Victims of drunk drivers frequently suffer life-altering injuries due entirely to the recklessness of others, and it is often difficult for them to imagine how they will be able to regain a normal life. In 2012, Maine saw a 113% increase in the number of drunk driving fatalities over 2011, accounting for 30% of total traffic deaths that year. With 1,196 alcohol-related crashes occurring during those 12 months, the seriousness of the statistics must not be ignored. If you or a loved one have been victimized by a driver who took the wheel while under the influence, you owe it to yourself to align yourself with car accident lawyer Maine has come to trust. At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we are committed to providing drunk driving victims with aggressive representation and caring, personalized service.
Potential Remedies for Victims of Drunk Driving
While there is no doubt that most car accidents in the Portland, Maine area are the result of basic negligence or unintentional actions, an alarming number of them are caused by reckless behaviors that include driving under the influence of alcohol. The Maine legislature has declared motorists to be legally intoxicated if they have blood alcohol content levels of .08 or higher, and for many drivers, this is not a difficult threshold to meet. Certain individuals need to have only two drinks within 60 minutes in order to become legally drunk. The pivotal factor, however, is how those individuals choose to conduct themselves once they reach that point. Lives can be forever changed if the wrong decisions are made. If you are a drunk driver victim, we at Hardy, Wolf & Downing want you to know that you are not alone and that we stand prepared to fight for the compensation you are certain to need and that you undoubtedly deserve.
Much publicity is given to the various criminal penalties faced by drunk drivers, and such sanctions are a critical deterrent in the battle against such a dangerous activity. Individuals who have been convicted of drunk driving and causing injury to others can be subjected to incarceration, hefty monetary fines and restrictions on their licenses. Though these types of punishment are serious for many, drunk driving victims should understand that criminal penalties are not the only types of remedy provided for by law. Given the fact that victims of alcohol-related accidents frequently suffer severe injuries that interfere with their ability to lead a productive, normal lifestyle, it is vital that they take the time to understand how they can pursue compensation from the party responsible for the harm sustained.
Civil Suits in Addition to Criminal Restitution
Anyone who has sustained injuries or has been killed by someone driving under the influence of alcohol has the right to seek damages in a civil action for losses that could encompass:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Ongoing rehabilitation or therapy
- Loss of marital relationship
- Loss of financial support
- Funeral expenses
Though criminal sanctions in Maine frequently include restitution payments that must be made to drunk driving victims, the ordered amounts are regularly insufficient to completely compensate those who have suffered harm. It is important to keep in mind that recovery of specific types of compensation in the criminal realm may prevent the same type of recovery via a civil suit. Thus, enlisting the aid of a Lewiston and Portland area car accident lawyer with vast experience handling drunk driving matters is a crucial step for any victim or their family to take.
Since 1976, the Maine personal injury lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing has prided itself on its success in fighting for injury victims’ rights while simultaneously building a strong network of medical experts, economic loss analysts, case investigators and support staff, all of whom work together to assemble the most persuasive case possible on behalf of clients.
Establishing Liability in Drunk Driving Cases
There are some ways in which establishing liability when suing civilly over a drunk driving accident is easier than proving a driver’s guilt in a criminal court. Because the driver in question has already been convicted in a court of law of having had a blood alcohol content reading above the legal limit during the time at issue can make seeking compensation much simpler. But, that is certainly not to say that challenges do not exist in this type of litigation.
To maximize your chances of securing the largest possible financial recovery, you must have the help of car accident injury lawyers who have a history of negotiating sizable settlements and also taking these types of cases through to trial in the Portland area as well as Lewiston, Bangor and throughout southern Maine. We at Hardy, Wolf & Downing possess precisely that type of experience and have been achieving favorable outcomes for clients for nearly four decades.
Sadly, it is often the case that drunk drivers who are responsible for causing devastating injuries to others are underinsured motorists or lack insurance coverage altogether. Such circumstances can serve as significant hurdles to recovery efforts, and seasoned, savvy legal counsel can make a major difference in victims’ ability to secure fair settlements from insurers. Our careers have been built upon our skill in negotiating with carriers on behalf of the injured, and we simply will not rest until we do everything possible to facilitate recovery for our clients.
Settlements and Verdicts in Maine Drunk Driving Cases
The injuries that result from drunk driving accidents are often catastrophic in nature and require years of expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Therefore, in order for many victims to resume anything close to their normal lives, they will need to secure substantial financial compensation. The good news is that sizable settlements and jury verdicts are possible in Maine, and have indeed been achieved regularly in recent years. Though each case is different, and it is impossible to accurately predict the outcome of a specific matter, the dollar amounts recovered by plaintiffs in drunk driving lawsuits should provide a source of hope to victims.
How a Portland, Maine Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
The lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing understand that the victims of drunk drivers may find themselves feeling confused, fearful and uncertain in the aftermath of their accident. For that reason, we have dedicated ourselves to offering an unmatched level of understanding and compassion combined with staunch legal advocacy. We pledge to seek every bit of compensation to which you may be entitled so that you can get back on the road to real recovery as soon as possible. We receive no fees unless and until we achieve a favorable settlement or verdict on your behalf. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options and receiving a no-cost initial evaluation of your case, contact us at 1-800-INJURED.
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