In 2016, there were 11,264 alcohol related vehicle accidents in North Carolina that resulted in 402 fatalities, according to the figures published by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Drivers that drink and drive and cause an accident are usually regarded as irresponsible and reckless.
However, even if you think you have a ‘slam dunk’ lawsuit because the at-fault driver was drunk, you should retain the services of a qualified drunk driver crash attorney for pursue your rightful compensation.
The drunk driver almost always bears certain amount of blame in DWI injury lawsuits. However, they may not be alone. Experienced DWI injury attorneys in North Carolina will determine the following:
It is possible that individuals or entities other than the driver caused the accident by acting negligently. The legal term for such claims is ‘social host liability’ or ‘dram shop case’. Generally, homeowners and businesses that serve alcohol have the responsibility for refusing alcohol to people that look visible drunk or intoxicated.
According to North Carolina law, a bartender or the host of a party cannot serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person if they are going to be driving. The party host or bartender can be held responsible for the damages if they are found liable in the drunk driving case.
Individuals can seek punitive and compensatory damages in North Carolina court because of the extreme negligence and recklessness involved in a drunk driving accident.
Victims of drunk driving accidents can seek punitive damages in civil cases. These damages are meant for deterring the drunk driver from repeating their poor decision. Punitive damages, in essence, go beyond compensatory damages. They are usually sought only in egregious situations, and injuring others while driving drunk is often considered such a situation. The court will determine these types of damages.
You don’t need to wait to seek compensation in drunk driving lawsuits. Civil and criminal courts are not dependent on each other. In addition, you risk your case by waiting for long. North Carolina has a statute of limitations. You need to file your drunk driving claim within this time period. It is three years from the date on injury and two in case there is death involved.
We understand the devastation that follows drunk driving cases at Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC. Our team is prepared to help you seek justice. Reach out to us today if you or a loved one was injured in a drunk driving crash. You can schedule an appointment by calling at 800-529-0804 or using our online form.