Being involved in a car accident can be extremely traumatic. Unfortunately, a great number of car accidents could have been prevented if the driver who caused the accident was following the law. Nearly 30 people are killed in car crashes involving intoxicated drivers every day in the United States. That adds up to over 10,000 preventable deaths each year caused by drunk driving. If you have been hurt in an accident involving a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you may wonder what your options are for pursuing compensation.
Proving Negligence in an Injury Case
In most personal injury cases the plaintiff, or person bringing the injury claim, must prove that another party’s negligence caused his or her injuries. For example, if you are injured in a slip and fall accident at a restaurant caused by a broken staircase, you would need to prove that the restaurant acted negligently by exposing patrons to the hazardous condition. When a person’s injury or death is caused by someone breaking the law, the responsible party may automatically be considered negligent in certain situations. This is referred to as “negligence per se.”
According to Wisconsin law, a defendant in a personal injury case is considered negligent per se when:
- The defendant violated a Wisconsin statute, regulation, or ordinance.
- The plaintiff’s injury was caused by this violation.
- The ordinance, regulation, or statute broken was designed to prevent the act which caused the injury.
- The plaintiff was a member of the group that the ordinance, regulation, or statute was designed to protect.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in fact, has held that “it is negligence per se to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be eligible for compensation. You could receive compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more.
It is important, however, to reach out to a qualified attorney right away to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Your attorney must work quickly to identify and preserve important evidence and to help you manage the overwhelming stress that is often associated with the aftermath of an injury-causing accident.
Contact a Green Bay Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt or have lost a loved one because a driver chose to drive under the influence, you deserve to be compensated for your loss, and the responsible party deserves to be held accountable for his or her actions. To learn more about your legal options following an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Appleton personal injury attorney by calling our office at 920-739-7366.