Girl looking out window

Potential Injuries in a Drunk Driving Crash

Individuals do not usually get behind the wheel with the intention of causing a crash. However, those who choose to drive after drinking are inherently increasing the chances of causing an accident because they are impaired. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every day, or about one person every 52 minutes. The NHTSA also says that even having one drink and then choosing to drive can lead to impairment and therefore raises the risk of causing a crash exponentially.

Below are some of the most common physical injuries that can happen as a result of a drunk driving crash.

Brain Injuries

While protected by the skull, the brain is still especially vulnerable to traumatic injuries that can happen from a drunk driving accident. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined in two ways:

  • Closed head TBI: this is an injury that does not break the skull
  • Penetrating head TBI: this is an injury where projectiles or other objects break into the skull and into the brain tissue, therefore, damaging it.

Several factors contribute to whether or not someone is injured from a closed head TBI or penetrating head TBI including where the crash occurred in relation to the person injured and the severity of the crash. Victims who have a TBI suffer through consequences such as long-term or permanent setbacks to their cognitive or even physical abilities, emotional or behavioral issues, seizures, and comas.


If the crash causes the car to catch fire or explode, those inside the vehicle could be subjected to severe burns. This could lead to permanent damages including scarring and infections as well as disfigurement.

Limb Injuries

Because of the impact of a crash, the driver or their passengers could be subjected to broken or crushed bones. Two of the most common limb injuries are to the arms and legs and in some of the most severe cases, those limbs have to be amputated.

Organ Damage

Internally, organs such as the kidneys, lungs, and spleen are some of the most common to be damaged because of a drunk driving crash. If the injuries are bad enough, it could require the victim to need emergency medical care or surgery to save their life.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Also internally, a victim could suffer torn ligaments, stretched muscles, or ruptured tendons in places such as their back, neck, or shoulder. Injuries like this can limit a person’s mobility and can cause long-term pain.

Spinal Injuries

This type of injury is one of the most debilitating for a victim as it could cause an individual to become paralyzed. Another common spinal injury is a slipped or ruptured disc which can cause nerve damage and extreme pain.

Other Side Effects

Another side effect that needs to be taken into consideration is the psychological effects an individual can encounter after being through a drunk driving accident. If the injured individual was the driver in the crash, this individual could be filled with guilt and grief for causing the accident. A passenger, on the other hand, could be filled with emotions such as anger at the driver of the accident and depression due to any potential physical ailments they endure that do not allow them to live life like they previously had before the accident.

Another psychological effect both drivers and passengers could experience is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The individuals involved in the accident could see the accident replaying in their head which may make it difficult for them to feel comfortable getting inside a vehicle again.

Financial issues are also a potential side effect related to a drunk driving crash. The driver will face hefty fines and fees for causing the crash, while passengers may be forced to pay out of pocket for treatment of their injuries initially.

If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you shouldn’t be left to pay for your physical and psychological damages. At The Roth Firm, LLC, we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients and will work hard so you are properly compensated for your injuries. We treat our clients like family and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Let us get started on your case today by calling (404) 777-4899.