Our Denver drunk driving accident attorneys are dedicated legal advocates for victims of drunk driving accidents. Not only is drunk driving illegal, but it’s also hazardous and one of the leading causes of car accidents.
National Drunk Driving Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports:
- 28 deaths in drunk driving crashes every day, which equates to one person every hour
- In 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents
- These deaths were all preventable
Drunk Driving Accidents in Denver, Colorado
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents and injury-related accidents in Colorado. Drivers who make the negligent decision to drive drunk or with impaired judgment should be held accountable for the harm they cause.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, in 2017:
- One out of every three fatal traffic accidents involved a drunk driver
- Drunk driving fatalities increased 16% from 2016 to 2017
After an alcohol-related crash, the driver may be charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) if their blood alcohol concentration is above .08%. Alternatively, they may receive a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) if their blood alcohol concentration is .05%-.07%.
The intoxicated driver who caused the accident may face criminal fines or even jail time if they are found guilty of alcohol-related charges. The criminal conviction of an alleged drunk driver will punish the driver and serve to protect the public. Still, it will not provide accident victims with any compensation. The victim will need to file a separate civil lawsuit to obtain payment from a driver who caused injuries in a drunk driving accident. Civil lawsuits that seek financial retribution to the victim are independent actions from criminal prosecution of the drunk driver.
Colorado Drunk Driving Laws
Under Colorado statute, CRS 42-4-1301, “driving under the influence” is considered driving under the influence of alcohol, one or more drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. The first DUI is a misdemeanor offense and becomes a felony with a violation after three separate prior convictions. Colorado’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08%, meaning that a driver with a BAC of .08% can be convicted of a DUI. Colorado also has a zero-tolerance policy for intoxicated drivers under the age of 21. Zero-tolerance means any BAC of .02% to .05% could result in a conviction for drivers under 21. DUI penalties can range from driver’s license suspension to fines or fees. The Colorado Department of Transportation reports average costs accompanying a first-time DUI tend to be around $13,530.
I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver. Can I Sue?
Yes. Regardless of whether you were involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to take legal action if you have sustained injuries due to a drunk driver. You must be able to prove that:
- The driver was intoxicated
- The driver caused the accident or collision due to their impairment
- You received injuries because of the accident
Every case is unique and needs to be assessed accordingly. A knowledgeable Denver drunk driving accident attorney can review the facts of your DUI accident and discuss whether you have a valid claim against the drunk driver.
Colorado law requires drivers to have liability insurance to cover damages they cause. This means you have the option to file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company. In addition, if the insurance company refuses to provide fair compensation, you may need to file a lawsuit.
A Denver drunk driving accident attorney will fight aggressively to represent you and obtain the fair and just reparations you deserve if a lawsuit is in order.
What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Drunk Driving Accident?
No amount of money can make up for your or your loved ones’ losses due to a drunk driving accident. But financial reimbursement for your damages and suffering can help ease your recovery by allowing you to pay off debts or future medical bills. You can determine how much your full damage recovery is worth by speaking with a Denver drunk driving accident attorney. You may be able to recover:
- Economic damages – medical bills, lost or reduced wages, rental car fees, travel costs, car repair from accident damage, and legal fees related to the accident. Proof of economic damages may come from hospital bills, pay stubs, and photographs of evidence.
- Non-economic damages – these are general losses that don’t have a price. Physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress related to the accident, anxiety and other mental incapacities due to the accident, decreased quality of life due to accident-induced damages and losses.
- Punitive damages – can be awarded to victims of drunk driving accidents in Colorado if the driver is found to have been grossly negligent, reckless, or guilty of egregious wrongdoing. Driving under the influence may be enough to meet these criteria, more so if the driver’s BAC far exceeded the legal limit. Punitive damages serve to prevent the driver from committing the same offense again in the future.
Do I Need a Denver Drunk Driving Accident Attorney?
If you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive a settlement after a DUI accident, you need an experienced Denver drunk driving accident attorney. You may be doing yourself a disservice if you try to negotiate with the driver’s insurance company alone.
A Denver drunk driving accident attorney can efficiently help you gather evidence to prove that the intoxicated driver was at fault for the accident and that their negligence caused your injuries.
Denver Drunk driving accident attorneys can also help you determine the fair amount of your total compensation based on your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses or damages. If you need future medical care due to your injuries from the accident, we can consult your medical professionals to gain an understanding of how the expected treatment might affect your future ability to work, or to resume work. Anticipated medical expenses and income reductions are important to consider in lawsuits with consequential injuries.
Our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys can negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to get you the full settlement that reflects the extent of your losses. Unfortunately, without proper legal counsel, you may get significantly less than your actual losses are worth.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Denver, CO
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident that was someone else’s fault, contact our Denver drunk driving accident attorneys as soon as possible.
With a combination of a proven track record, impressive financial resources, esteemed legal reputation, and a compassionate approach, we believe there is no better Denver drunk driving accident attorney team than us.