelmed. But with the right legal support, they can find a way forward.
Good Guys Injury Law is here to help. We have passionate, dedicated, and experienced lawyers who know Utah drunk driving laws. We’re committed to ensuring victims get the justice they deserve. Contact us today for a free evaluation, and let’s start your journey to recovery.