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Appleton, WI personal injury attorney drunk driving car accidentAlthough the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents throughout the United States has decreased by 48 percent since 1982, more than 20, 000 people are arrested each year for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin. Even though fatality rates have decreased, drunk driving is still one of the most serious forms of driver negligence, and it can have deadly results. Being involved in a car accident can have serious repercussions for your health and finances. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident with an intoxicated motorist, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your options for pursuing financial compensation.

Holiday Spikes in Drunk Driving

According to the United States Department of Transportation, the number of intoxicated driving accidents increases dramatically during the holiday season, spanning from late November into the new year. On average, nearly 800 Americans sustain fatal injuries due to drunk driving accidents during the month of December alone. Furthermore, roughly 300 of those fatal crashes occur between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This increase in driving under the influence is often attributed to alcohol consumption at holiday parties. After drinking, drivers should always use alternate means of transportation, including having a designated driver or using taxis, ride-share services, or public transportation. 

Steps to Take After an Accident

If you are involved in a collision with a drunk driver during the holiday season, you will want to take action to protect your right to compensation. Following a drunk driving accident, you should:

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Appleton drunk driving car accident lawyerOn April 5th, 2019, three people were fatally injured in a car accident outside of the Village of Bristol. The three passengers were killed when a drunk driver who was traveling at speeds over 100 mph rear-ended their vehicle, causing the car to flip into a ditch. The tragic accident was a sobering reminder of the dangers of drunk driving. If a member of your family is injured in a drunk driving accident, you should seek out legal assistance right away. 

Drunk Driving Injury Statistics 

Throughout 2017, one American was fatally injured every 48 minutes in a motor vehicle collision involving a drunk driver. In all, a shocking 10, 874 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2017. Here in the state of Wisconsin, drunk driving is one of the leading factors contributing to car accidents. According to statistics compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 2, 872 people were injured in drunk driving accidents statewide in 2015. Of those injured, 190 people ultimately lost their lives due to the injuries suffered. Throughout that year, alcohol was a contributing factor in 34% of all Wisconsin traffic deaths.

How Drinking Impacts a Driver 

When a driver makes the negligent decision to consume alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel of a car, they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk. First and foremost, drinking can significantly impact a person’s motor skills, resulting in substantial declines in coordination. Alcohol consumption can also diminish a person’s reaction time, decision making, and vision. Even if the driver is operating their vehicle in a responsible manner (obeying speed limits and staying in their lane), the diminished motor skills increase the likelihood of a collision. 

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Wisconsin drunk driving lawyersStatistics indicate that three out of 10 drivers in the U.S. will experience a drunk driving accident at some point in their lives. Sadly, these accidents often involve uninsured or unlicensed drivers who have repeatedly driven while intoxicated, so victims may struggle to obtain compensation. Add in the chances of a hit-and-run and the devastating nature of most drunk driving accidents and you have a frustrating and frightening situation for crash victims. Thankfully, there are ways that you can recover compensation. Learn more, including how the assistance of a seasoned, competent car accident lawyer can help to increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation after an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Criminal Charges and Civil Penalties

Drunk drivers often face criminal charges when their actions have caused an accident, but they may also be subject to civil penalties - or compensation to the victim or their loved ones. Unfortunately, it is often a complex, multi-step process, and few are prepared for it. Add in the stress that injured parties tend to experience after a crash, the lack of income for those that are too hurt to work, and the mounting medical bills, and it becomes clear that drunk driving victims can benefit from qualified legal assistance while navigating the claims process.

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Wisconsin pedestrian accident lawyersDrunk driving accidents are thought to account for approximately one-third of America’s fatal crashes (more than 10, 000 accidents per year), but not all victims are other drivers. In fact, one study found that about 13 percent of all pedestrian deaths were caused by an intoxicated vehicle driver. What sort of compensation might the families of these victims be entitled to, and where can you find assistance? The following explains.

Drunk Driving is a Prominent Issue in America

No one is immune to the dangers of drunk drivers. In fact, statistics show that 16 percent of all the traffic deaths among children are related to drunk driving. Pedestrians, other drivers, bicyclists, and even law enforcement officers are also at risk. To make matters worse, some of the drunk drivers are commercial drivers – people who drive semi-trucks, garbage trucks, school buses, and transit vehicles. By nature, these tend to be devastating crashes, and they often result in a fatality for other road users.

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Wisconsin drunk driving accident lawyersEach year, nearly 10, 000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents. Even more experience injuries of varying degrees. Many victims need at least some form of medical treatment, which can result in costly medical bills. Further, some drunk driving accident victims may lose time at work. Still, others may experience permanent disability and may never be able to return to work – and all because one person acted with negligence. Thankfully, victims do have the right to pursue compensation for their losses. The following explains what types of compensation victims may be owed, and how they can increase their chances of a fair settlement.

Common Types of Compensation

Like with most auto accidents, victims may pursue compensation from the negligent driver’s car insurance company. Handled much like any other claim, this type of compensation is known as a personal injury claim. However, drunk driving victims may also be owed restitution from the drunk driver. Such damages are sought through the dram shop laws; though they are limited, they may increase the overall amount of a victim’s settlement.

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