A crash caused by another driver who is drunk or incapable of driving safely due to consuming legal or illegal drugs can totally upend your world, leaving you with serious injuries that you have to deal with for years to come—or even the rest of your life. If you have been injured in a DUI accident, you likely have a range of emotions, including anger, frustration, and even fear of what’s to come. Who will pay for your medical care? Will you be able to return to work? How will you pay your household bills? Our firm has years of experience helping victims recoup their losses and put their lives back on course in the aftermath of a wreck caused by a DUI driver. Contact our Pittsburgh DUI accident attorneys as soon as possible following your crash to discuss your legal options.
The state of Pennsylvania takes DUI quite seriously, and with good reason. During the latest reporting year of data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 9,811 alcohol-related crashes across the Commonwealth. Out of these incidents, there were 299 fatalities and 5,938 injuries. The data indicate that, in 2019, alcohol-involved collisions were responsible for 28% of all traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania.
Numbers don’t lie. Drinking and driving is a serious issue in our state. Despite penalties faced by drivers who drink and drive, drivers continue to violate the law, taking their lives and the lives of innocent people on the roadway into their own hands.
Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania are progressively enhanced for each subsequent offense, although that doesn’t necessarily make drivers any less prone to drive drunk. First-time offenders face a simple $300 fine, while second-time offenders face up to six months in jail, license suspension, and fines of up to $2,500. Third offense DUI offenders can spend up to two years in jail, pay up to $5,000 in fines, and have their license suspended. Around 60,000 people are arrested for DUI in our state each year.
Injuries that victims sustain in alcohol-related crashes are often severe. At Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman, it is not uncommon for our Pittsburgh DUI accident lawyers to help clients who have sustained the following:
Unfortunately, victims of DUI accidents also regularly sustain significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the crash and their subsequent injuries. We work diligently to secure compensation for all of our clients’ injuries, both physical and emotional.
Victims injured in alcohol-related crashes in Pittsburgh have a limited amount of time to file lawsuits in these cases. The Pennsylvania personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs (or until the 20th birthday of a minor injured in a wreck). This gives DUI accident victims a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. Failing to file a claim within this timeframe will result in the victim being unable to recover the compensation they need.
It is important to recognize that auto insurance carriers have their own reporting deadlines for these cases. It is vital to report the incident to the insurance carrier very soon after the incident occurs, or the insurance carrier may delay the claim or even deny it altogether.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an alcohol-related collision, you should be able to recover various types of compensation for your losses. At Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman, our Pittsburgh DUI accident lawyers are regularly able to help clients recover the following:
The total amount of compensation available to victims of DUI crashes will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. This can include the severity of the victim’s injuries, the level of their pain and suffering, whether or not the victim was partially responsible for the incident, and more.
A DUI accident claim can be complicated, which is why it’s always a wise choice to go with an attorney who has a history of personal injury claims related to DUI. In most instances, a DUI car wreck has clearly one cause—the negligence of the DUI driver. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to medical costs, future medical costs, lost wages, diminished capacity to earn a living, and pain and suffering. In some instances, you may be awarded punitive damages—the courts use these damages as a type of punishment for the DUI driver; they serve to deter future DUIs and set a precedent for other drivers.
Keep in mind that in Pennsylvania, if the DUI driver in your case pleads guilty to DUI or is found guilty of DUI, then the limited tort restriction is automatically converted to a full tort. This also happens if the DUI driver enters the Pennsylvania First Offenders Program, or ARD.
Call our Pittsburgh DUI accident attorney right away if you have been injured in an accident due to a DUI driver. We will fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve and hold the driver accountable for his reckless actions. Schedule your no-cost consultation now.