Denver Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Fighting for Justice
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were 161 DUI fatalities in Colorado last year. Over the past five years, a total of 785 lives in Colorado have been claimed by drunk driving. Drunk driving is a serious crime, and those who get behind the wheel when they are intoxicated are taking a major risk. Unfortunately, drunk drivers not only put themselves in danger; they also put other innocent people in danger as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, the auto accident attorneys at Levine Law can help. We understand the pain that a drunk driving accident can cause and your Denver drunk driving accident lawyer will treat your case with compassion as we work to help you obtain compensation.
The Dangers of Denver DUI Accidents
In Colorado, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. For commercial drivers and underage drivers, the BAC limits are even lower. The laws impose criminal penalties on those who drive drunk because the risk of auto accidents is significant.
DUI Accidents Injuries
Driving drunk can impair a driver’s ability to pay attention or make smart driving choices. A drunk driver will have slower reflexes and is more likely to be involved in a serious crash since his/her ability to brake or swerve quickly in a sudden emergency is impaired. Drunk drivers are often involved in high-speed and head-on collisions, and such accidents commonly cause serious injuries and fatalities.
The faster the drunk driver travels and the more direct the collision with another vehicle, the more likely that serious injury will result. Pedestrians and motorcycle or bicycle riders are also in grave danger when they encounter a drunk driver because they have no protection from the full impact of a motor vehicle. In addition, an intoxicated driver might veer off the road entirely onto sidewalks or lawns.
Injuries often sustained in DUI accidents include:
At Levine Law, our dedicated lawyers can help you after a drunk driving crash. With more than 20 years of experience representing the victims of auto accidents, we understand how traumatic drunk driving accidents can be and the loss they can cause.
A Colorado Bar, Restaurant or Liquor Store May Be Liable for the Accident
While seeking compensation for a drunk driving accident usually involves filing a claim under the drunk driver’s insurance policy, in many cases, victims can also file claims under Colorado’s “dram shop” law. This law holds bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other businesses legally accountable when they serve or sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.
If the drunk driver who hit you or your loved one was served in violation of Colorado’s “dram shop” law, a Denver drunk driving accident attorney at Levine Law can pursue a claim against the business that is responsible. Since businesses typically carry far more liability insurance than individual drivers, pursuing a “dram shop” claim could significantly increase the amount you and your family can recover.
A Party Host May Also Be Liable if the Drunk Driver was Under 21
Colorado’s “dram shop” law also applies to “social hosts,” but only when the drunk driver is under the age of 21. If the person who hit you or your loved one was under 21, and if he or she had been drinking to excess at a house party before the accident, then our Denver drunk driving accident lawyer may be able to pursue a claim against the party’s host as well.
Through our investigation, we will seek to determine where the driver had been drinking. We will also seek to interview employees and other witnesses who may testify that the driver was visibly drunk before getting into his or her car. If our investigation reveals that Colorado’s “dram shop” law applies in your case, we will use this to seek maximum compensation for you and your family.
Understanding the Implications of the Drunk Driver’s Criminal Trial in Colorado
Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Colorado. When a drunk driver causes a serious or fatal accident, the consequences of a conviction can be even more severe. However, a criminal conviction does not result in compensation being paid to the victim or the victim’s family. To recover compensation for their losses, victims and their families must hire a Denver drunk driving accident lawyer to file a claim in civil court.
If the drunk driver who hit you or your loved one gets convicted, this can help with your civil claim against the driver. This is based on Colorado’s law of “collateral estoppel,” which prevents parties from re-litigating any matters that have already been decided in court. You must still go through the process of proving your civil claim, but you will be able to use the drunk driver’s conviction to prove that he or she was, in fact, drunk behind the wheel at the time of the collision.
If the drunk driver’s conduct is deemed “willful and wanton,” a criminal conviction can also help support a claim for punitive damages. Under Colorado law, civil juries can award punitive damages in an amount equal to the compensatory damages that are awarded. A Denver drunk driving accident attorney at Levine Law can determine if you have a claim for punitive damages and seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
Contact Our Denver Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Now for a Free Consultation
Because drunk driving is illegal, victims of drunk driving accidents have a strong case to hold the intoxicated driver responsible. A DUI victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the intoxicated driver and often recover compensation for losses including medical bills, lost income/missed work, and pain and suffering. If the drunk driving accident led to death, then the surviving family members of the victim can take legal action.