Driving whole drunk

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

When cars, trucks, or other motor vehicle and alcohol mix, tragedy often strikes.  Drunk driving accidents often result in serious, debilitating, and life-changing injuries.  Even worse, some drunk driving injuries result in death.  Drunk driving crashes are horrific and often leave families confused and heartbroken.   The grief is made all the worse, because drunk driving accidents are 100% preventable.  When tragedy strikes, having a knowledgeable and experienced drunk driving accident lawyer on your side is key to putting your life back together again.

Although drunk driving accidents have decreased significantly over the last few decades, drunk driving crashes continue to be a problem in our communities.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving crashes contributed to a cost of $44 billion in damages and killed almost 30 people per day.  

Drunk driving accident lawyers focus their practice on representing those injured in alcohol-related car and truck accidents.  When a person suffers a drunk driving injury, they should seek the help of a knowledgeable and experienced drunk driving accident lawyer.  Doing so is the first step in making sure they receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

If you’ve been injured in an alcohol-related accident in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, you should call the drunk driving accident lawyers at Gold, Khourey & Turak.  The drunk driving accident lawyers at Gold Khourey & Turak have decades of experience representing those suffering drunk driving injuries, and have collected millions of dollars for victims and families.  A consultation with one of our drunk driving accident lawyers is always free and without obligation.   Our accident attorneys are available at any time by calling (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.    

About Gold Khourey & Turak Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Gold, Khourey & Turak’s drunk driving accident lawyers fight for those injured in alcohol-related car, truck, and other accidents.  Our results speak for themselves.  Our lawyers have helped those suffering from drunk driving injuries collect millions of dollars in compensation. 

At GKT, our drunk driving accident clients aren’t just clients—they’re neighbors and friends.  We know that dealing with the physical, emotional, and mental pain and anxiety of a drunk driving injury can be unimaginable.  Our drunk driving accident lawyers understand this and have the compassion needed to help make things right. 

Contact GKT today for a free consultation.     

DUI/DWI Limits in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

State driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) limits are determined by the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC).  The maximum BAC limit for West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania is 0.08. 

However, most states have a zero tolerance limit for those under the legal drinking age of 21.  In most states, including West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, if a minor has a BAC of 0.02 or greater, they are guilty of a DUI/DWI even if their driving capabilities are not actually impaired.  

Additionally, some states have so-called enhanced penalty DUI/DWI laws.  These laws allow for increased criminal penalties when a person has a higher BAC.  The enhanced penalty BACs for the states in which GKT practices is as follows:

  • West Virginia: 0.15
  • Ohio: 0.17
  • Pennsylvania: 0.16

When it comes to drunk driving accidents, the person’s BAC can be extremely important evidence.  It is evidence that alcohol was a factor in causing the car, truck, or other vehicle accident.  This is true even if the person’s BAC does not exceed the legal limit of 0.08.  To put it another way, just because a person’s BAC is below 0.08 does not mean that they were not impaired and that alcohol did not contribute to the accident. 

Even more, if the person’s BAC meets or exceeds the enhanced penalty laws, it can be evidence to support a higher compensation award, including punitive damages.  That’s why it’s so important for the police or other law enforcement to administer a BAC test after a crash where alcohol-impairment is suspected.  It’s also why it’s so important for a drunk driving lawyer to obtain that evidence as quickly as possible. 

Common Signs of Alcohol Impairment

While a BAC test is the only true way to determine whether a driver has been drinking alcohol, there are some common, tell-tale signs of alcohol impairment.  The following are signs that a person may be alcohol impaired:

  • Glassy eyes
  • Loss of balance and unsteadiness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty standing upright
  • Slurred speech
  • Decreased attention and judgment
  • Loss of memory
  • Clumsiness
  • Inhibition
  • Confusion
  • Impaired vision
  • Dizziness

If you’ve been in a car or truck accident and the driver shows any of these signs, make sure you contact law enforcement immediately.  It’s extremely important that the police document any of these behaviors and administer a BAC test as soon as possible.  If you can, it’s a good idea to document any suspected alcohol-impaired behavior with videos, pictures, or even taking notes with a pen and paper. 

The important thing to remember is that your health and safety come first.  If the person is aggressive or threatening, make sure that you don’t put yourself in any danger and call 911 immediately. 

Common Drunk Driving Accident Injuries

Because of the negative physical and cognitive effects of alcohol, drunk driving accidents more frequently result in serious injury and death than other types of accidents.  That is the major reason why the following injuries are more common in drunk driving accident than in a “normal” car or truck accident:

Brain Injury

Drunk driving brain injuries can be anything from a concussion that heals completely to a brain bleed or brain swelling that can put someone’s life in jeopardy.  One reason why a brain injury is a common drunk driving accident injury is because drunk drivers often make poor decisions to speed or drive recklessly.  The same poor decisions might not be made when sober.  Speed and reckless driving are major factors behind brain injuries.

Spine Injury

A spine injury can range from a “sore back” to a herniated or slipped disc to a severed spinal cord resulting in paralysis. Similar to brain injuries, a spine injury is more likely to occur when drunk drivers make the poor decision to speed or drive recklessly.  A spine injury is a very serious drunk driving injury. 

Broken Bones

Again, due to the reckless and risky driving of drunk drivers, broken bones are common drunk driving injuries.  Broken bones, such as legs and arms, can heal on their own within months or result in permanent disfigurement and disability.  

Muscle, Tendon, and Ligament Tears

Muscle, tendon, and ligament tears and damage are common in all car and truck accidents.  However, they are more frequent in drunk driving accidents because of the speed and violent nature of the crashes. 

Death

The most serious drunk driving injuries result in death. People killed in drunk driving accidents may have a wrongful death case and should consult with a drunk driving accident lawyer that has experience handling wrongful death cases

Compensation for Drunk Driving Injuries

People who suffer injuries from a drunk driving crash are typically entitled to greater compensation for two main reasons.  First, drunk driving accidents typically result in more serious injuries and are therefore more costly to treat and more frequently result in permanent disability or death.  Second, because a drunk driver causing a crash is engaged in wrongful, criminal, and reckless behavior, drunk driving victims may be entitled to significant punitive damage awards. 

A person who suffers from a drunk driving injury may be entitled to the following compensation:

  • Medical bills and other healthcare costs
  • Future medical bills
  • Long term care
  • Lost wages and loss of income
  • Future lot wages and future loss of income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Loss of companionship or loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Annoyance, aggravation, and inconvenience
  • Punitive damages

A person injured in a drunk driving crash may be entitled to some or all of these different types of compensation.  If you’ve suffered a drunk driving injury, contact GKT’s experienced drunk driving accident lawyers as soon as possible to learn more about what compensation you may be entitled to.  Contact GKT’s drunk driving accident lawyers today. 

Can a Bar be Responsible for a Drunk Driver?

Under certain circumstances, a bar, restaurant, or other business may be responsible for injuries caused in a drunk driving accident.  Called “dram shop” laws, the specific circumstances when a bar or other business may be liable for drunk driving injuries vary state to state.

West Virginia Dram Shop Law

In West Virginia, if a person becomes “physically incapacitated” by drinking alcohol at a bar, restaurant, or other business and causes injuries in a drunk driving or other accident, that bar or restaurant may be liable.  Bailey v. Black, 394 S.E.2d 58 (1990).   

Ohio Dram Shop Law

Ohio’s dram shop laws are found at Ohio Revised Code 4399.18.  According to Ohio’s dram shop law, a bar or restaurant may be liable for drunk driving injuries if the injuries occurred off of the property, and the bar or restaurant “knowingly sold” alcohol to a “noticeably intoxicated” person or to a minor.

Pennsylvania Dram Shop Law

In Pennsylvania, a bar or restaurant may be liable for drunk driving injuries if it sold or gave alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated” person.  Pennsylvania’s dram shop laws are found at § 4-497 of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code

If a person has been injured by a drunk driver, including if the injured party is a passenger in the same vehicle as the drunk driver, it’s important that they contact an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer.  The best drunk driving accident lawyers will investigate whether the drunk driver had been consuming alcohol at a bar, restaurant, or other business prior to the accident and whether the bar or restaurant can be held liable under the state’s dram shop laws.  The attorneys at GKT have this type of experience. 

Time is critical.  The sooner a drunk driving accident lawyer is involved, the better opportunity he or she will have to establish a dram shop case and obtain the compensation the client deserves. 

Marijuana and Other Drug-Related Accidents

Driver-impaired accidents aren’t always caused by alcohol.  According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 12 million people drove under the influence of drugs during that year.  Marijuana is the most common drug at the center of drug-related car accidents.

When drug-related car accidents occur, the injuries sustained can be just as serious and just as deadly as injuries caused by drunk driving crashes.    

Unfortunately, detecting marijuana or other drug impairment is not as easy as detecting alcohol impairment.  For instance, a breathalyzer can be administered at the scene of a car crash with results coming in seconds.  However, there is no similar test for marijuana or other drugs, and, therefore, a blood test must be performed.  

The following is a list of the most common drugs involved in drug-impaired car accidents:

  • marijuana
  • hydrocodone or oxycodone (i.e. painkillers)
  • benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc.)

GKT’s Commitment to Ending Drunk Driving

At GKT, we’re committed to ending drunk driving in our communities.  As part of that commitment, GKT founded the Booze and Cruise, You’ll Lose program in 1992.  Each year a GKT lawyer travels to local high schools to talk to students about the legal, financial, and personal consequences of drinking and driving and driving while impaired.   

The Booze and Cruise, You’ll Lose program consists of three parts.  The first part is an interactive quiz where students can win prizes for correctly answering questions about the myths and facts about drinking and driving.  The second part is a mock DUI/DWI traffic stop where a student wears “fatal vision” goggles to simulate alcohol intoxication.  He or she is then put through a series of field sobriety tests by a member of local law enforcement.  During the third part of the program, students hear stories from those who have been directly impacted by drinking and driving. 

Since 2017, GKT lawyer Christian Turak has spearheaded the Booze and Cruise, You’ll Lose program. 

Our Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Get Results

A consultation with one of our drunk driving accident attorneys is always free and are available 24/7, 365 days a year.  We handle drunk driving car accident cases on a contingency fee basis.  That means that we don’t charge a fee unless we obtain compensation for you. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, we are here to help.

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