Pennsylvania – March 15, 2022

A DUI crash on March 7 resulted in injuries to a child who was transported by medical helicopter to a regional hospital for evaluation and treatment of serious injuries. Police in California Borough, Washington County, reported that a 26-year-old man is facing several charges including aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI after allegedly hitting the child with his vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and United States National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that more than a quarter of all traffic-related deaths are the direct result of alcohol impairment. Thirty people in the United States die in car crashes with an alcohol-impaired driver on a daily basis averaging about one death every fifty minutes. Attorneys in Pennsylvania can fight for a victim’s right to compensation for injuries and property damage loss under the State laws when an accident was caused by a drunk driver.

Driving under the influence (DUI)  is the number one cause of U.S. Roadway death, and it is a crime in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Contacting an experienced injury attorney shortly after an accident will give them the opportunity to research the case, discuss particulars surrounding the drunk driving infraction, interact with the insurance company regarding claims and gather information about the criminal proceedings that will support a civil case for damages.

Reporting accidents.

An accident report must be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Safety within five days from the mishap if collisions result in death, injury, or significant property damage. Insurance payments are based on the  “modified comparative negligence” rule allowing an individual to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but the amount of compensation will be reduced by an amount that is equal to their percentage of fault. Victims can only seek damages from insurance if they are less than 51 percent at fault.

Criminal charges.

DUI will impact a finding of fault, because when a driver acts carelessly, or recklessly and that behavior leads to the injury, or death of another, criminal charges may ensue. The decision to charge a driver with criminal liability is made after an assessment of accident factors to determine criminally culpable behavior. DUI frequently leads to criminal charges based on the violation of Pennsylvania DUI laws and a failure to take care not to harm others.

DUI laws.

Federal DUI laws are strictly enforced in federal courts, carrying serious charges and penalties. Pennsylvania’s Act 24 lowered the legal limit of alcohol from .10 to .08 in 2003 creating a tiered approach to driving under the influence. The combination of a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level, previous offenses, and level of accident damage will impact the penalties, fines, and jail time of a drunk driver. The three levels of DUI in Pennsylvania include:

Accident victims should speak to drunk driving accident attorneys to see how DUI infractions will impact damage recovery.

Damages.

Legal counsel will know when punitive damages should be requested to punish an individual who caused harm, or injury and loss to the victim. Damage compensation awards include economic loss, including lost wages, medical bills, medical care, and treatment, plus household expenses; and non-economic harms, including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or companionship. Experienced professionals at Scanlon & Wojton Law Firm will build a case by collecting evidence to support damage recovery after a drunk driving accident causes property damage, or physical injury.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275

Sources:

  1. https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/03/14/child-hit-dui-california-borough/
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving
  3. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/75/00.037.042.000..HTM
  4. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.071.002.000..HTM
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