Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
It is a tragic and infuriating story told way too often. A person gets behind the wheel after having one drink – or several drinks – too many. They know driving under the influence is illegal and puts their life and the lives of others at serious risk. Yet, they are convinced that they are okay and can make it home safely. And then, in an instant, they are proven horribly wrong when they seriously injure someone or take a life.
What makes these tragedies even harder for drunk driving victims and their families is recognizing that their lives have been upended and forever changed because someone was so reckless and negligent. Drunk drivers may choose to drive under the influence, but innocent victims must live with the consequences.
At the Michigan personal injury law firm of Sommers Schwartz, we have seen the consequences of drunk driving in injury victims’ faces. We have heard the pain in the voices of family members left reeling from the sudden and senseless loss of loved ones. With commitment, compassion, and tireless effort, we help drunk driving accident victims, and their families obtain compensation and justice for their losses. Our attorneys have earned a national reputation for their success in holding negligent drivers accountable for the harm they cause and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
Driving Under the Influence Remains a Serious and Widespread Problem
Despite decades of public awareness campaigns about its dangers, drunk driving injures and kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10,000 lives – wives and husbands, daughters and sons, friends and neighbors – were needlessly ended by drunk drivers on American roads and highways in 2017. That equals 30 people killed by drunk drivers in the United States every single day.
Here in Michigan, more than 2,500 people died in drunk driving accidents between 2009 and 2018.
Proving Fault in Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuits
Those injured in a Michigan drunk driving accident can bring a civil claim for damages against the party or parties responsible for their injuries. Under general principles of Michigan personal injury law, an accident victim must establish a defendant’s negligence to recover damages for their injuries successfully. Negligence claims must satisfy all four of these requirements:
- The defendant owed the accident victim a legal duty.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The accident victim suffered damages.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused their injuries.
Driving while intoxicated is an extreme form of negligence. Therefore, those injured due to such conduct can hold the impaired driver accountable, just as they could had the driver engaged in other reckless and negligent driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, or distracted driving.
But drunk driving accidents are different in that the negligent driver will likely also face felony DUI charges. The outcome of the driver’s criminal case and the evidence prosecutors use to seek a conviction can play a role in your claim for damages in a civil personal injury lawsuit.
Your drunk driving injury lawsuit can proceed while prosecutors pursue the driver’s conviction for DUI. Sometimes, it makes more sense to wait until the conclusion of the criminal case.
Common Injuries in Impaired Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents, even more than other types of car wrecks, often catch unsuspecting motorists completely off-guard. A driver may be sitting at a red light when suddenly and without warning, a drunk driver slams into their car. Or a drunk driver may fail to see a red light, crashing into another vehicle traveling through the intersection. These collisions frequently result in severe injuries.
Some of the most common drunk driving accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spine injuries
- Psychological injuries
- Disfigurement injuries
- Broken bones
Damages Recoverable in a Detroit Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawsuit
In Michigan, drunk driving accident victims can recover compensation for the expenses they incurred due to the accident and the impact that the accident had on their life.
“Economic damages” recoverable in a drunk driving accident lawsuit are typically calculated based on bills or paychecks, such as:
- Lost wages
- A decrease in future earning capacity
- Medical expenses, including medical bills and hospital expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages in a Michigan drunk driving accident lawsuit may include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Worsening of existing injuries
- The temporary or permanent loss of relationships
Speak With an Experienced Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a Michigan drunk driving accident, we stand ready to help you through a challenging time. The experienced and dedicated car accident lawyers at Sommers Schwartz provide victims and families with the aggressive representation to hold drunk drivers responsible for the pain and loss they cause and get our clients the compensation they need to move forward with their lives.