Jonesboro Drunk Driving Accidents
About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. From 2003-2012, over 1,700 people were killed in crashes involving drunk driving in Arkansas. People who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs place themselves and countless innocent victims at risk of death or serious injury.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Craighead County, call our Jonesboro car accident attorneys today to discuss your legal rights and how you may recover for your losses. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has obtained more than $1.5 billion in recovery for car wreck victims through settlements, judgments, and jury verdicts.
Criminal Penalties for Drinking and Driving in Jonesboro
All 50 states, including Arkansas, have enacted laws prohibiting driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Arkansas, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated, which means driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or over. Driving under the influence (DUI) is punishable by law, and possible criminal penalties include incarceration, community service, fines, probation, mandatory alcohol or substance abuse counseling, and ignition interlock devices. Drunk driving may also result in administrative action by the State, such as a revoked or suspended driver’s license.
Damages Available to Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Criminal penalties serve to punish the wrongdoer for breaking the law, and violators are prosecuted by the State of Arkansas to protect its citizens. On the other hand, civil remedies typically seek to make an injured party whole, as if the incident never occurred in the first place. The victim of a car wreck in Jonesboro can pursue a civil claim for compensatory damages if injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision with an intoxicated driver. It is important to note that the defendant being convicted of DUI in criminal court is not always necessary for an injured party to prevail in a civil action. The burden of proof in a criminal case, beyond a reasonable doubt, is much higher than in a civil case, which is usually a preponderance of the evidence.
Compensatory damages in a drunk driving accident can be monetary and therefore serve to compensate the accident victim for his or her property damage or loss, medical and prescription expenses, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. In some cases, a car accident victim may be able to recover punitive damages. Damages are different in each car accident case, making it beneficial to speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer in Jonesboro who can help you document and develop this portion of your case.
Similar to criminal penalties, punitive damages following a drunk driving accident in Jonesboro seek to punish the drunk driver (as well as others in the community) to prevent drinking and driving in the future. Punitive damages are usually reserved for only the most serious cases but may be awarded to an accident victim if the intoxicated driver’s actions are particularly egregious or intentional. In order to recover punitive damages, an Arkansas drunk driving accident victim must prove by clear and convincing evidence that such damages are warranted. If that burden of proof is met, then the victim may recover the greater of $250,000 or three times the actual damages awarded in the action, up to $1 million.
Discuss Your Drunk Driving Accident Case with a Jonesboro Attorney
If a drunk driver crashes into you and causes you to suffer injuries, you may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has represented victims of car accidents for more than 30 years, and our Jonesboro drunk driving accident lawyers understand the types of damages that could be available to drunk driving accident victims.
Our firm represents people in Jonesboro, and throughout Arkansas and the South. Call us toll-free at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers. NST is the way to go.
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