Despite all the harsher drunk driving laws, strict police enforcement, and education, 2016 is set to go down as one of the worst years for drunk driving accident deaths. In 2015, there were 10,265 people killed in this country by drunk drivers. That was a 300 percent increase over 2014. And safety experts say when the final numbers are tallied, the number of victims will be even higher for 2016.
According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), almost 30 people die every day in drunk driving accidents in this country. That comes out to one death every 48 minutes. Another 170,000 victims are injured by drunk drivers, which means that every 90 seconds, someone is hurt in a drunk driving crash.
The financial costs of these alcohol-related crashes are staggering. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every time a person is killed by a drunk driver, the total cost of that loss of life is $3.5 million. The quality of life cost portion of that amount is $2.4 million and the financial cost portion is $1.1 million. The annual costs of DUI accidents are more than $51 billion and the quality of life costs total more than $63 billion.
For drunk driving victims fortunate enough to survive, the national average cost is approximately $99,000, with the quality of life loss at $50,000 and the financial costs at $49,000. It is important to note that these are just national averages. Our Virginia drunk driving accident attorneys have successfully represented many DUI crash victims who received substantially more because of the extent of their injuries.
One of our clients suffered horrific injuries when her car was hit head-on by a drunk driver, including anoxic brain damage, collapsed lung, traumatic pancreatic, respiratory failure, hemorrhagic shock, internal bleeding, and gallbladder removal. She also suffered breaks in almost every major bone in her body. Although the drunk driver’s insurance company pushed to settle this case, our courageous client wanted her case to be heard by a jury. The jury awarded our client $3.5 million in damages.
If you have been injured or have lost a family member in a drunk driving crash, contact a skilled Virginia DUI accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the at-fault driver. Our Virginia injury law firm offers car accident victims a free car accident injury guide, as well as a free wrongful death guide for families who have lost a loved one in an accident.