17 Feb. 2017

Who Is Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident?

Posted By Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C.

While it is no big secret that driving under the influence (DUI) can be deadly, it is still a major issue on the road. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one in every three traffic-related deaths in the U.S. involves an intoxicated motorist. For accident victims, getting the help they need is generally a top priority and when filing a personal injury or car accident claim, it is vital to understand who may be held liable for any resulting damages.

Determining Negligence in a Car Accident

With any injury claim, assigning liability in an accident typically centers on proving that one party acted negligently. In the case of drunk driving, the choice to imbibe alcohol is an indicator of negligence. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08%; however, depending on the circumstances of an accident, a driver may be held responsible if any amount of alcohol led to a crash. Furthermore, a vehicle’s owner may be liable for damages if they knowingly allowed another intoxicated person to drive. While at-fault drivers are typically one of the first parties to look at when determining liability, they are not the only people who may be held responsible for a drunk driving accident.

Can a Provider of Alcohol be Held Responsible?

Yes. According to the Pennsylvania Dram Shop Act, servers of alcohol such as restaurants, bars, and even social hosts may be liable for drunk driving accidents under specific conditions. A third-party may be held responsible under dram shop laws if (1) they knowingly serve alcohol to a person who is already clearly intoxicated and (2) that person causes an accident as a result. Third-parties can also be responsible if they provide a minor with alcohol, regardless of their assumed levels of intoxication.

For this reason, investigations are critical for building a complete picture of not only the accident itself but the events leading up to a crash. A claim can involve countless unique factors and if you have questions about your specific situation, contacting an attorney with experience handling drunk driving accident claims is highly recommended.

Compensation for Injured Motorists

In the wake of a car accident, getting the medical care you need while attempting to navigate through an unfamiliar insurance claims process can be tremendously overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. At Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C. our Philadelphia car accident attorneys can help you understand your options and guide you through every step of a claim. We possess more than 100 years of combined experience and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

Do you want to learn more about your claim? Contact us online today.

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