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How to Win a Drunk Driving Accident Case

Every year, hundreds of people are seriously injured in drunk driving accidents. Our clients are often minding their own business when a chemically impaired motorist slams into them, often at high speeds. Fortunately, Connecticut law lets accident victims seek compensation in these types of cases, but you’ll need critical evidence, especially that the driver was actually impaired. Call Tehrani Law Group for assistance.

What You Need to Prove

To prevail in a drunk driving claim, you will need to establish:

1.       The driver owed you a duty of care. If they were on the road with you, then this is easy to establish. Motorists must drive with sufficient care so that they don’t collide with other motorists.

2.       The driver failed to fulfill their duty of care. Driving while high or intoxicated represents a failure to use reasonable care. Often, this is the issue most disputed.

3.       The negligent driver caused your injuries. Put differently, the drunk driver crashed into you or forced you off the road. You didn’t crash because of your own negligence solely. 

4.       You suffered damages. Any physical injury requiring medical care will qualify as damages.

Call the Police after the Accident

One critical piece of evidence is proof that the driver was intoxicated or drugged. Because drunk driving is a crime, the police will be interested in knowing whether the driver was legally impaired. They have the tools needed to find out with certainty whether the driver had recently consumed alcohol or drugs.

If you call the police, an officer can investigate and, if suspicious, ask the driver to participate in field sobriety tests. The officer can also ask the driver to take a chemical test, probably a breathalyzer while standing beside the road. A breathalyzer measures the alcohol content in a driver’s lungs, which is a reliable measurement. Although the breathalyzer can’t identify drugs, a urine or blood test can.

Chemical tests can conclusively show a driver was impaired during the crash. We have found this evidence very compelling. Even if the prosecution doesn’t bring criminal charges, we can ask to use the chemical test results in your civil case.

Without this evidence, winning a drunk driving case is much harder (though not impossible). A police officer will also find other useful evidence at the scene and create an accident report.

Note the Driver’s Actions

Cases don’t rest solely on test results. After all, the driver could blow a really low number on a breathalyzer but still be impaired. You can win a personal injury lawsuit based on drunk driving if you prove the motorist did not use reasonable care.

You can also gather evidence to use when arguing the driver did not have normal control of his or her faculties. For example, you should note:

  • Whether the driver slurred their speech or stumbled around following the crash—clear signs of intoxication.
  • Whether you smelled alcohol or drugs on the driver’s breath.
  • Any drugs or alcohol you saw, such as beer bottles falling out of the car or a bag of weed the driver tried to throw in a ditch.
  • Statements the driver made about drinking or doing drugs. Some drivers might admit they came from a bar or tavern.
  • Whether you saw the driver leave a bar before getting into an accident.

Collectively, evidence like this can establish that the motorist was probably intoxicated and did not use reasonable care while driving.  Even without a high BAC, you might still win a lawsuit.

Document Your Injuries

To sue for a drunk driving accident, you must show you were injured in some way. We recommend going to the hospital to talk about how you are feeling. A doctor can order tests, like x-rays. Some common injuries following drunk driving accidents include:

  • Concussions
  • Whiplash
  • Fractures
  • Contusions
  • Chest injuries
  • Back injuries

You can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your car. You should fully document these out-of-pocket expenses by holding onto medical bills and car repair estimates.

Work Closely with an Attorney

Our lawyer will investigate whether you can bring a dram shop claim against a bar or tavern. For example, a restaurant might have served a clearly intoxicated person, who then left the bar and crashed into you. As you rehab your injuries, you will need an experienced attorney to investigate. Adding a bar or tavern improves the odds of receiving full compensation.

Call our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today

Tehrani Law Group has handled many drunk driving accidents. To speak with a lawyer, please call us at (860) 261-6770.