A 34-year-old woman was driving drunk when she lost control of her car on Highway 99 in California (CA). This negligent driver not only took her own life but seriously injured her boyfriend who was in the car at the time of the crash. He's still in the hospital in a coma.
This accident shows just how many lives are affected by drunk driving and drunk driving accidents. The passenger may not survive and if even if he does recover from the coma there may be long lasting health consequences.
Everyone understands how dangerous, illegal, and wrong it is to drink and drive – but the actual statistics regarding drunk driving may be more shocking than you know.
Over 11,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents each year in the United States – and one person dies in a drunk driving accident every 45 minutes.
• Just under 1.5 million people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol each year. An estimated half of these drivers have suspended licenses.
• Half of all holiday driving accidents involve drunk driving and alcohol. More than half of all car accidents on weekends also involve drinking and driving.
• The average person arrested for drunk driving has driven drunk almost 100 times without getting caught before their DUI conviction.
In drunk driving/DUI/DWI cases, we can sometimes bring a claim for punitive damages for a passenger. This is “punishment” compensation that arises out of the grossly negligent or egregiously bad acts by a drunk driver. While other injury case compensation is paid to cover the injuries and harm that has been caused to the victim, punitive damages are paid as a form of punishment to the drunk driver who caused the drunk driving accident.
A decision will need to be made about filing a personal injury claim against the driver. This can be a very delicate, and sometimes awkward, situation since the driver may be a good friend or family member. Nevertheless, if you're facing large medical bills and a protracted rehabilitation period, you should strongly consider filing an injury claim.
Keep in mind, when you file a claim, it's not a personal attack against the driver (i.e. your friend/relative). You are simply filing a claim against their insurance policy. This is necessary to ensure your medical bills, any lost wages, and pain and suffering are properly compensated