Drunk drivers not only place themselves in danger; they endanger everyone on the road with them, including the people in their own vehicles. In most cases, drunk drivers can be held responsible for the injuries of their passengers, even if the passengers were also drunk or unable to drive for other reasons.
Common Drunk Driving Scenarios
A common scenario in drunk driving accidents occurs when a drunk driver runs off the road and hits an obstacle, seriously injuring the passengers in his or her own vehicle.
In other situations, a drunk driver may strike another vehicle, injuring his or her own passengers.
Both cases require careful handling, because many drunk drivers lack car insurance or a license. This can make it difficult to recover damages from the driver for the injuries sustained in the crash.
How Can I Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident?
Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof way to avoid becoming the victim of a drunk driving accident. Many people have found themselves involved in a serious accident caused by a driver they did not realize had been drinking. Children are often victims of their parents’ drunk driving, for example, or a friend may catch a ride with a driver not realizing the driver had been drinking earlier in the evening.
However, there are some simple rules that can reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a drunk driver.
- Never get in a car with someone who may have been drinking. If you meet a friend at a bar, for example, it may be tempting to catch a ride home with the friend. However, unless you know whether the friend was drinking prior to your meeting, it is better to call a cab.
- Control your own drinking. Most of the victims of drunk drivers who are passengers in the car have been drinking themselves. While this does not negate the ability to sue for damages, it is not wise to drink with your friends then pick the “least drunk” person to drive home.
- Arrange for a designated driver. If you and your friends go out drinking, choose a designated driver who will drink no alcohol at all during the evening. This is the only sure way to know that your driver is not impaired.
What Should I Do If I Am The Victim Of A Drunk Driving Accident?
If you have been injured as the passenger in a drunk driver’s car, it is important that you seek sound legal advice immediately. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover damages to pay for medical expenses, lost salary or benefits, and sums for pain and suffering. If the drunk driver responsible for your accident had no insurance, an attorney may help you recover damages through your own uninsured motorist coverage (if applicable).