Auto accidents that occur because another driver is intoxicated while behind the wheel can lead to devastating results. Drunk or "high" drivers are an extreme danger on Colorado highways and roads. Accidents commonly occur when a driver is intoxicated and many of these lead to very serious injury or even death. When an accident is caused by an inebriated driver, and that accident results in injury to you or your loved ones, a personal injury lawsuit can compensate you financially for your injuries.
Understanding how you can protect your family and your finances following an accident caused by a drunk driver is critical to ensuring your future success and health. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney at accidentdenver.com, you can fight for your rights and the financial compensation you deserve.
DUI-Related Auto Accident Lawyers in Denver, Colorado
When you are involved in a DUI-related auto accident with a motor vehicle in the greater Denver, Colorado area, you need an experienced legal team to fight for you. Injuries sustained from DUI-related auto accidents can negatively affect your life in both the short term and long term. If you suffered as a result of another person's negligence, you are entitled to financial compensation.
Our team at accidentdenver.com pride themselves on clear, honest, and open communication with each and every one of their clients. No matter how small or how big your case may be, the accidentdenver.com team will keep you informed every step of the way throughout the process and they will handle every detail seamlessly to put you on the road to recovery.
Accidentdenver.com takes cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing until your case has reached a favorable resolution. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and your loved ones.
If a drunk driver caused injury as the result of an auto accident, or with any motor vehicle, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages. The state of Colorado allows injured victims to sue for money damages against those who were intoxicated and caused an accident.
Under Colorado law, a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is considered to be over the "legal limit." This results in a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) and can be the basis for a personal injury claim. Similarly, if a driver's BAC is established to be 0.05% to under 0.08%, he or she is considered to have been driving while ability impaired (DWAI). While the criminal charge is less serious than DUI, a DWAI can still be the basis for a personal injury claim.
Most personal injury cases are tried based on a "negligence" standard. Negligence occurs when:
- the defendant (the person being sued) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the person who brought the lawsuit),
- the defendant breached the duty of care,
- the defendant's breach proximately caused the injury, and/or
- the plaintiff suffered monetary damages as the result of the plaintiff's injuries.
This is a legal standard that requires proof through evidence. With the help of your attorney, you will provide evidence that proves the other driver was intoxicated, and that being drunk behind the wheel was a breach of the duty of care that caused your injuries.
Negligence per se
Negligence per se is a different type of negligence standard that comes into play in many drunk driving cases. Negligence per se occurs when a person violates a regulation, safety law, or ordinance in the state. When this occurs, that person is presumed to have been negligent.
To prove a negligence per se action, the plaintiff must prove that:
- the defendant violated a regulation, safety law, or ordinance;
- the law at issue was designed to prevent the same type of injury the plaintiff suffered;
- the plaintiff is a part of the "class" of individuals the law intended to protect; and/or
- the defendant's violation of the safety law proximately caused the plaintiff's injuries.
In almost every case, a person who was driving under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) will be considered negligent per se. This helps to establish the negligence aspect of your case, allowing you to more quickly and effectively prove your damages.
Again, this is a legal standard that requires specific types of proof. However, you are not expected to know the law and prove this alone. With the help of your experienced personal injury lawyer, you can establish the facts and win the compensation you deserve.
Drugged Driving in Colorado
Drugged driving can also be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. A person who is under the influence of drugs is also an intoxicated driver just as anyone driving under the influence of alcohol. A person driving under the influence of drugs is a major danger to other drivers on the road, as well as the loved ones, friends, and family members who may be riding with you.
"Drugged driving" encompasses a lot of different activity and substances. A person can be under the influence of illegal drugs, legal drugs, or even a prescription. Even if it was perfectly legal to be under the influence of the substance, once a person gets behind the wheel, they have violated Colorado law. This means that any injuries caused as a result of the drugged driver can be financially compensated through a personal injury lawsuit.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
Many people in Colorado are given valid prescriptions for drugs that can have an intoxicating effect. Many of these medicines are extremely important and are valid methods for battling medical conditions, pain, or other issues. Others may instead use prescription drugs without a valid prescription, abusing the drug before getting behind the wheel.
Medicines such as sleep aids, painkillers, and muscle relaxers can have an intoxicating effect on drivers. The driver may be aware of the risks, or may not, but getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is still illegal and can still be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
Prescription drugs that commonly cause intoxication behind the wheel include, but are not limited to:
- Fentanyl (prescription)
These prescription medications are far from the only ones that can cause intoxication.
It is the other driver's responsibility to make sure they are safe to drive. When that driver fails to do so and injures you or your loved ones, that driver should be financially responsible for the injuries and property damage you suffered.
Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances
A controlled substance is one that is listed by the state of Colorado and deemed illegal to distribute to anyone without a prescription. This also includes all illegal drugs and narcotics. Many controlled substances include the medications listed above.
This section also includes the use of illegal narcotics and other drugs. Most illegal drugs have some type of intoxicating effect, and some are more potent than others. These effects can seriously limit a person's ability to drive safely and greatly increase the risk of injuries to others while on the road. Like other types of DUI, those under the influence of illegal drugs and other controlled substances can be proven to have been negligent per se.
Drugs that commonly cause DUI-related auto accidents include, but are not limited to:
- opioid painkillers
- synthetic drugs
- Psilocybin (mushrooms)
These illegal drugs are often the cause of a DUI-related auto accident. When they are and you are injured as a result, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Driving Under the Influence of Over-the-Counter Medications
Over-the-counter medications can also be the cause of a DUI-related auto accident. While less common that alcohol or controlled substance accidents, some over-the-counter medications can be the cause of serious accidents, such as:
- cold medicines
- over-the-counter sleep aids
- natural remedies
If an over-the-counter medication caused a person to be intoxicated behind the wheel, a DUI-related accident may have occurred.
Marijuana and Driving
Colorado allows for the recreational use of marijuana, but it does not allow people to be intoxicated by marijuana and drive. Marijuana and alcohol are similar in that they are both legal to consume, but you may not do so and then get behind the wheel.
Now that marijuana is legal in the state, the number of marijuana-related DUI accidents has increased significantly. After an accident, officers are trained to look for signs of intoxication and make arrests if necessary. Once a person is arrested for a suspected DUI, he or she will likely be tested for the presence of drugs in his or her system. If it is realized that the person was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her for your damages.
Marijuana can cause:
- inattention to the road
- inability to focus
- slow movement and reaction time
- poor decision making
These are not effects anybody wants in a safe driver. In fact, the danger posed by those under the influence of marijuana is significant and is the cause of a great number of accidents in Colorado every year. If you have been injured as the result of an intoxicated driver, there are steps you can take to be compensated for your injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Resources for Victims of Drunk Drivers in Colorado
After an accident involving a drunk driver, you likely face significant challenges related to your injuries and any property damage you suffered. The medical bills may be piling up, you may be off of work, and any friends or loved ones who were in the car with you may have also been hurt. In Colorado, there are resources you can call upon to help deal with this difficult time.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD)
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) works to support victims of drunk driving accidents at no cost. The group also works to advocate for stronger DUI laws and other methods to prevent DUI-related accidents in the first place. The group can be incredibly helpful during this tough time. MADD offers victim advocate services, grief counseling, and other resources as well.
Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance
The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance is designed to assist families after they have been the victim of a crime. This includes DUI victims. The group provides victim advocates to assist you during this difficult time and will navigate you through this difficult period. Emergency financial assistance is available in certain cases, as well as help dealing with paying medical bills, testifying in a criminal trial, and finding an attorney to represent you.
National Center for Victims of Crimes
The National Center for Victims of Crimes is one of the leading national resources for crime victims of all kinds, including those impacted by an intoxicated driver. It operates a telephone-based helpline at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846). There is also an online chat feature that can help to provide additional information on services, advocates, and the possibility of financial assistance.
Your personal injury attorney at accidentdenver.com can help to connect you with resources to help you and your family. This can help you recover while your personal injury lawsuit is taking place and until your financial compensation for your injuries comes in.
Consult an Experienced Denver DUI Accident Lawyer
The injuries you suffer from a DUI-related auto accident can change your life forever. The incredible costs that can add up due to an accident is not a burden you should be required to bear. Instead, the burden of paying for your injuries should be put where it belongs—on the responsible party or parties.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any sort of DUI-related car accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact accidentdenver.com today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.