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I Was Injured In a Vehicle with a Drunk Driver, Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?

When you get into a vehicle with someone else and that person is driving, you may not necessarily know they are above the legal limit to drive. In the U.S., drivers 21 and older can not have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08%. Rules vary across states for drivers under 21 but they usually have a zero-tolerance policy or no more than .02% BAC.

Drivers who may not act drunk could still be above the BAC legal limit to drive. Several factors like a person’s gender, height, weight, and alcohol tolerance level are all difference makers in how quickly someone becomes drunk. For some, that could mean a couple of drinks and for others, it could mean more.

So whether you know someone is drunk or not, and you get into a vehicle with them driving, your chances of an accident can go up. However, if you end up getting injured in an accident like this, can you file a personal injury claim? The answer is yes.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Drunk Driving Accident

It’s important that a personal injury lawsuit will be different from any criminal charges the driver may face. That means that the only type of damages you could receive is financial.

The amount of damages you could receive depends on three components:

  1. Your economic loss — this includes any medical treatment you’ve received, lost wages, future loss of earnings, and other financial losses.
  2. Non-economic injuries — these types of injuries are not as quantitative as economic losses. These include emotional pain and suffering from the accident and other inflictions of emotional distress.
  3. Punitive damages — these are additional damages awarded to punish the driver. However, these could be difficult to prove if you were in the car with the drunk driver as punitive damages are meant to be awarded when a defendant is reckless. An attorney for the defendant may try to argue that you knew the driver was being reckless when they got into the vehicle while intoxicated.

Don’t Take on a Personal Injury Claim Alone

If you are considering filing a personal injury claim after being in the car with a drunk driver, don’t go to court alone. The team at The Roth Firm, LLC has helped thousands of individuals and families get adequately compensated for injuries that were no fault of their own. See how our experienced attorneys can help you by calling (404) 777-4899.