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Help for Accident Victims

Raleigh Drunk Driving Attorneys

Public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving have resulted in tougher DUI laws and a decline in alcohol-related accidents. But drunk drivers still injure and kill far too many people each year in North Carolina. Every alcohol-related accident is a preventable accident, and those who cause them should be held accountable.

If you are a victim of an impaired driving accident in Raleigh, you could be entitled to claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more. Let our experienced Raleigh accident attorneys review the details of the DUI accident and discuss your options for pursuing compensation.

Hardison & Cochran has been representing clients in North Carolina for more than 30 years. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling DUI injury cases in North Carolina.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not owe a legal fee unless we obtain money for you through a settlement or jury award. Contact the North Carolina drunk driving accident victim lawyers at Hardison & Cochran toll-free at 800-434-8399 today or through our online contact form. You’ll hear from us within 24 hours, and your initial consultation will be free.

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Drunk Driving Statistics in North Carolina

North Carolina had more than 11,000 alcohol-related crashes in 2017.

North Carolina counties

  • 692 alcohol-related traffic accidents
    The City of Raleigh had 692 alcohol-related traffic accidents causing injuries and 18 deaths.
  • 368 people died in drunk
    A total of 368 people died in DUI accidents in N.C. in 2017.
  • 7,922 people
    A total of 7,922 people sustained injuries in alcohol-related driving accidents.
  • one out of every four traffic deaths
    Drunk driving fatalities accounted for one out of every four traffic deaths in North Carolina in 2017.
  • 500 teenagers were injured and 14 died
    More than 500 teenagers were injured and 14 died in alcohol-related crashes in N.C. in 2017.

Your Legal Options If Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident

If you were injured in a car accident and a drunk driver was at fault, it is important to understand your legal options. The drunk driver who caused the accident may be facing criminal prosecution on DUI-related charges. A conviction of DUI charges, while important, will not provide any compensation to cover your medical bills and lost income. You will need to take independent action to seek compensation for your injuries.

You may need to file a separate civil lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries and his or her insurance company. You can demand that the driver’s insurance company pay your medical bills and compensate you for your other losses.

Lawyers talking at Hardison & Cochran

If you try to deal with the drunk driver’s insurance company on your own without the guidance of an attorney, you will be at a disadvantage. It is hard to know what the fair value of your claim should be or whether an insurance company’s offer is reasonable, if you are unfamiliar with the claims process. Insurers will generally try to exploit the situation to pay the least amount possible.

You have the option to have an attorney investigate your accident, submit a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company and pursue compensation on your behalf, without any upfront costs. Our attorneys at Hardison & Cochran focus on protecting your legal rights to be made whole after an accident caused by another’s disregard for safety. We only get paid if we obtain compensation for you.

Who Can Be Held Responsible

After an alcohol-related accident in North Carolina, a DUI accident victim may potentially hold a number of different parties legally liable for his or her injuries and other accident-related losses.

In addition to the liability of the drunk driver, in some cases, a bar or restaurant that negligently served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer who then caused accident may be held legally liable under North Carolina’s dram shop law.

The issue in these cases is to prove that the bartender or restaurant staff knew or reasonably should have recognized that the customer was intoxicated and acted negligently by continuing to serve alcohol to the individual. Intoxicated customers are a danger to everyone on the road when they get behind the wheel.

Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to minors who then cause a DUI accident also may be held legally liable. The failure to request to see an I.D. before selling alcohol to a minor may be evidence of negligence.

Social hosts who throw a party and serve alcohol to minors who then cause a drunk driving accident also may be held legally liable.

A Raleigh DUI victim attorney at Hardison & Cochran can investigate the driving under the influence accident in which you or your loved one was seriously injured and identify all the parties that may be liable for your injuries. We will then pursue full compensation for your injuries.

Compensation for DWI Accident Injuries

Person injured in a drunk driving crash
If you sustain serious injuries in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may have significant hospital bills and be unable to return to work for months. You may have a stack of unpaid medical bills and loss of income if you are unable to work.

You may have reduced earning potential if your injuries leave you unable to handle the demands of your old job or will limit the type of work you can do in the future.

 

The amount of compensation that you may seek by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver will depend on the facts of the DUI accident, and the insurance policies in place to pay compensation. North Carolina civil law allows you to demand various types of compensation from the individual or business responsible for your injuries including:

  • Hospital and doctor expensesHospital and doctor Expenses compensation for the costs to date of your doctor and hospital bills, rehabilitation, medications and related medical costs.
  • Future Medical ExpensesFuture Medical Expenses Some injuries require ongoing medical care and physical therapy. In a DUI injury claim, you may seek compensation for future medical costs as well as medical expenses to date.
  • Lost IncomeLost Income If you cannot work as a result of your DUI accident injuries, you may seek reimbursement for your lost income and economic damages that you suffered.
  • Pain and SufferingPain and Suffering You may claim compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced as a result of the drunk driver’s negligence.
  • Punitive DamagesPunitive Damages Compensation may be sought to punish a drunk driver in certain cases of willful acts or malicious conduct.

Holding North Carolina Drunk Drivers Accountable

Alcohol is a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant. The intensity of its effect on the body is directly related to the amount consumed. Alcohol affects physical coordination, mental alertness and visual acuity, all of which are necessary for safe driving.

North Carolina adopted the Safe Roads Act in 1983. The Safe Roads Act repealed N.C. laws that made driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 percent cause for a criminal charge of driving under the influence (DUI) and established a BAC of 0.08 percent as cause for a charge of driving while intoxicated, or DWI.

Before a BAC is determined, law enforcement officers look for several other indications that a driver may be impaired by alcohol. These include:

  • Having trouble staying in their traffic lane or weaving within their lane.
  • Crossing the centerline or yellow line or driving left of center.
  • Going too fast (speeding) or going too slow.
  • Failing to turn on headlights at night.
  • Failing roadside sobriety tests (walk a straight line, close eyes and touch nose, say the alphabet, etc.).
  • Slurred speech.
  • Red and/or glassy eyes.

Contact Our Experienced DWI Accident Attorneys Today

If you’ve been in an accident caused by a drunk or impaired driver, call the experienced North Carolina drunk driving accident lawyers at Hardison & Cochran toll-free at 800-434-8399 today, or fill out our online contact form.

We represent DUI accident victims in Raleigh, Cary, Wake County, Research Triangle Park, Durham and elsewhere in the Triangle, as well as in Fayetteville, Dunn, Southern Pines, Wilmington, Person County, Greensboro and the Triad, and throughout the state of North Carolina. Hardison & Cochran has been assisting victims of impaired driving accidents in North Carolina for more than 30 years. Let us explain how we can help you.

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