What Are Your Chances Of Being In An Alcohol-Related Crash?
Regardless of the efforts of victims’ advocates like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and law enforcement agencies here in Ohio and around the country, people continue to get behind the wheel of their vehicles after drinking. In fact, statistics show that it takes an average of 80 times driving drunk before an individual is even arrested once. Sadly, this means that the chance of you being involved in an accident in which the other driver is drunk is much higher than you might realize.
At least one source indicates that someone in the United States is killed in a drunk driving accident every 51 minutes, which means that every day, 27 people die. However, deaths are not the only casualties in these crashes. Approximately every 120 seconds (two minutes) someone suffers some sort of injury due to a drunk driver. This means that in the time it took you to read this blog, someone who chose to drive under the influence hurt at least one person.
The number one killer of teenagers is car accidents. Of the total number each year, a primary factor in approximately one-third of those fatal crashes will involve either alcohol or drugs. In fact, teenagers who started drinking alcohol at a young age are seven times more likely to be involved in a drunk driving accident.
So what are your legal options if a drunk driver hits you or a member of your family?
The simple answer is that you should contact an attorney as soon as possible about filing a personal injury claim (if you were seriously injured) or a wrongful death claim (if your loved one was killed). Evidence from the scene of the crash can disappear quickly, and the sooner your attorney can get an investigation going, the better off you might be. If the drunk driver is facing criminal charges, you might be able to use the evidence Ohio prosecutors intend to use in the criminal court case to help establish negligence in your civil case. If the driver is found guilty of drunk driving or any other crime connected to the accident, that too could be presented to a civil court. If your civil claim is successful, you could be compensated for the financial losses you sustained in what most people consider to be a preventable accident.