Frequently Asked Questions About Drunk Driving Accidents

drunk driver taking a breathalyzer test

At the Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys often get asked about how alcohol consumption contributes to car accidents. Here, our legal team answers some of the most common DUI questions. 

Contact our office for answers to your specific questions during a free, no-obligation case review. 

What Is Considered Drunk Driving in Colorado?

The state of Colorado takes drunk driving very seriously takes drunk driving very seriously. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent when pulled over can be charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI). If their BAC is 0.08 or more while driving, they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). A motorist can also be charged if alcohol has substantially impaired their driving ability, regardless of their BAC, although a conviction requires additional evidence.

What Happens Legally to a Driver in a Drunk Driving Car Accident?

When drunk drivers are involved in car accidents, they are often arrested for DUI and can be charged with various criminal offenses. Penalties can include steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time. However, getting charged with DUI does not mean a drunk driver is automatically liable in civil court for any injuries suffered in the accident – and not facing charges or conviction does not mean they are automatically off the hook in a civil suit.

What Causes Drunk Driving Accidents?

Drunk driving can easily cause accidents because of the detrimental effects alcohol has on the brain. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can impair reasoning, reaction time, and fine muscle coordination, which are essential to safe driving.

What Should I Do After a Drunk Driving Accident?

Your priority in the aftermath of an accident should be your safety. Clear the wreck from the scene if possible, or get to the side of the road. If the other motorist seems intoxicated, don’t confront them, as they could behave unpredictably and even violently. Seek prompt medical care to have your injuries diagnosed and treated. Then, gather as much evidence as possible to support an insurance claim or lawsuit, including photos of the scene, witness statements, and documentation of your financial losses.

What Damages Could I Recover If I File a Claim Against the Drunk Driver?

Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to pursue financial compensation for losses like:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injuries 
  • Projected future losses if you cannot work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Incidental expenses, such as reimbursement for traveling to doctor’s appointments

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Drunk Driving Accidents?

If a drunk driver’s actions were the primary cause of an accident, they could be held financially liable for any injuries and other losses associated with it. However, other parties could also be responsible, including other road users who contributed to the accident and drinking establishments that overserved the intoxicated driver.

How Long Do I Have to File a Drunk Driving Lawsuit in Colorado?

You generally have three years from the date of a drunk driving accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Colorado. Only very narrow exceptions can extend the deadline. Failure to file a case before the statute of limitations expires means you will almost certainly lose your right to pursue compensation.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Drunk Driving Accident Case?

A knowledgeable car accident attorney in Denver can conduct an independent investigation into the accident to identify liable parties and gather helpful evidence for your case. A lawyer can also communicate with insurers and other parties on your behalf, manage important documents and deadlines, and strategize how to maximize your compensation.

Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Help Today

The injury lawyers with the Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, want to help you pursue the settlement you deserve for the injuries and losses you suffered at the hands of a drunk driver. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer.

Author: Sean Olson

Sean Olson is much more than just a personal injury lawyer. Sean is an advocate who helps those who are injured navigate our complex legal system. And he is a voice for those who are injured and cannot speak for themselves.