Drunk Driving and Drug Accidents

Drunk Driving and Drug Accidents

A Drunk Driving and Drug Accident Law Firm in Evansville, Indiana and Surrounding Areas.

Simply put, drugs and alcohol are a significant problem for the Tri-State. It is disheartening to see the injuries and destruction caused by motor vehicle accidents involving drugs and alcohol. Contrary to what many believe, drunk driving cases often occur during the daytime and not just late at night.

At Siesky Law Firm, we have prosecuted many drunk driving and intoxication cases. A drunk driving or intoxication case presents multiple issues that must be addressed in a timely manner. For instance, if the driver was drunk, there may be a claim against a bar or restaurant if the drunk driver was served alcohol when they were visibly intoxicated. A claim against a bar or restaurant for serving a visibly intoxicated person who proceeds to drive and causes an accident with injuries is known as a “DRAM SHOP” case.

DRAM SHOP cases are difficult to prove, and the bar or restaurant’s surveillance video and witness statements must be preserved in short order. At Siesky Law Firm, we have handled DRAM SHOP cases and can help you investigate and prosecute such a case.

Toxicologists or other experts are often hired to review the facts and provide opinions and testimony. Siesky Law Firm has the resources in place to find the best experts for your case.

Another nuisance of a drunk driving case is that such conduct may allow for punitive damages. In Indiana, when an at-fault driver is intoxicated or under the influence and causes an accident with injuries to someone (the victim), the victim can pursue punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages, such as lost wages, scarring, loss of ability to function, medical bills, pain and suffering and mental anguish.

The Indiana Statute that governs punitive damages allows victims to claim $50,000.00 or three (3) times the compensatory damages, whichever amount is greater. However, because punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault driver (and not to compensate the victim), 75% of the punitive damage recovery is paid to the Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund and only 25% to the victim. Also, the burden is different for a punitive damage claim.

In a typical civil case, the Plaintiff has the burden of proving their case by the greater weight of the evidence. However, the Plaintiff’s burden is higher in a punitive damage claim. The Plaintiff must prove punitive damages by clear and convincing evidence. To further complicate matters, many insurance policies do not provide coverage for punitive damages.

If you or a loved one is injured by an at-fault driver who was drunk or under the influence, contact drunk driving and drug accident law firm, Siesky Law Firm to discuss your rights and strategy for your case. We can help.