Colorado Springs DUI Accident LawyerPrint Page
If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in a drunk driving crash, a Colorado Springs DUI accident lawyer at Levine Law can provide advice and guidance. We can assist you in making a claim for damages to secure compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, or the wrongful death of a loved one.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported 161 DUI-related deaths in Colorado last year, and a total of 785 people have lost their lives as a result of drunk driving accidents in the state. Driving while intoxicated can double the risk of a car accident and those who are hurt or killed are often innocent victims who were passengers in the vehicle or were on the road at the same time as the drunk driver.
Colorado laws make drunk driving illegal in an attempt to prevent injury and death due to intoxicated drivers. The laws also make drunk drivers responsible for compensating accident victims or surviving family members of those lost in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. However, victims need to take legal action to obtain the compensation to which they are entitled under the law.
What Does “Drunk Driving” Mean in Colorado?
Colorado law recognizes three types of impaired driving:
- DUI: A person is considered “under the influence” of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs if she cannot operate a vehicle safely due to her impairment, regardless of blood alcohol content (BAC).
- DWAI: “Ability impaired” is a slightly lower standard of impairment than “under the influence.” A person is presumed to be DWAI if her BAC registers as more than .05% but less than .08% in a chemical test.
- DUI per se: If a person’s BAC is .08% or more, it is assumed that he was under the influence of alcohol.
For purposes of Colorado’s impaired driving laws, a person can be charged with any of these forms of impaired driving if the person is exercising actual physical control over the vehicle, even if the vehicle is not moving.
Drinking and Driving Accident Dangers in Colorado
A drunk driver is not only more likely to be involved in an accident, but he or she is also more likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities. An intoxicated driver is unable to respond quickly enough to an impending accident to engage in normal crash-avoidance behaviors. A drunk driver, for example, might not slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid a direct hit to your vehicle.
A drunk driver is a serious menace on the roadways. At Levine Law, our attorneys know that high-speed accidents and head-on collisions tend to cause the most serious injuries and significantly increase the risk of fatalities. Since drunk driving is an indisputably dangerous behavior, it is often not difficult for accident victims in drunk driving cases to prove that the intoxicated driver was negligent and thus legally liable.
While you may not have a hard time proving that a drunk driver acted wrongfully, it can be challenging to obtain the full amount of compensation that Colorado law allows after a car accident. A Colorado Springs DUI accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you determine whether to settle your case or go to court. We can investigate your case, gather evidence, negotiate a settlement or advocate your case in the courtroom.
What Damages Are Available in Colorado DUI Accident Cases?
As in other types of personal injury cases, damages available in a DUI accident case in Colorado include recovery for medical costs, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be available. Such damages are an unusual remedy that a court may impose on defendants who have acted willfully or maliciously.
Unlike other types of damages that are intended primarily to compensate the victim for his losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the party who caused the accident and to deter the driver and others from acting similarly in the future. Typically, the more egregious the drunk driver’s behavior, the more likely it is that punitive damages will be awarded. Although punitive damages are never guaranteed, if granted, they can increase the value of your case by up to several times the amount of your total compensatory damages. A skilled Colorado Springs DUI accident lawyer can help you recover the full compensatory and punitive damages to which you may be entitled.
Third-Party Liability in Colorado DUI Accidents
In some cases, an injured party may have a valid claim not only against the drunk driver but also against other parties who bear responsibility for the driver’s impairment. Pursuing a claim against these third parties may help ensure full recovery of the compensation you may be entitled to.
Employers are not generally liable for drunk driving accidents caused by their employees, even if those accidents occur on the job. However, an accident victim may have an independent claim against a drunk driver’s employer for negligence if the employer knew or should have known that the employee was a liability when he was hired (e.g., if the employer knew that the employee was an alcoholic), or if the employer failed to properly train or supervise its employees to prevent drunk driving accidents.
Bars and Other Alcohol Vendors
“Dram shops” — in other words, licensed vendors of alcohol — can be held responsible for the actions of a drunk driver in some circumstances. Colorado’s dram shop law imposes liability on establishments that serve alcohol to minors or to patrons who are clearly intoxicated.
People who serve alcohol to guests in a private home—in other words, “social hosts”—are generally not responsible for any accidents that may be caused by their guests following the event, regardless of whether the guest was clearly intoxicated. However, Colorado law recognizes an exception for social hosts who serve alcohol to a minor or who knowingly allow a minor to consume alcohol in their home. If the intoxicated minor subsequently gets involved in a drunk driving accident that injures or kills another person, a social host may be held responsible.
Our Colorado Springs DUI accident lawyers can help you determine whether you have a viable claim against any of these types of responsible parties.
A Colorado Springs DUI Accident Lawyer at Levine Law Can Help
Drunk drivers should never be allowed to get away with injuring others. You should never be left to cope with financial losses due to an injury caused by a drunk driver. At Levine Law, our lawyers have more than two decades of experience representing the rights of injured victims of DUI accidents.
To schedule your free consultation with a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer and learn more about how we can help, contact us at 719-471-3000 or schedule a free consultation online today.
Woman: When a drunk driver hit me Jordan Levine settled my case for $610,000, over six times insurance first offer.
Jordan: What's your case really worth? Call me now, and find out free. Levine Law, 719-471-3000.