Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
Every day in the United States, about 29 people are killed as the result of a motor vehicle accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver, claiming more than 10,000 lives per year.
Men are generally more likely to drive drunk and be involved in a fatal crash than women. In 2016, 21% of male drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents were under the influence of alcohol with a Blood Alcohol Concentration level of 0.08 or higher, compared to 14% of female drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Alcohol affects essential motor abilities necessary to drive a vehicle, including impairing thinking, reasoning, muscle coordination, and other functions of the brain.
When a drunk driver is at fault then it is possible that he or she may be liable for payment of punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are intended to punish and to deter others from similar wrongful conduct.
The Arizona case, Olson v Walker is instructive. A driver spent time drinking at a bar, then he proceeded to drive. His vehicle was swerving, traveling 50-55 miles per hour, the speed limit was 40 miles per hour. The driver cut a witness off, then rear ended a motorcyclist.
The driver got out of his car, he staggered, he smelled strongly of alcohol, and he had trouble standing. His eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
A jury trial resulted in an award of $133,000.00 compensatory damages and $100,000.00 in punitive damages.
The drunk driver appealed, it was argued by the victim that the drunk driver knew that it was dangerous to drive while intoxicated and that intoxicated drivers create a substantial risk of harm to others.
A toxicologist stated that the driver consumed at least ten beers, that his blood alcohol level would have been at least .155 percent at the time of the crash, much higher than the legal limit. The driver also took Valium before the crash.
The Arizona Court of Appeals determined that the driver disregarded the fact that his ability to drive safely was impaired, he created a substantial risk of significant harm to others. He should have known that his conduct was so egregious that it created a substantial risk of harm to others. The amount of punitive damages was upheld.
A drunk driving accident lawyer Phoenix, Az trusts can investigate fault, applicable insurance coverages and investigate claims for injuries and damages. There should be no attorneys fees unless a settlement is obtained. Call Law Office of Paul Englander today.