Although the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents throughout the United States has decreased by 48 percent since 1982, more than 20, 000 people are arrested each year for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin. Even though fatality rates have decreased, drunk driving is still one of the most serious forms of driver negligence, and it can have deadly results. Being involved in a car accident can have serious repercussions for your health and finances. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident with an intoxicated motorist, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your options for pursuing financial compensation.
Holiday Spikes in Drunk Driving
According to the United States Department of Transportation, the number of intoxicated driving accidents increases dramatically during the holiday season, spanning from late November into the new year. On average, nearly 800 Americans sustain fatal injuries due to drunk driving accidents during the month of December alone. Furthermore, roughly 300 of those fatal crashes occur between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This increase in driving under the influence is often attributed to alcohol consumption at holiday parties. After drinking, drivers should always use alternate means of transportation, including having a designated driver or using taxis, ride-share services, or public transportation.
Steps to Take After an Accident
If you are involved in a collision with a drunk driver during the holiday season, you will want to take action to protect your right to compensation. Following a drunk driving accident, you should:
- Determine whether anyone needs immediate medical attention
- Move vehicles to a safe spot, such as the shoulder of the road
- Call 911
- Take photographs and obtain eyewitness statements
- Exchange pertinent information with the other drivers (if possible)
- Receive medical treatment and document injuries and their ongoing effects
- Keep records of all property damage, including vehicle repairs or any other related expenses
Following an accident, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options. Your attorney can help collect witness statements and other investigative material, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Pursuing Legal Action
If you have suffered a personal injury or property damage due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you may take legal action to address the damages you have experienced. A personal injury lawsuit may allow you to recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income, and any other financial, physical, or emotional harm resulting from the accident. If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, which may address the financial harm done to your family as well as the grief and sorrow you have experienced.
Contact a Green Bay, WI Car Accident Attorney
A car crash caused by an intoxicated motorist can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. If you or a family member have been involved in a car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should be sure to understand your legal options. Our skilled team of Appleton drunk driving accident lawyers at the Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you gather the necessary evidence and work to pursue the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 920-739-7366.