Alabama Dram Shop Laws – Drunk Driving Victims
While being in an accident can be devastating, learning that the person who caused it was intoxicated can add a new level of despair. If they had not been drinking, you would not have to cope with chronic pain and mounting medical bills. Fortunately, the state of Alabama offers several options for collecting compensation in civil court. There is a law in Alabama that protects you if you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of unlawful alcohol sales or giving alcohol to someone when it results in an injury to another person. This law is known as the Dram Shop Act and it ensures that establishments serve alcohol responsibly.
To find out how you can seek justice for you and your family, call Belt & Bruner, P.C. at 205-933-1500. By filing a personal injury lawsuit with the help of a drunk driving accident lawyer, you may be able to fight for the funds you need to get your life back on track.
Impaired Driving in Alabama
Police are always on the lookout for drivers who have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), police made nearly 8,000 arrests for driving under the influence in 2014, saving the lives of countless drivers. Although there are preventative measures in place, drunk driving is still a serious problem in Alabama. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that 3,190 people were killed in drunk driving accidents from 2003 to 2012. Thousands more sustained serious injuries, or wounds that required immediate medical attention.
Traffic fatalities involving drunk drivers affect certain groups more than others. Of the people who were killed, men outnumbered women by almost three to one. Those between the ages of 21 and 34 were also disproportionately affected. In every demographic observed by the CDC, fatality rates in Alabama were significantly higher than the nationwide averages; over double for those between zero and 20 years old.
Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
When it comes to DUI car accidents, severe injuries are common. However, because of body positioning, speed, and other factors, some are more common than others. Areas of the body that tend to sustain the most damage in a car accident include, but are not limited to:
- Neck – When a car is stopped suddenly, either by another vehicle or an obstacle, the head is thrown back and forth rapidly. This can create tears in muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can result in injuries such as whiplash. The soft, internal portion of the discs that sit between your vertebrae can also rupture, or herniate. This can cause nerve pain, immobility, and weakness.
- Spinal Cord – The spinal cord houses the wiring that is used to control every part of your body. If it sustains any damage, you could end up suffering from full or partial paralysis.
- Legs – Operating a car requires assuming a very specific position. As a result, your legs are one of the few body parts that are not secured. When there is a massive impact, they can be thrown in every direction. This can lead to severe lacerations, sprains, and broken bones.
- Chest – Although your torso is secured when you fasten your seatbelt, it is not immune from injury. The force of colliding with your safety harness may cause your ribs to break or severe soft tissue injuries.
Dram Shop Laws in Alabama
A term that is used less frequently in modern times, dram shop often refers to a bar, a restaurant, or any other establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. Although it may seem unusual, Alabama is one of 30 states with dram shop laws that allow victims to take legal action against businesses or individuals who serve or sell alcohol to anyone who is already intoxicated and then causes death or injury in a drunk driving accident. In other words, alcohol server liability is recognized. According to state law, if you have been harmed in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to pursue the alcohol provider for all legal damages. It is also possible to take joint or separate legal action that targets everyone who is responsible for your injuries.
How you Can Seek Justice after a Drunk Driving Accident
If you wish to seek funds for the injuries you sustained in an accident, you must file a personal injury lawsuit. With this type of legal action, you can pursue what are known as legal damages, or financial awards that compensate you for the costs associated with your injuries. While it is common to seek funds for car repairs and medical costs, you can also gain additional security. You may choose to seek compensation for disfigurement, or for wages that you have lost by missing time at work. Additional damages include pain and suffering, mental distress, future medical expenses, and household costs.
Are You Victim of a Drunk Driver?
Whether your car accident resulted in a minor injury or a life-altering condition, you deserve funds that you can use to move on with your life. The Alabama DUI injury attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. are dedicated to telling your side of the story in court. They will guide you through the process, and they will not let you be taken advantage of.
For your free consultation with a drunk driving injury attorney in Alabama fill out our contact form or call us at 205-933-1500. We represent clients all throughout the state of Alabama with lawyers located at any of our four, office locations. To find out more about how we can best represent you, learn how Alabama injury lawyers can help you. Call 205-933-1500 now for a free legal consultation.