Injured By a Drunk Driver in Norwich? We Can Stand Up For You
Everyone should know that Connecticut – and every other state – prohibits impaired driving. While the legal limit is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent for drivers age 21 and older, a person’s ability to drive may be impaired at lower BACs, depending on many factors. In addition, commercial drivers are presumed to be impaired at 0.04 percent BAC, while underage drivers have a “zero tolerance” limit of 0.02 percent BAC. These laws and the related penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence are in place to keep everyone safe because drunk driving causes so many accidents and fatalities on the roads.
Despite the clear laws and the risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities, people continue to drive after drinking every day in Connecticut—even right here in Norwich. It is shocking that people still make the choice to drive drunk and cause harm – or even death – to others. However, drunk drivers continue to plague our streets. It is important to know how to avoid accidents with drunk drivers—and what to do if you’ve been involved in one.
At the law firm of Polito & Harrington, we represent clients in and around the Norwich area who have suffered serious injuries in auto accidents, including drunk driving accidents. We believe drunk drivers should be held fully responsible for the injuries and losses they cause. We aggressively pursue drunk driving accident claims on behalf of our clients. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk driver, please contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Drunk Driving Crash Statistics: It Could Happen to You
Most people never imagine that they will get hit by a drunk driver. However, the statistics show these accidents happen far too frequently. Consider the following national statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- 10,497 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2016 alone.
- 28 percent of all fatal crashes involved a drunk driver.
- About 29 people are killed by drunk drivers each and every day, which means about one person every 50 minutes.
- People self-reported driving while impaired 111 million times in a year, while only 1 million drivers were arrested—that’s less than one percent of drunk drivers.
It is frightening to think that 110 million episodes of drunk driving went unchecked in the U.S. in a single year. You may have an even greater risk in Connecticut based on the following state-based statistics:
- In 2017, there were 114,719 reported crashes in CT.
- 3,135 crashes involved a driver who was under the influence.
- As many as 37 people were injured in a single week by drunk drivers.
- In 2014, 39 percent of traffic fatalities involved alcohol in CT, which ranked fifth of the states in the U.S.
This means Connecticut sees a disproportionate number of drunk driving accidents. You should know and protect your rights under the law if a drunk driving accident happens to you.
Seeking Justice After a Drunk Driving Accident
Impaired drivers involved in accidents are typically arrested at the scene (provided the driver does not hit and run). The driver will be charged with the criminal offense of DUI and the prosecutor will seek a conviction. However, criminal charges and convictions focus mainly on punishing the driver and preventing recurring episodes of drunk driving – not on helping the victims affected. You may receive some restitution as part of the driver’s sentence, but it rarely covers the amount needed to cover all your accident-related losses.
Drunk drivers cause particularly devastating crashes, which may include a head-on collision from driving the wrong way, running another vehicle off the road due to swerving, crashing into the back of another car due to lack of reflexes or awareness, as well as accidents at high speeds. These factors mean that more serious injuries and deaths result from drunk driving accidents than accidents that do not involve impaired driving.
Victims can incur extensive losses due to their accident-related injuries, including:
- Medical bills for emergency treatment, hospitalization, follow-up appointments, surgery, physical therapy, and any future treatment
- Lost income from missing work to receive medical treatment, recover, or because injuries prevent victims from being able to perform their former jobs
- Permanent disabilities, which can also impair future earning power while increasing future medical costs
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to pain or impairments
- Wrongful death
These losses can pile up quickly and be overwhelming, especially while you are dealing with severe injuries or the loss of a loved one. It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to seeking compensation for those losses. That is where a team of skilled attorneys can help.
Connecticut law requires every driver to carry liability insurance to cover any injuries caused to others. When a drunk driver injures you, the first step is typically to file a claim with that driver’s insurance company. Our attorneys can handle the entire insurance claim process for you, including proving liability and the extent of your losses. We will fight for the insurance settlement you deserve whenever possible to try to resolve your case without the necessity of protracted litigation.
In some situations, insurers will deny payment of a fair settlements and filing a lawsuit is necessary to stand up for your rights. Again, our attorneys will take care of every step of the litigation process so that you can focus on your recovery. We will negotiate aggressively to recover fair compensation that will fully cover your losses.
Call Our Norwich Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Today
Drunk driving accidents are traumatic events that are entirely preventable. The attorneys at Polito & Harrington know how devastating these crashes can be and regularly help clients stand up against drunk drivers. These cases can be complex, however, and it is important to protect your rights by having an experienced attorney handle your case. If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a drunk driver, please call our Norwich drunk driving law attorneys at 860-447-3300 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.