According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 28 people succumb to accidents caused by alcohol-impaired driving. Drivers are required to desist from driving when under the influence of any substance. However, not everyone obeys the law, and you can still find yourself on the wrong side of an accident caused by a drunk driver. In such an event, you should seek the services of an experienced Rogers drunk driving accident lawyer and let them get you the compensation you deserve. The skilled auto accident attorneys at Keith Law will fight to get you the maximum damages.
What Is Considered Drunk Driving in Arkansas?
There is a specific amount of alcohol content in your blood that can be measured by a breathalyzer, and this is what is used to determine whether you were fit to drive or not.
Private drivers above the age of 21 years are considered to be drunk when their blood alcohol level is above .08. Drivers of commercial vehicles are regarded to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .04 percent. Note that a school bus driver is considered to be a commercial driver. Those under the age of 21 are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .02 percent.
First offenders could face an imprisonment term of up to one year, with a mandatory seven days if they were under the age of 16. The fine range for first-time offenders ranges between $150 and $1000. If you commit a second DWI offense within five years, you face an imprisonment term of 30 days up to one year, with no less than 30 days of community service.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Drunk Driving Accidents in Arkansas?
The law in Arkansas states that the driver should be the first one assessed for blame in the event of a drunk driving accident. However, the contributory negligence clause also assigns responsibility to the other motorists even if they were not drunk.
In some cases, the blame goes beyond the people involved in the accident. Dram shop laws state that one is liable for providing a minor with alcohol. For instance, if you serve alcohol at a gathering with minors and they cause an accident, you could be held liable for the damages.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured In a Drunk Driving Accident?
Your first step after getting injured in a drunk driving accident is to call the police. They should record the accident scene and will facilitate getting custody of the wrecked cars as the claim is processed. It is imperative to call them as soon as you are involved in an accident.
If you are not injured seriously, try and get any essential information at the accident scene. Look out for any eyewitnesses that can recollect the crash and get their contact information. It is also important to get the contacts of the other motorists, especially those that might have been hit too.
Collect evidence from the scene in the form of images. Be sure to capture vital parts of the accident scene such as skid marks, the position of the cars after the crash, and damage to the vehicles. This will be used by your lawyer to try and prove that the drunk driver was at fault for the accident.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me with My Drunk Driving Accident?
A drunk driving accident claim is not straightforward, as you need to prove that the other driver was intoxicated and acted negligently.
Your lawyer will take over the whole process by doing the following:
- Getting records from the police to ascertain that the other driver was drunk beyond the stipulated levels, and this caused the accident
- Gathering evidence that you previously collected from the accident scene such as statements from witnesses, medical reports, and images of the scene
- Investing the root cause of the accident using the evidence and facts to determine how it happened and why
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf to see if they can settle on a favorable out of court agreement
- Taking the matter to litigation and representing you in a court of law if they cannot reach a favorable agreement
- Pursuing punitive damages in addition to other compensation
What Compensation Can You Receive For A Car Accident in Arkansas?
The total compensation amount that you will be awarded is a sum of three different types.
- Economic damages are objective and have solid financial proof. They can include medical bills, damages to your car, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages are subjective and have no fixed monetary value, for instance, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional stress.
- Punitive damages are meant to punish the offender and deter them from engaging in such negligent behavior in the future.
What If I Was Partly to Blame for An Accident With A Drunk Driver?
When assigning blame in a drunk driving accident, the jury uses a contributory negligence basis. This means that both parties will be given a certain percentage of responsibility based on the evidence presented. If you were partially at fault and got assigned a specific percentage, that amount will be deducted from the total compensation amount. You won’t be eligible for any compensation if your share of the blame is more than 50 percent.
How Long Do I Have to File An Injury Claim For A Drunk Driving Accident in Arkansas?
The statute of limitations in Arkansas states that you should file for a claim within three years of the date of the accident. A drunk driving accident lawyer will guide you through the process and make sure you get your claim in on time.
Contact A Rogers Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
It is not easy to handle a drunk driving claim as the defendant’s insurance company will do everything they can to nullify your claim. That’s why you should enlist the services of a reliable Roger drunk driving accident lawyer to represent you and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (479) 326-7761 for a free consultation.