The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness, but it also carries a darker side in the form of DUI accidents. As families and friends come together to celebrate, the risks of impaired driving often rise. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident during the holidays caused by an impaired driver, it is important to speak with a Virginia Beach car accident attorney from our law firm as soon as possible.
The Alarming Statistics
Many people are unaware of the impact a couple of drinks can have on our driving capabilities. Three alcoholic drinks will bring a person’s blood alcohol level (BAC) to approximately 0.05 percent, which can impair the ability to rapidly focus vision, lower alertness and decrease coordination. This can make steering and responding to driving emergencies difficult.
Four alcoholic drinks affect balance, vision, and reaction time. It becomes harder to detect roadway dangers. Reasoning and information processing are often measurably impaired. This brings a person’s BAC level to about 0.08 percent.
Holiday drunk driving accidents represent a significant and concerning public health issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day sees a substantial increase in alcohol-related accidents and fatalities on our roads. In fact, during this time, nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths are linked to alcohol impairment. Last year, between December 25th and January 1st, approximately 750 people died in vehicle accidents.
Factors Contributing to Holiday Drunk Driving Accidents
Several factors contribute to the prevalence of drunk driving accidents during the holidays:
- More celebrations – The holiday season is marked by numerous parties, gatherings, and festivities, often accompanied by alcohol consumption. The more people celebrate, the higher the likelihood that someone will make the dangerous decision to drive under the influence.
- Social pressure – In some social settings, there may be pressure to drink, and individuals might not feel comfortable refusing alcohol. This can lead to impaired judgment and a higher likelihood of drunk driving.
- Stress and emotions – The holidays can be stressful for many, and some individuals may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. This can exacerbate the problem, as people who are emotionally distressed are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as drunk driving.
The consequences of holiday drunk driving accidents are far-reaching and tragic, shattering lives in an instant. The most tragic aspect of these accidents is the loss of innocent lives. Victims of DUI accidents often include not only the intoxicated drivers themselves but also their passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles. These accidents can result in severe injuries, permanent disabilities, and, in the worst cases, fatalities.
The psychological trauma endured by the survivors of DUI accidents and the families of victims is immeasurable. Coping with guilt, grief, and anger is a lifelong struggle, leaving scars that never truly heal. Survivors may experience physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burdens as they navigate the aftermath of these accidents.
Potential Damages Available
In drunk driving accident lawsuits, the potential damages that can be collected are aimed at compensating the victims for the physical, emotional, and financial hardships they endure due to the negligence of the intoxicated driver. These damages may include:
- Medical expenses –Victims can seek compensation for all current and future medical costs related to injuries sustained in the accident. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, and therapy.
- Lost wages – Victims may be entitled to compensation for the income they lose due to their inability to work while recovering from injuries caused by the accident. If they are left with permanent disabilities, they may also be entitled to damages for loss of future income.
- Pain and suffering – Non-economic damages, such as physical and emotional pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life, may also be recoverable.
- Emotional distress – Victims can seek compensation for emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues resulting from the accident.
- Wrongful death – Damages in cases where the accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
- Punitive damages – In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the intoxicated driver for their reckless behavior and to deter others from driving under the influence.
Contact a Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorney for Legal Assistance
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a crash caused by a drunk driver, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled Virginia Beach car accident lawyers. Our firm has successfully obtained more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts, like the $200,000 personal injury insurance settlement we obtained for one client who suffered a broken hip and a fractured vertebra when a highly intoxicated driver crashed into his car.
For your convenience, we have offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake.