Huntsville Drunk Driving Accident & Dram Shop Law Attorneys
Protecting victims of Alabama drunk driving accidents
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the most reckless and careless acts a person can commit behind the wheel. When someone makes the choice to operate their vehicle while drunk or impaired, they put everyone else on the road in danger. And when they cause an accident and injuries to other people, they must be held accountable.
If you suffered injury, or a loved one was killed, in an accident caused by a drunk driver, the experienced and dedicated Huntsville personal injury attorneys at Martin & Helms can help. We work with you to hold all negligent parties responsible, and seek the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.
What are the drunk driving laws in Alabama
Drunk drivers have impaired judgment, delayed reflexes and poor decision-making skills. Their behavior on the road can be unpredictable and dangerous to other drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. In a car accident case involving drunk driving, the most important issue will be proving whether or not the responsible driver was legally impaired.
Here’s how the state of Alabama defines drunk driving, per AL Code § 32-5A-191. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher is considered to be “under the influence” for drivers aged 21 or older. If that driver is operating a commercial vehicle, like an 18-wheeler truck, that level is only 0.04. And, it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink in Alabama. If a minor is caught driving with a BAC level of 0.02 or higher, they are also considered to be under the influence.
Common injuries from drunk driving accidents
Drunk driving accidents tend to result in catastrophic injuries, due to the negligent driver’s extreme recklessness. Victims of DUI accidents often suffer injuries like:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In the most tragic cases, drunk driving accidents result in fatal injuries to your loved one. Your family may be eligible to file a wrongful death action against the driver or person responsible.
Drunk driver liability and Alabama dram shop law
Huntsville law allows you to bring a personal injury claim against anyone who recklessly or negligently injures you, and this certainly includes someone who drinks and drives. The majority of drunk driving accidents involve a person suffering injuries when another driver hits them. However, if you’re a passenger in a car operated by a drunk driver, you also have a right to bring a claim against that driver for causing you harm.
You may also be able to pursue a case against any individual or business whose actions resulted in the drunken driver ending up on the road. These cases are known as dram shop liability. Dram shop laws can hold establishments like bars or liquor stores responsible for a drunk driver’s actions when they illegally sell alcohol to that person. This can also include restaurants, clubs, private events and anywhere alcohol is sold or provided. For example, if you were injured in an accident with a drunk driver and it turns out a bar served them while they were visibly intoxicated, you could file a dram shop claim against that bar.
Other examples of parties that may be liable under dram shop laws include:
- Establishments that served alcohol to a minor, who later caused your injuries due to being intoxicated
- Establishments that served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, who went on to cause you injury due to being intoxicated
- A social host who illegally served alcohol, as to a minor, and that person caused your accident and injuries due to being intoxicated
Also, if the drunk driver was in the scope of employment at the time, their employer could be liable as well. Anyone who knows a person is intoxicated or under the influence and lets them borrow their vehicle may also be liable for your injuries. An experienced Huntsville attorney can provide knowledgeable guidance.
Pursuing damages after a Huntsville drunk driving accident
The injury attorneys at Martin & Helms immediately get to work on your case, pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses after an accident with a drunk driver. We seek maximum compensation for your damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
In cases of wrongful death of a loved one, you may also receive damages for funeral and burial expenses, as well as loss of financial support.
Experienced Huntsville drunk driving accident lawyers
If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, the accident attorneys at Martin & Helms can help. Our extensive knowledge of Alabama drunk driving and dram shop law ensure the right people are held responsible for your injuries and losses. Let us fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 256-539-1990 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We also serve clients in Decatur, Athens and Madison, and throughout the state.