The holiday season is full of family, fun, parties, and events. Unfortunately, during a season that should be merry and joyful, thousands of victims become injured or killed in drunk driving accidents. The chances of being seriously injured or killed in an alcohol-related car accident increase significantly during the holidays. Drivers are more likely to binge drink at social gatherings and parties during the holidays. Sadly, every single drunk driving death is preventable. Despite years of public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, fatalities during the holidays continue to occur.
Why are Holidays More Dangerous for Drunk Driving Accidents?
To understand recent trends related to drunk driving on holidays, examining studies conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality and Injury Reporting System (FARS) is crucial. In car accidents with at least one driver having a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08%, the data shows that Labor Day is the deadliest holiday for alcohol-related car accidents. The data also shows New Year’s Eve has the highest alcohol-related traffic accident fatality rate.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Injuries
If you or your loved one have become injured in a drunk driving accident over the holiday season or lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. When a driver’s negligent or reckless behavior causes an accident that results in a victim’s injuries, the victim can pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, Alabama is an at-fault State when it comes to car insurance.
If a drunk driver caused a car accident that resulted in your property damage and injuries, you have a right to file a claim for compensation from that driver’s insurance company. Alabama drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance. Unfortunately, some drivers do not carry Insurance. In that case, you may need to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your insurance policy to recover compensation.
If the drunk driver was working for a business, you might be able to pursue compensation from their employer. For example, suppose the driver made deliveries the week after Black Friday. If you can show that the driver had previous convictions for drunk driving and the delivery company hired them anyway, you may recover compensation from the employer under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior.
Alabama’s Dram Shop Laws
Depending on the facts of the case, one or more negligent parties may be involved. Alabama, along with many other states, has enacted dram shop laws. A victim injured by a drunk driver cannot pursue compensation against any person or business that provided alcohol to the driver contrary to the provisions of the law.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the person or business that unlawfully provided alcohol to the driver. For example, if the driver left a bar or restaurant that over-served them alcohol, got into their car, and caused the accident, you can sue the bar or restaurant. Restaurants and bars cannot serve customers who are visibly intoxicated or who are not old enough to purchase or drink alcohol lawfully.
If you were injured by a driver who became intoxicated at someone’s house party over the holidays, you might be able to bring a lawsuit against the social host. The law is somewhat different for social hosts that provide guests with alcohol than for businesses that provide alcohol, such as bars and restaurants. For example, if the driver was at a work party at a manager’s home and the manager continued to give the driver multiple drinks even after he was visibly intoxicated, you may be able to pursue compensation from the manager and the driver.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Every year, over 10,000 innocent people die in preventable can alcohol-related car accidents. If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver this holiday season, you have our sympathy. Nothing can bring your loved one back, but pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you hold the negligent party or parties responsible for their actions. It can also help you pay for your loved one’s medical expenses and funeral costs, and cover lost income and other expenses.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Whether you have been injured by a drunk driver or lost your loved one in a holiday drunk driving accident, the compassionate Attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis are here to help. Contact the Alabama personal injury lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your free case evaluation.