The United States has a serious drunk driving problem. Each year thousands of people are needlessly killed or injured by drunk drivers. The Doylestown drunk driving accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC fights for the rights of those who have been harmed by drunk drivers. We take our responsibilities to you and your family very seriously.

Man drunk driving holding a bottle while driving a car

Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “every day, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.” This is approximately one death every 51 minutes. The cost of life is incredible and the economic cost is also enormous: the annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found:

  • In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
  • Of all the traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2015, 209 (16%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • In 2015, nearly 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

Young people were found to be at great risk for alcohol-impaired driving.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among drivers with blood alcohol levels of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2015, nearly three in 10 were between 21 and 24 years of age (with the next two largest groups were ages 25 to 34 and 35 to 44).

Alternatives to Drinking and Driving

There are numerous alternatives to drinking and driving. It is never acceptable to put others in jeopardy by drinking and driving.

  • Share ride and taxi services are now common in almost all cities and towns throughout the country. The establishment where you are dinking should be happy to coordinate a safe ride home for all patrons.
  • Identifying a designated driver before the drinking begins is another alternative to drinking and driving.
  • Many cities and towns have established “safe ride home” programs that offer transportation services and no or reduced charge. These services are always preferable to driving while intoxicated.
  • Public transportation is also available in most medium to large cities. Public transportation is usually a cheap and efficient way to get home safely.

Do whatever it takes to stay out from behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Don’t let others drive drunk and take steps to protect yourself.

Your Rights After a Drunk Driving Accident in Doylestown

If someone else made the mistake of driving under the influence and hit you or a member of your family, you have clear legal rights under Pennsylvania law. Your rights after a drunk driving accident in Doylestown include:

1. The Right to See a Doctor of Your Choosing

Do not let the insurance companies tell you where to go for treatment. You have the right to see a doctor of your choosing, and it is extremely important that you receive treatment from a doctor who has your best interests in mind. When you see a doctor, tell your doctor that you are seeking treatment related to a drunk driving accident, and describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible.

2. The Right to File an Insurance Claim

Auto insurance covers drunk driving accidents. In addition to using your “no-fault” coverage (all drivers must have a minimum of $5,000 in “no-fault” coverage under Pennsylvania law), you can file a bodily injury liability (BIL) claim as well. This is true whether you have “limited tort” or “full tort” coverage under your auto insurance policy. Hopefully, the drunk driver has adequate BIL coverage; but, if he or she does not, you can file an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) claim if you have this coverage under your policy.

3. The Right to Hold Third Parties Accountable

In addition to filing an auto insurance claim, you also have the right to file claims against any third parties that are legally responsible for the drunk driver’s conduct. For example, if the drunk driver was drinking at a bar or restaurant and was visibly intoxicated, you could have a claim against the establishment under Pennsylvania’s dram shop law. Or, if the drunk driver was working at the time of the accident, his or her employer could be liable for your accident-related losses.

4. The Right to Full Compensation for Your Losses

When you have a drunk driving accident claim in Doylestown, you are entitled to full compensation for your losses. The only exceptions are: (i) if you have “limited tort” coverage and your injuries do not qualify as “serious”; (ii) you (or your loved one) was partially at fault in the accident, or (iii) you have waited too long to assert your legal rights. This includes compensation for financial losses such as medical bills and loss of earnings, as well as non-financial losses such as pain, suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.

5. The Right to Experienced Legal Representation

You have the right to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. Protecting your legal rights is extremely important, but it can also be extremely difficult. An experienced Doylestown drunk driving accident lawyer can help, and you can hire a lawyer to represent you at no out-of-pocket cost. At Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we handle all drunk driving accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing at all unless you win. 

A Doylestown Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC is Here to Help

Contact us online or by calling 888-777-7098 today to discuss your case with a Doylestown drunk driving accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver. We are a team of experienced and passionate legal professionals who believe strongly in getting the injured the compensation that they deserve for the harms they have suffered.