Personal Injury with Drugs or Alcohol Attorney
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every day in the United States 30 people die in motor vehicle accidents that involve an alcohol or drug impaired driver. That’s approximately one death every 51 minutes.
In 2013, over one million people were injured in alcohol or drug related motor vehicle accidents. In Rhode Island, approximately 38% of all traffic deaths were DUI related in 2011.
According to the CDC, drugs were a factor in 18 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities, and in many of these fatalities drugs were used in combination with alcohol.
According to a study featured in Public Health Reports marijuana and prescription drugs are frequently found in the blood of drivers involved in fatal car accidents. Drivers today are more likely to test positive for drugs and many impaired drivers are over the age of 50. This is attributed to the increase in the number of people taking prescription drugs that may make them drowsy.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as cold medications, allergy medications and cough syrup can make people drowsy and potentially dangerous while driving. The CDC reports that approximately 33 percent of all fatal car accidents in 2013 were due to a driver being drowsy.
If you were involved in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver and the other driver was impaired due to alcohol or drugs, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the impaired driver.
In most personal injury claims, the issue of fault and liability comes down to establishing who was negligent.
In the case of a motor vehicle accident, one way a driver can be found negligent is to be found impaired due to the use of alcohol, certain prescription drugs, certain OTC drugs, or the use of illicit drugs.
Individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by an alcohol or drug impaired driver may be entitled to file a claim to seek compensation for the damages they suffered.
Rhode Island follows a fault-based (or “tort”) system when it comes to determining who pays for damages after a car accident. This means that the person who was legally at fault for causing the accident is liable for any resulting damages or injuries. The at-fault driver’s insurance will usually pay these costs. In Rhode Island, a person who is injured or suffers property damage in an auto accident usually has three avenues for recovering compensation:
- File a claim with their own car insurance carrier
- File a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurer
- File a personal injury claim or lawsuit
The following damages may be sought, depending on the unique situation of each case other damages or compensation may apply:
- Payment of medical bills.
- Payment of hospital bills.
- Compensation for rehabilitation costs.
- Compensation for lost income, both current and future.
- Reimbursement of other financial losses associated with the accident.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Wrongful death benefits.
Under Rhode Island law, alcohol or drug impaired drivers who are responsible for motor vehicles accidents may also face criminal DWI charges, in some cases repeat offenders will face prison time.
Even if an alcohol or drug impaired driver manages to avoid conviction in criminal court – or is never charged with DWI – this does not prevent victims from seeking compensation through a civil lawsuit. Civil and criminal liability for drunk driving accidents are separate matters under Rhode Island law.
Rhode Island Liquor Liability Act
Under Rhode Island’s Liquor Liability Act, a restaurant or bar may be held legally accountable if it serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or someone under age 21 who then drives and causes an injury accident.
The law states that if the defendant knows, or should reasonably have known, that the person served was under 21, or if the defendant serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, the defendant may be held responsible for an accident that results. The restaurant or bar may be required to pay damages to victims of the drunk driver they served.
Damages under Rhode Island’s Liquor Liability Act may be awarded to compensate for all injuries suffered by the victim. Additionally, punitive damages may be awarded for actions based on reckless service. Any action brought under Rhode Island’s Liquor Liability Act must be brought within three years of the date of the injury.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Personal Injury with Drugs or Alcohol accidents and has been injured or there has been a death, let our Personal Injury Attorney Rhode Island help you navigate the complex legal world of insurance companies, claims agents and legal proceedings.
You’ll find the help you need at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., where we have been successfully representing people in personal injury cases for more than forty years.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers have all been designated as “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers Magazine. Ronald J. Resmini has earned the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
We have won millions of dollars in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients. We are a top-notch Rhode Island Law Firm that knows how to defend complicated cases such as a Personal Injury with Drugs or Alcohol accidents.
Call the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. today to schedule your free consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney Rhode Island. Pick up the phone and call us now at (401) 751-8855.