If you were injured by a drunk driver, you can sue to hold the driver accountable. In some cases, the bar or restaurant that served the driver can also be sued. Often times, drunk drivers only get a few months in jail or probation, even when their reckless actions caused serious injury or death. Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is often the only way to feel that justice has been served.
Our attorneys pursue cases involving drunk drivers aggressively. After DUI or DWI crashes, insurance companies are in the very difficult position of having to defend somebody who knowingly or negligently got drunk and then drove. We can, and do, put the screws to the insurance company to resolve the claim fairly and quickly. Call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free).
We have helped many clients who were injured by drunk drivers. One client we helped was a 26-year-old woman. This client was riding on a motorcycle with her boyfriend when his motorcycle was rear ended. Her injuries were so severe that one of her legs had to be amputated. The crash and her injuries were caused by a drunk driver. The drunk driver did not have enough insurance to fully compensate our client, so we filed a lawsuit against the bar where he had been drinking and won $6 million.
Wrongful Death Claim
If your loved one is killed by a driver who was drinking prior to the fatal crash, you may have a wrongful death claim against that driver and others. If the driver was driving a vehicle owned by a business, that business may be legally responsible. If he or she was served alcohol at a bar or restaurant before the accident, the bar or restaurant may be legally responsible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our accident lawyers have represented clients in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits throughout the United States and won millions of dollars in lawsuits against bars and restaurants, trucking and bus companies, car dealerships, and others.
Can I Sue a Drunk Driver if they are not criminally charged?
Yes. It is true that if the driver that caused the crash has been charged and found guilty of a DUI or DWI, it will help your case. However, it is not necessary for them to be charged criminally to file a lawsuit for financial compensation. It is also not necessary to wait until a criminal charge has been filed to file your personal injury drunk driving lawsuit. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can often be the only way to get money after your crash.
Can a Parent Sue a Drunk Driver on behalf of a Child?
Yes, if you are a parent, and your son or daughter is under the age of 18, you can sue on their behalf. The money that is recovered in drunk driving lawsuits can be used for costs ranging from long-term care costs to post-accident home renovations. Money from a lawsuit settlement or verdict can also be put into a trust for your child’s future use or used for other needs your child might have.
Can I Sue a Bar or Restaurant if they Served the Driver Who Hit My Car
You may have the right to sue the owner of a bar, restaurant or other establishment that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver prior to the crash. This is called a dram shop claim. Generally, dram shops (bars, restaurants and other sellers of liquor) are liable when they have violated a law or regulation. While selling liquor to an obviously intoxicated customer represents the most common dram shop violation, the illegal sale of intoxicating beverages can take other forms, such as:
Selling liquor without a license to do so;
Selling liquor after hours;
Selling liquor to a minor.
There are generally no criminal charges filed against the owner of a bar or restaurant that served alcohol to someone who caused a crash. The only way to hold businesses accountable is a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation.
How Much Money Can I Get For a Drunk Driving Accident
The “value” of your personal injury claim depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries, whether there is a dram shop claim (see above), your age, your job before the crash and ability to keep doing it, and what state laws apply, to name a few.
Compensation can include the following:
Pain and suffering – includes physical pain, disfigurement, disability, and emotional distress;
Cost of care; and
Punitive damages – an amount of money meant to punish the party at fault for deliberately disregarding the rights or safety of others.
What happens if the person hit by the drunk driver’s car is too injured to sue.
Our lawyers have handled many cases where the injured person was severely injured, in a coma, or had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, one causing brain damage to the extent that the person could not pursue a lawsuit. In these cases, a lawsuit can be filed on that person’s behalf. For example, a wife can sue on behalf of her husband, and a parent can sue on behalf of an adult child.
My family member was killed by a drunk driver. What can I do to hold the drunk driver accountable?
If your family member is killed, there may be a wrongful death claim under state law. When an impaired person causes a fatal accident, the spouse and next of kin may have a claim for the following:
Loss of potential earnings;
Loss of advice, comfort, assistance, protection, counsel and society; and
How can I make sure the drunk driver is punished for what they did?
Punitive damages are meant to punish someone for bad behavior. In this context, an aggressive litigator can make a motion for punitive damages. If a judge approves that motion, then you may get money above and beyond the regular compensation (called compensatory compensation) discussed above. There is no statutory limit on punitive damages. A criminal charge or conviction is not a prerequisite to consideration of punitive damages. Evidence of past criminal convictions for DUI or criminal vehicular homicide or injury is admissible into evidence. Generally, if there are past criminal convictions for either of these, it is more likely that punitive damages will be awarded.
How is Your Law Firm Paid?
Our law firm is paid on a contingency basis, meaning we are not paid unless you win. This means we cover the expense of your case and only get paid for that if you get a payout.
Lawsuit Says Restaurant Sold Alcohol to Underage Driver
A lawsuit against the owners of a restaurant claims that the restaurant sold alcohol to an underage driver, a 19-year-old, who was in a fatal crash. The lawsuit was filed by the parents of the 19-year-old. According to the suit, when the the young driver was leaving the restaurant, she traveled at over 90 miles per hour and crashed her car into a grove of trees. The 19-year-old driver died, as did one of her passengers. Another passenger was critically injured.*
Woman with .32 Blood-Alcohol Level Driver in Multi-Car Crash
A driver involved in a multi-car crash in Rochester, MN had a blood-alcohol level of .32, according to the police department. The accident at 12th Street and Marion Road on September 21, 2018. The driver was taken to jail and then to detox. She was charged with second-degree DUI, driving with a revoked license, driving with no insurance, and failure to drive with due care.
North Minneapolis Crash Results in Death of Mother, Grandmother
A woman was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver in MInneapolis. A 28-year-old man was driving his car on Newton Avenue in North Minneapolis, when he struck a small SUV, driven by Ms. Esping, that had been traveling eastbound on 29th Avenue. The impact pushed the SUV into a tree. The alleged offender was arrested for suspected criminal vehicular homicide.
One Fatality In Head-On Collision In Wabasha
A Ford Edge traveling north on on Highway 42 swerved into the southbound lane, striking the Harley Davidson motorcycle. The preliminary investigation report found that alcohol was a possible factor.
Woman Killed in MN Drunk Driving Accident
A woman from Winthrop, Minnesota, was killed in a head on crash on May 27, 2016 at 9:17 p.m. The accident happened on Highway 99 near Le Sueur County Road 140 south of Greenleaf Lake at milepost 32.
Passenger Injured in Elk River Rollover
A car lost control of the vehicle and rolled, seriously injuring herself and her passenger, a 24-year-old from Elk River, Minnesota. Alcohol was detected in the driver, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Amish Family Devastated by Fatal Crash
Prosecutors in Wood County, Wisconsin, are preparing a criminal case against an offender who allegedly was intoxicated when his pickup truck slammed into a horse-drawn wagon, killing the one and severely injuring six children.
Repeat Offender Charged with Homicide of Minnesota Mother
A Roseville mother is Minnesota’s latest fatal victim of alleged DUI. She was driving a minivan Saturday afternoon in Inver Grove Heights when her vehicle was slammed by a Cadillac sedan, according to police.
Fatal Accident in WI: Homicide Charge
A man who crashed in Kaukauna, Wisconsin has been charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and is being held at the Outagamie County Jail. The passenger, a 44-year-old woman, was critically injured in the accident and died at the hospital.
Rollover near St. Cloud: Wrongful Death of Twin Cities Woman
An Alborn, Minnesota, woman is suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and faces possible charges for the death of one of her passengers and injuries suffered by two other passengers.