Even with all the education about the dangers of drunk driving, thousands of people continue to sustain injuries or die because of drunk drivers each year in the United States. Impaired driving in Pennsylvania can be costly for the driver and the accident victims. A drunk driver can face criminal charges and civil liability. Other parties may also be liable under a dram shop claim.
There are three things that you need to know if a DUI accident in Pennsylvania caused your injuries. Our Erie drunk driving injury lawyers can answer questions and guide you as you seek compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver.
Three Things to Know About DUI Accidents
1. The Drunk Driver’s Insurance Company May Be Liable
Even though a driver was intoxicated at the time of a crash, the driver’s insurance company may be liable for injuries and damages caused by the accident. The driver being drunk does not invalidate the insurance contract. However, you must prove that the drunk driver caused the accident before holding the insurance company liable for your damages and losses.
2. The Drunk Driver May Not Be the Only Party Liable for Your Injuries – Dram Shop Claim
Because DUI accidents can result in traumatic injuries and the drunk driver’s car insurance coverage may not cover the full value of your injury claim, it is important to investigate whether another party might also be liable for your damages. Under Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Laws, the owner of a bar, restaurant, or other establishment serving alcohol might be liable for damages caused by a DUI accident.
To be responsible, the owner or employee of the establishment must have served alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated. Also, the decision to serve a visibly drunk person was a direct cause of the injuries and damages sustained by another party.
It can be difficult to prove that a person was “visibly” intoxicated. It can also be difficult to prove the decision to serve the person lead to the DUI accident that caused your injuries. The burden of proving the legal requirements for a dram shop liability claim rests with the victim.
An Erie DUI accident attorney can help you gather evidence that can prove a dram shop claim, such as video evidence from the bar, club, or restaurant and eyewitness testimony. The attorney can also establish a timeline that helps prove that the events that took place at a bar or other establishment directly led to the person driving and causing a DUI accident.
3. You Need to Hire an Erie DUI Accident Attorney Immediately
Fault and liability can be difficult to prove in a DUI accident. Being drunk is not sufficient evidence to prove fault. You must have evidence that proves the driver did something to cause the accident. The alcohol might have impacted the driver’s actions the driver consumed. However, did the driver’s actions directly lead to the cause of the collision?
An attorney investigates each factor in the cause of a crash. From the driver’s actions to the events that took place in the hours before the accident, a careful analysis of each factor determines if a factor contributed to the cause of the accident.
If a drunk driver injured you, contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with our Eire drunk driving injury lawyer. We want to help you hold the individual responsible for your injuries accountable for his or her actions.