Despite the strong presence of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and increasingly serious penalties for driving drunk, driving while intoxicated is unfortunately still prevalent, causing thousands of innocent victims serious injuries each year.
In 2011, over 20,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence in Indiana, according to non-profit The Century Council. When accident victims are injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, they or their family members can file claims to seek restitution from the responsible party(ies).
A Brief Look at the DUI Statistics
MADD provides a list of drunk driving statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that are shocking; they make it refutably clear that driving under the influence is still a major dilemma in our nation.
Some of the latest statistics reveal that:
- 9,878 people died in 2011 in drunk driving crashes (one every 53 minutes)
- One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in his or her lifetime
- Drunk driving claimed the lives of 226 children in 2011
- Each day, roughly 300,000 adults drove while under the influence in 2010
According to the Century Council, in 2011, 208 people died in drunk driving accidents, just in the state of Indiana. Additionally, of all the motor vehicle fatalities in Indiana in 2011, 27.7 percent were alcohol-related.
Common DUI Injuries
Many drunk driving accidents are quite serious. If the accidents don’t prove fatal, many victims sustain devastating injuries with long-term effects.
Some of the possible accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – The brain can sustain serious damage upon impact in a car accident. These traumatic brain injuries can cause coma, lead to lifelong cognition and motor function problems, and amass hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
- Back Injuries – Fractures, disc injuries, strain and sprains, and spinal cord injuries can all occur in a DUI accident when the body undergoes significant force.
- Broken bones – Upon impact, broken and crushed bone injuries can occur, some requiring surgery, long-term disability, or even loss of limb.
- Skin injuries – Burns, lacerations, and crushing injuries can cause serious skin damage, which can result in severe pain, permanent scarring, and disfigurement.
- Psychological injuries – Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are not uncommon amongst victims of drunk driving accidents.
Assessing Legal Options after a Drunk Driving Accident
Driving while under the influence is a form of negligence. Drivers have a legal duty to act in a safe and reasonable manner when on the road. Driving while intoxicated is a breach of this duty, and if they cause someone harm, the drunk driver can be liable for all the related damages.
If you or your loved one was injured in a drunk driving accident, it’s important to seek legal counsel and determine how to best proceed with a claim. A lawyer can help calculate all the damages you qualify for so you can get the maximum restitution for your losses.
Consulting an Attorney for Counsel
For legal counsel in or near Indianapolis, contact the Hensley Legal Group. Call us today for a no-cost consultation.