Every car accident has the potential to be dangerous, and even minor collisions can result in property damage and bodily harm. However, because of a number of factors, very few accidents result in injuries as serious as those seen in DUI accidents. Drunk driving, by definition, involves reckless drivers.
When a person gets behind the wheel while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it may seem that they have no regard for other motorists. In some cases, these negligent drivers are aware that they should not drive, but they do so anyway. Instead of calling an Uber or taxi, they may endanger their own lives as well as the lives of others.
People who are involved in these types of accidents frequently sustain serious injuries, and some drunk driving accidents are fatal. In many cases, the innocent victim is usually the one who pays the ultimate price.
Why Do People Drink and Drive?
Numerous public safety campaigns condemn drinking and driving and encourage safer alternatives, such as hailing a ride. Despite public relations efforts to address this national issue, people continue to engage in risky behavior. Whether they are drinking to relieve stress or celebrate a special occasion, their decision to drive home afterward can significantly affect your life.
- The Effects of Alcohol on a Driver
Driving a car necessitates certain abilities, including the ability to think clearly and react quickly. Alcohol impairs these skills and others by interfering with brain function and the central nervous system.
Law enforcement officers often use either a Breathalyzer or a blood test to determine a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood at any given time is measured as BAC.
- Hit-and-Run Incidents
A hit and run accident may occur when one of the parties involved in a crash abandons the scene of the accident. The vehicle that flees the scene is frequently unidentified and has failed to exchange information with the other driver, but this is not always the case. These situations frequently occur in accidents caused by drinking and driving. In some cases, the vehicle that flees has been successfully identified, either at the scene or later. Accidents involving hit and run may also affect pedestrians. Alcohol has been one of the driving factors in many of these cases.
These kinds of accidents can have profound implications for the people involved. When there is no one at the scene to hold accountable or question, determining liability and gathering accident details becomes more difficult. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible can help ensure that victims can pursue the compensation that they deserve.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Drunk Drivers
A vehicle driven by a drunk driver becomes a dangerous weapon that weighs, on average, 4,000 pounds. If an out-of-control car is plowing toward your vehicle, you will likely have little time to react and avoid an accident. In many cases, you may not even see the vehicle approaching.
The force of the impact may cause people involved in the accident to sustain severe injuries. Here are a few examples of traumatic injuries that can occur as a result of a collision with an intoxicated driver:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A TBI is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a sudden bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury, that disrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI can negatively affect a person’s cognitive and motor functions. It can also affect their senses, such as hearing and vision. After suffering a TBI, you or a loved one may never be the same.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord performs critical functions in your body by communicating directly with your brain. The brain and spinal cord are in charge of three major categories of bodily functions:
- Motor: The ability to direct your body’s voluntary muscle movements.
- Sensory: Senses such as touch, pressure, temperature, and pain.
- Autonomic nervous system: Regulates digestion, urination, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature.
- Broken Bones
With more than 200 bones in the human body, the possibility of breaking one or more of them in a car accident is very real. A severe break may necessitate surgery and extensive physical therapy. Patients who have broken limbs often require assistance with daily tasks while they heal.
- Internal Injuries and Organ Damage
The most dangerous types of injuries are those that are not visible to the naked eye. You may feel fine after a collision with a drunk driver, but you may have internal bleeding or organ damage. Internal injuries are the reason why it is critical to accept transport from the scene to a hospital, even if you think you may be uninjured.
Driving while intoxicated is irresponsible and dangerous. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, having somebody on whom you can rely during this trying time can be invaluable. Having a strong support system can enable you to concentrate on your top priorities, such as your health and family.
Protect Your Rights After an Accident
You can safeguard your rights and protect your future by speaking with an attorney about your injuries, rather than communicating directly with insurance representatives. You have the right to act in your own best interests after an accident. If a drunk driver has changed your life for the worse, you can take the initiative to seek compensation.
Contact a Bucks County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for filing your case establishes a strict time frame in which you may pursue a claim. Gather any evidence you can, such as photos of the accident scene and contact information for witnesses. This information can be extremely helpful to an attorney as they evaluate your case.