According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 30 people die every day in drunk driving accidents across the country. Of all the fatal traffic accidents that happened in 2012 alone, nearly 1/3 of them (31 percent) were due to impairment by alcohol. Simply eliminating drinking and driving would have saved more than 10,000 lives in 2012 and would have prevented hundreds of thousands of additional injuries.
Drunk driving does not have to occur and happens only because drivers make the affirmative choice to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking, despite the fact that drinking and driving is both illegal and incredibly dangerous. The laws in Phoenix and in Arizona give testament to this as they treat drinking and driving very seriously with many of those who are found guilty of the crime facing fines, fees, other court penalties, community service, or incarceration in jail or prison. Unlike many other areas of the country, drunk drivers may find themselves sentenced to a term in Tent City, the highly-publicized and often criticized jail in Maricopa County established in 1993.
But the criminal or traffic charges resulting from a collision are far from the only penalties that may face a drunk driver. Additionally, the victims of these accidents or their surviving family members may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses through the use of a civil claim for damages. In addition to medical bills and pain and suffering, relief may be possible to provide compensation for things like lost wages, loss of a normal life, or even the permanency of any injuries that are caused by a crash. Speaking with a lawyer in Phoenix who handles personal injury claims may help you understand your rights if you have been hurt or if you have questions about the legal process in Arizona.
Now, attention is being directed towards a collision that happened this weekend on U.S. 93 and may have caused a young boy permanent damages. On Saturday evening, two cars collided on U.S. 93 near mileposts 68 and 69 in Kingman and sent four adults and a young child to area hospitals. Witnesses stated that one of the vehicles reportedly was driving the wrong way on U.S. 93 and that the vehicle collided head-on with the second car, causing massive damage and leaving both cars destroyed. Emergency crews responded to the scene and helped the driver of the suspected at-fault vehicle as well as three adults in the second vehicle. However the first victim to be assessed was a small child, reportedly a three-year-old boy, who was in the backseat of the second vehicle.
Though the child was the first victim taken to an area hospital, reports by his family indicate that his injuries are severe and that he is now paralyzed from the waist down in addition to sustaining a serious gash across his head and other injuries. Posts on Facebook and other social media sites about the boy have gone viral and have led to more than 270,000 shares and reposts about the boy’s condition and the dangers of driving while drunk. Currently, two accounts have been set up by the boy’s family to help fund the medical care he needs.
Authorities are still investigating this accident and reviewing the facts involved but there are indications that the reported wrong-way driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. If that is the case, charges may be issued against the driver, who is expected to recover from his injuries. The other adult victims are also expected to recover but it is not clear whether any will have lasting damage.
When one driver chooses to drink and drive, it affects the safety of all motorists and passengers in the area of that driver. Too often, a collision happens and it is the innocent victims who are left to pay the price and to endure the suffering that results.
If a drunk driving accident in Phoenix has left you injured or has claimed your loved one’s life, please know that you have legal rights that may entitle you to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims and those who have been hurt in collisions and we are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to help you as well. We offer a free case consultation without obligation to all victims who contact us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and everything discussed will be kept confidential.
If you have been hurt, do not wait. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us fight for the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
5 Car Crash Turned Fatal on I-10, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 26, 2015.
Head-on crash on U.S. 93 injures five, by Doug McMurdo, Daily Miner, published January 26, 2015.