Drunk Driver (DWI) Accident

Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs is one of the most dangerous actions a person can take behind the wheel. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) impairs vision, coordination, reaction time, and more, increasing the likelihood of a crash. 

When accident victims suffer injuries caused by drunk drivers, they deserve financial justice. A North Carolina DWI accident lawyer with Bradford Law can help you establish your right to compensation and fight for full and fair awards for your medical treatment, lost income, and more. 

You should not have to face the legal burden or economic stress of a DWI collision alone. Contact our experienced and compassionate legal team today for a free case review. 

DWI Is Dangerous and Illegal 

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS), any motorist in the state operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is driving while intoxicated. The legal limit for commercial vehicle operators is 0.04 percent. 

Criminal penalties for DWI can be steep, including fines, jail time, and license revocation. In addition, victims can hold impaired drivers civilly responsible for accidents they cause. Because drunk driving is illegal, DWI is proof of negligence in a car accident claim.  

The Damages Done by A DWI Crash

Even though all 50 states outlaw drinking and driving and impose punishment for doing so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, on average, alcohol-related crashes kill one person every 39 minutes in the United States. 

DWI crashes can cause catastrophic and deadly injuries, including:

  • Head injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Back, shoulder, neck, and whiplash injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of a bodily function

If an intoxicated driver hurt you or your loved one, they should pay for your accident-related expenses. Our DWI accident attorneys serving North Carolina can help you pursue the monetary resources you need to get back on your feet. 

How to Seek Compensation After a DWI Accident

North Carolina is a fault-based insurance state. This means drivers are financially liable for accidents they cause. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and North Carolina’s Motor Vehicle Safety and Financial Responsibility Act of 1953, motorists must have a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability to comply with the state’s insurance laws. Starting January 1, 2025, these limits will increase to $50,000.00 for bodily injury per person, $100,000.00 per accident, and $50,000.00 for property damage.

We can help you file a negligence-based claim against the at-fault driver and prove they were impaired during the crash. Our legal team will gather evidence to support your case, including:

  • Police reports
  • Field sobriety and BAC tests
  • Records of previous DWI convictions, if any
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Traffic camera, dash cam, cell phone, or surveillance video
  • Photographs of vehicle damage and the accident scene
  • Crash debris
  • Crash reconstruction reports
  • Expert testimony
  • Medical records

Our car accident lawyers can handle insurance negotiations and demand full payment for your claim. We have successfully settled many cases. However, if the insurance company does not offer fair compensation, we are prepared to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. 

Recoverable Car Accident Compensation (Compensatory Damages)

If you sustained injuries in a DWI accident, you can pursue compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses and losses related to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In general, personal injury awards may include compensation for:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • Emergency department treatment
  • Hospital and doctor fees
  • Surgeries
  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Long-term nursing
  • Lost income and employment benefits
  • Lost future earnings and reduced earning capacity
  • Household services
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life

Every case is different, and factors that could affect your settlement include the severity of your injuries, the extent of your pain and suffering, and the length of your recovery. Our DWI attorney can tell you more about recoverable compensation during a free case review. 

In Addition, Punitive Damages are Available 

Punitive damages are monetary sums granted in civil lawsuits that are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious, malicious, or reckless behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future. Unlike compensable damages, which are designed to compensate the plaintiff for actual losses, punitive damages are not directly related to the harm suffered by the plaintiff.

Instead they are awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions are found to be especially harmful or offensive.

How a DWI Accident Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights

The time following a car accident can be confusing and overwhelming for victims, especially if they have a severe injury. Our North Carolina DWI lawyers can help you navigate insurance claims and fight to secure the most advantageous settlement or verdict possible. 

While you focus on your health or caring for your injured loved one, we can focus on building a solid case and providing you with powerful legal advocacy. Our firm will:

  • Investigate your DWI accident
  • Establish that the driver was intoxicated, negligent, and fully liable for your losses
  • Identify and pursue every type of compensation available in your case
  • Draft and file insurance claims and legal paperwork
  • Handle case-related meetings, phone calls, emails, and texts
  • Aggressively negotiate on your behalf
  • Protect you from bad-faith insurance tactics or pressure to settle for less than you deserve
  • File a lawsuit and represent you at trial if necessary

How Long Do You Have to Pursue a Claim in North Carolina? 

Notify your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company about your intent to file claims as soon as possible after your accident. Acting quickly allows for a prompt investigation of the collision and the preservation of evidence. It also protects you from allegations that your injuries and losses did not arise from the crash. 

If you must take legal action, North Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury gives you three years from the accident to file a lawsuit. If the DWI accident resulted in fatal injuries, you have two years to file a wrongful death suit, according to North Carolina law

We can help you get started before these important deadlines expire. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in North Carolina Today

Drivers who make the negligent and irresponsible decision to drive drunk or high should have to take financial ownership for their bad choices. Bradford Law can help you seek economic justice with a compensation claim. 

Contact us today for a free consultation and connect with a North Carolina DWI lawyer near you. With our no recovery, no fee guarantee, you may have everything to gain and nothing to lose.