Will the Accident Increase the Severity of a DWI Case?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering from an accident caused by an intoxicated driver will leave most accident victims wanting the driver to pay for their actions. This can leave victims with many questions regarding the ways the ante may be upped for a drunk driver. The following are consequences that may be faced by a drunk driver following an accident:

What does it mean to drive while intoxicated (DWI)?

When a person gets behind the wheel intoxicated, they risk being charged and ultimately convicted of a DWI. There are variations to this depending on the state in which you live. Someone who is charged with a DWI has put not only themselves, but others at serious risk. Someone who drives while intoxicated, has made the decision to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit within the state they reside. A DWI conviction can carry significant consequences: 

  • Loss of driver’s license 
  • Jail Time
  • Legal Fees
  • Fines
  • Shame
  • Permanent Record
  • Alcohol Awareness Classes
  • Difficulty in obtaining insurance
  • Loss of Employment

Does an accident result in a more severe charge?

Despite the number of consequences that come with a DWI conviction, perhaps one of the most severe, that many do not consider is the risk that drinking and driving pose to others. In many cases, when someone intoxicated has caused an accident, they may stand to face a felony charge. Drunk drivers who have caused an accident may be facing charges such as manslaughter. In some cases, the consequences to this may result in a prison sentence. 

How will law enforcement know that the driver is intoxicated at the scene of an accident?

The minutes following an accident can be complete chaos. When a victim is injured, they may be completely unaware of the events unfolding before them at the accident scene. Law enforcement should always be contacted when faced with an accident. Their presence will ensure a proper investigation, which will ultimately produce a police report. The police report will act as key evidence in proving your accident case. When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will immediately begin investigating the accident. They will look for signs that drivers were intoxicated by speaking with witnesses, and the drivers if they are able. Signs law enforcement may be looking for include:

  • Slurred Speech
  • Odor of Alcohol
  • Glassy Eyes
  • Uncoordinated Movements

Officers may conduct a field sobriety test if they are able and, in some cases may request further testing to confirm a person’s BAC. 

What action can a victim take against a drunk driver? 

For accident victims who have suffered damages at the hands of a drunk drivers’ negligence, speaking with an attorney may be helpful to determine the appropriate course of action. In many cases, victims may choose to pursue a car accident claims case to collect compensation for their damages. Damages that may result from an accident include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Loss
  • Pain and Suffering

There’s nothing more earth shattering than for your life to change in the way it does should you suffer an accident. When an accident is the result of a driver’s irresponsible and negligent decision to get behind the wheel intoxicated, feelings of anger and frustration are most likely to surface. As an accident victim, contacting a personal injury lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee may be key when it comes to protecting your rights, collecting compensation for your losses and making the drunk driver pay for their poor decisions. 

Thanks to Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and DWI accidents.

Posted on June 17, 2019 @ 5:10 pm

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