It is no surprise that New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are peak drunk driving days. Even with the increase in DUI patrols in Denver, availability of Lyft and Uber, and the harsh penalties of a drunk driving conviction, innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are still injured each year in alcohol-related accidents. It may be frustrating to be hit by a drunk driver but there are steps you can take to make sure you recover compensation for your injuries after an accident.
New Year's Eve Drunk Driving Statistics in Colorado
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are some of the most dangerous drunk driving nights. In 2018, 108 people were killed on those two days alone in drunk driving accidents. Drunk driving usually accounts for about one-third of traffic-related deaths but on December 31st, drunk driving is responsible for about half of fatal traffic accidents.
Lyft and Uber are all over the Denver metro area, offering rides to revelers in Boulder, Littleton, Aurora, and throughout Colorado. Rideshare vehicles may present their own safety concerns but they do provide a convenient way for people to go out and have a few drinks on New Year's Eve without having to worry about driving home. Some research indicates the entry of Uber into some markets coincided with a significant drop in the rate of motor vehicle fatalities.
What to Do After an Accident With an Impaired Driver
If you are in an accident and suspect the other driver may be impaired, contact law enforcement. Police may not show up to every accident and usually only respond to accidents involving serious injury or a disabled vehicle. However, if the other driver is impaired, the police should respond. If the other driver attempts to leave the scene, call the police. Your priority should still be your safety and the safety of your passengers.
If you are injured or anyone else is injured in a car accident, call 9-1-1 and get medical help. Even if you are not sure if you are seriously injured, you may want to get checked out just in case. Some head, neck, and back injuries are difficult to evaluate right after the accident. Hours or days later, you may notice pain, dizziness, or limited range of motion. Early intervention can improve the outcome of an auto accident injury.
Negligence and Personal Injury Claims with a Drunk Driver
Negligence is the basis for most motor vehicle accident personal injury lawsuits. The negligent driver is generally liable to the injury victim for damages. However, in many drunk driving accidents, the impaired driver may be negligent per se. Negligence per se occurs when a person violates a regulation or safety law and is presumed to be negligent. To prove negligence per se in a drunk driving accident, the injury victim can show:
- At the time of the occurrence, Colorado's drunk driving laws were in effect;
- A violation of the drunk driving law constitutes negligence; and
- If the jury finds such a violation, they may only consider it if it was a cause of the claimed injuries, damages, or losses.
What if the Drunk Driver Doesn't Have Insurance?
A car accident injury claim may be more complicated if the drunk driver doesn't have insurance. If the accident victim has a policy which covers uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM), their policy may cover the damages caused by the uninsured or underinsured driver.
Even if the other driver doesn't have insurance, the injury victim may be able to go after the driver's personal assets. This includes their bank accounts, vehicles, property, and other assets. It is important to act quickly after an accident to secure your claims to recover compensation for your injuries. Damages in a car accident can include more than just car repairs, including:
- Medical treatment,
- Future medical treatment,
- Loss of income,
- Loss of future income, and
- Pain and suffering.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Colorado, do not hesitate to contact accidentdenver.com today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation.