Following the formal reopening of Washington, D.C. last month, the city experienced a surge in nighttime activity. With bars and nightclubs back at full capacity, the city also seemed primed for an increase in drunk driving. According to a recent news source, around 3:00 A.M. on a Sunday morning following the city’s reopening, a man allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol crashed into a bus stop, killing a pedestrian.
Unfortunately, drunk driving remains common in the United States. In the nation’s Capital, a person is considered to be driving under the influence when she exhibits signs of cognitive impairment from alcohol and her blood alcohol content does not exceed .07 percent. According to recent statistics, driving while intoxicated results in a significant increase in the likelihood of a deadly motor vehicle accident like the one that happened in D.C. last month.
Reports say that the allegedly drunken driver was arrested and criminally charged with murder and driving under the influence. Although the resolution of the criminal case is an important step in the pursuit of justice, even if the driver is determined to be guilty, these criminal charges will not result in any meaningful financial compensation to the deceased victim or his family.
Instead, the victim’s family and others whose loved ones or they themselves are seriously injured by a drunken driver must file a personal injury claim to obtain the financial compensation they are legally owed.
Who Is Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?
When someone is injured by a drunken driver, there may be several parties at fault. In general, the victim can always pursue a legal claim against the driver. Importantly, a civil claim against the driver is available to the victim regardless of any criminal proceedings stemming from the crash. In addition to the driver, the victim of a drunk driving accident may also have a viable legal claim against any public establishment—such as a bar or restaurant—that knowingly continued to serve alcohol to the intoxicated driver prior to the crash. Another common avenue for pursuing financial compensation following a drunk driving accident is to sue the driver’s employer. If the driver was acting within the scope of her employment at the time of the crash, her victim may be able to sue the driver’s employer directly.
These additional legal avenues can be especially helpful when the actual driver in a drunken driving incident lacks significant financial assets. But deciding who to sue and when to sue can be a complex matter. Law firms with experience in these types of cases can help victims make the right calls to achieve maximum compensation for their injuries.
Consult a Washington, D.C. Attorney Right Away
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Washington, D.C. drunk driving accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to explore your options against the at-fault parties. You deserve meaningful compensation for your physical and emotional injuries and the support of an effective legal team to help your claim succeed. The dedicated lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen are here to listen and can help you take action during this difficult time. To learn more about our services through a free, same-day consultation, call 800-654-1949.