Drunk Driving Accidents in Robertsdale
Located in Baldwin County, Robertsdale is home to about 5,000 people. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy attractions such as Alligator Alley, the Spear Hunting Museum, and the annual Baldwin County Fair. Robertsdale is located just a few miles south of I-10 via U.S. 90 and State Route 59, and it is close to both Mobile and Pensacola, so many people pass through the area on a daily basis. Unfortunately, as with other places in the country, drunk driving is a recurrent problem that causes serious and fatal accidents. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident that was not your fault, Robertsdale drunk driving accident lawyer Whit A. Thomas can help you pursue the justice and compensation that you deserve. The advice of a lawyer is important to understand your rights after an accident.Bringing a Claim Following a Drunk Driving Accident
Under Alabama law, the basic offense of driving under the influence (DUI) consists of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. If you are under the age of 21, you are considered legally intoxicated if your BAC is .02 percent or higher. Lastly, if you are a commercial truck driver, you can be charged with a DUI if you have a BAC of .04 percent or higher. Driving while intoxicated is a serious problem in Alabama. According to statistics provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one out of every three fatal car accidents in Alabama are DUI-related. MADD also found that 260 deaths took place as a result of drunk driving in the state in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 3,190 people were killed in the state of Alabama in accidents involving drunk drivers between the years of 2003 and 2012.
Drunk driving accidents can lead to devastating injuries that can be extremely costly to treat. In order to get payment for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and other losses, a drunk driving accident attorney in Robertsdale will need to prove that someone else’s negligence led to the victim’s injuries and losses.
In Alabama drunk driving cases, the negligence of the defendant may be imputed in a relatively straightforward way. Since state law criminalizes driving under the influence, an injured person may have a negligence per se action against the drunk driver. In short, negligence per se is a legal doctrine that establishes that if a defendant engages in conduct that violates a statute, the violation of the statute may be used as evidence of negligence. As a result, the plaintiff in a drunk driving accident case may be able to point to the defendant’s intoxication to establish negligence. To recover damages, however, the plaintiff still would need to show that the defendant’s negligent acts were a direct cause of the accident and resulting injuries or death.
In certain cases, a Robertsdale drunk driving accident attorney may be able to obtain punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded in cases in which it can be shown that the drunk driver acted with reckless indifference to the consequences. In other words, punitive damages are typically awarded when the conduct of the defendant is deemed to be outrageous. These types of damages are designed to punish the defendant as opposed to compensating the plaintiff, and they are meant to deter similarly reckless conduct by others in the future.
It is important to note that Alabama has a law called the Alabama Civil Damages Act that applies to minors who are being served or furnished alcohol. If a bar or restaurant serves alcohol to a minor and knows or has reason to know that the person is a minor, that bar can be liable for serving the minor, regardless of whether an injury results from the action or not. In cases in which the minor goes on to cause a car accident, the bar could be on the hook for damages to the victim as well.Explore Your Options with a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Robertsdale
A drunk driving accident can have far-reaching consequences for a victim’s life. If you have been struck by a driver who was later charged with drunk driving, or if there was evidence of drunk driving by the other driver, you need to consult a car accident lawyer who can help. Whit A. Thomas has extensive experience protecting the rights of people hit by drunk drivers or distracted drivers in the Robertsdale area. For a free case evaluation, call us at (251) 943-9330 or contact us online.