Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and can result in significant legal consequences. While most of us understand the criminal penalties associated with drunk driving, less frequently discussed is the fact that drunk drivers also face civil liability if they cause injury or damage to property in the event of an accident. People who have been injured by a drunk driver may be able to recover against the driver or their insurance by bringing a personal injury claim. The best way to maximize your chances of recovery as well as the amount of any settlement or award you receive is to retain the services of an experienced Natick personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
A Framingham man is likely to become much more familiar with the legal consequences of drinking and driving much more clearly in the near future. According to a report published at www.metrowestdailynews.com, Steven Armstrong fled the scene of an accident after the SUV he was driving hit a car in Wayland on December 23rd. An officer saw the incident occur, and called for backup while she checked on the condition of the occupants of the vehicle which was struck. While there were no injuries reported, both vehicles sustained significant damage. After being taken into custody, it was determined that Armstrong’s blood alcohol content (BAC)was twice the legal limit.
Under general tort law principles, it is necessary to establish that a defendant was negligent in order to recover for losses. Put simply, “negligence” is this context means that a person was not conducting himself or herself in the way that a reasonable person would have in similar circumstances. Under Massachusetts law, violation of a statute or ordinance can be used as evidence of negligence and also to establish to establish the relevant standard of care.
As a result, impaired drivers are negligent drivers in the vast majority of cases, allowing people who are injured by them to recover for their losses. The types of damages that are available to victims of drunk drivers include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost income, among others. In addition to impaired drivers themselves, there also may be third-party liability in drunk driving accident cases. Massachusetts law imposes “dram shop” liability on commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages to intoxicated patrons. This means that an establishment that over-serves a customer may be held partially liable if that customer gets in an accident causing injury or other loss. Social hosts (private individuals) may similarly be held liable if they negligently serve alcohol to a guest who subsequently causes injury or property damage afterwards.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Framingham personal injury attorney Daniel Cappetta is an aggressive advocate who works hard to get each client he represents the compensation he or she deserves. As a former Assistant District Attorney, he understands how important it is for those injured by the negligence of others to obtain justice. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cappetta, please call our office today at (508) 969-9505.