According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, drunk driving is a “serious concern,” making up about one-third of driving deaths. Drunk driving is illegal in all states, including Pennsylvania.
If a drunk driver injured you in a car accident, you might be legally entitled to financial compensation. However, Pennsylvania law is complex, and the extent to which you may sue the driver and the amount of money you could recover depends on several factors. The experienced and skilled personal injury attorneys at Hyde Tebay Legal may be able to help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
What Types Of Legal Action Do Drunk Drivers Face In Pennsylvania?
Drunk drivers face two types of legal actions in Pennsylvania. First, drunk driving is illegal in Pennsylvania. Thus, the State of Pennsylvania may prosecute the drunk driver and convict the drunk driver of violating Pennsylvania’s drunk driving law.
Even if the State of Pennsylvania convicts the drunk driver in criminal court, this does not mean that the drunk driver will have to provide you with financial compensation for your injury. To receive financial compensation for your injury from the drunk driver, you may need to sue the drunk driver in civil court. This means that a drunk driver could go to court multiple times: the State of Pennsylvania may prosecute the drunk driver, and you may be able to sue the drunk driver.
What Type Of Damages Could You Recover?
In Pennsylvania, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These damages come from the drunk driver’s insurance company. Compensatory damages are intended to cover:
- Outstanding medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income (lost wages) as a result of the injury
- Losses related to the quality of life
You may also be able to recover punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the driver. Thus, the driver’s insurance company does not pay these damages. Instead, the drunk driver is responsible for paying punitive damages.
How Long Do You Have After The Accident To Sue The Drunk Driver In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law states that you have two years after the accident to sue the drunk driver in civil court. Thus, if you wish to sue the drunk driver responsible for your injury, you should contact the skilled attorneys at Hyde Tebay Legal soon.
Will A Drunk Driver’s Criminal Conviction Of Driving Under The Influence Help Your Case?
Yes. If the driver in the auto accident was convicted of drunk driving in criminal court, you would have a strong case against the driver. This is because it will be easier to prove that the driver was drunk and that the driver caused the accident.
Will You Be Able To Sue The Drunk Driver If You Also Contributed To The Accident?
Even if you are a cause of motor vehicle accidents, you may still be able to sue and recover money. Pennsylvania law states that you may still recover monetary damages even if you contributed to the accident. However, your contribution to the accident must be less significant than that of the drunk driver. Also, if you contributed to the accident, the law reduces the amount of money damages you could receive in proportion to the amount you contributed to the accident.
Can You Sue A Drunk Driver Who Killed A Loved One?
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported that in 2020 293 people died because of drunk driving. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also said that drunk driving crashes were 4.3 times more likely to cause deaths compared to crashes not involving alcohol.
Thus, family members must have the ability to recover compensation when loved ones are killed in drunk driving accidents. Generally, both full-tort and limited tort insurance allows a family member to sue the drunk driver responsible for the family member’s death.
Can You Sue The Distributor Of The Alcohol In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law allows you to sue the seller of alcohol. Indeed, you may sue the liquor distributor where the driver drank under certain circumstances. To succeed in a lawsuit against the liquor distributor that intoxicated the driver, you must establish that the driver was visibly intoxicated when purchasing the liquor or that the distributor sold the liquor to a minor. Thus, in addition to recovering money from the drunk driver, you may be able to recover money from the seller of alcohol if the driver purchased alcohol while clearly intoxicated or the drunk driver was a minor.
Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Personal Injury Lawyers
Drunk driving is a serious concern, given the number of car accidents it causes. The United States Department of Transportation reports that in 2019, 10,142 people died because of drunk driving. The State of Pennsylvania may prosecute the drunk driver. However, this will not result in the monetary compensation you deserve. If you wish to sue the drunk driver, you need to bring a drunk driving accident case against them in civil court.
If a drunk driver caused you serious injuries in a car crash, the expert personal injury attorneys at Hyde Tebay Legal can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Request a free consultation today. Call (484) 886-4271 or contact an experienced drunk driver injury lawyer at Hyde Tebay Legal here.