Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Helping victims of drunk and impaired drivers throughout Arizona
There is nothing more irresponsible than getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Every driver in Arizona understands this is illegal behavior, yet some people make this choice regardless. When they do this, they put everyone in their vicinity— car drivers, truck drivers, motorcycle operators, their passengers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders—at risk. Innocent people can suffer injury or death due to one terrible decision made beyond their control.
Drunk driving accidents are inexcusable. They should never happen. The personal injury attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. understand the trauma of these types of accidents. Since 1991, our legal team has been assisting victims of drunk and drugged driving accidents in Arizona. We seek full compensation for your damages and injuries. We're dedicated to helping citizens like you get justice.
How can we help?
- What are the unique challenges involved in Phoenix drunk driving accidents?
- How common are drunk driving accidents in Arizona?
- Who is liable for a drunk driving car accident in Phoenix?
- Who is responsible for a drunk driving trucking accident in Phoenix?
- What if I’m in a Phoenix motorcycle accident?
- What types of injuries do drunk driving accidents cause?
- How much is my Phoenix drunk driving accident claim worth?
- Do you have a drunk driving accident lawyer near me?
What are the unique challenges involved in Phoenix drunk driving accidents?
Many drivers who cause an accident due to driver intoxication or any type of impairment are likely to be charged with a DUI offense in addition to being a defendant in your civil personal injury case.
Arizona has very tough DUI laws, as listed under statute §28-1381. Our state has a zero-tolerance policy and takes DUIs very seriously, which, as victim advocates, we support. Offenders may be charged with a standard DUI, an extreme DUI, a super extreme DUI, and an aggravated DUI based on the level of their blood alcohol, whether they drove with drugs in their system, and other factors.
Our Phoenix car, truck, and motorcycle driver intoxication/driver impairment lawyers coordinate your civil case with the criminal case against the driver.
How common are drunk driving accidents in Arizona?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, 11,654 people died in vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers – about 30 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. In shorter time terms, about 32 people nationwide die each day in an alcohol-impaired death – one death every 45 minutes.
About 62 percent of the victims are the drivers. Thirty-eight percent are passengers in the alcohol-impaired driver’s car, the occupants or other cars, pedestrians, or bicycle riders. While the data on drivers who are impaired by drugs is less clear, the CDC states that one study at “7 trauma centers of 4,243 drivers who were seriously injured in crashes found that 54% of drivers tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs from September 2019 to July 2021.” Further, “22% of the drivers were positive for alcohol, 25% were positive for marijuana, 9% were positive for opioids, 10% were positive for stimulants, and 8% were positive for sedatives.”
The Arizona Department of Transportation states that in 2021, there were more than 120,000 vehicle accidents (cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles) that resulted in 1,180 deaths and 51, 633 injuries. 243 (about 20 percent) of the fatalities were alcohol-related.
Who is liable for a drunk driving car accident in Phoenix?
Drivers who drive while intoxicated or drug-impaired are likely to speed, swerve in and out of lanes, drive through red lights, and violate other traffic laws. Other drivers on the road can’t drive defensively because a drunk driver has no control over his/her car. Slowing down or even pulling off to the side of the road doesn’t guarantee that a drunk driver won’t crash into your vehicle.
The liable parties in an intoxicated or drug-impaired accident may include more than just the driver. The owners of the car may be liable for the negligence of the driver. If the car was being used by an employee, their employer may be liable.
Arizona law also allows for victims to also name bars or other drinking establishments as defendants in some cases. This law is called the Dram Shop Act, and it holds these places accountable for over-serving patrons who clearly have had too much to drink.
Who is responsible for a drunk driving trucking accident in Phoenix?
When drivers operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol, they put everyone on the roadway at risk. These dangers are even more prevalent when the vehicle in question is extremely large, like a tractor-trailer truck. Commercial drivers have a duty to operate their trucks in a manner that does not jeopardize the safety of other drivers on the highway. The dangers of drunk truck drivers are considered so severe that the blood alcohol limit for a DUI charge for commercial truck drivers is only .04 percent, as compared to the .08 limit for passenger car drivers.
Our lawyers have seen the catastrophic accidents that an impaired truck driver can cause. This reckless behavior may lead to multiple deaths and severe injuries. When these injuries occur, the most obvious responsible party is the impaired truck driver.
However, under certain circumstances, the driver's employer may also hold some liability for the resulting injuries. Under a legal theory called “vicarious liability,” an employer may be held responsible for the wrongful actions of a worker while performing their employment duties. Other trucking companies involved in the shipment may also be liable.
What if I’m in a Phoenix motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle accidents are deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that “per vehicle miles traveled in 2020, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured.”
Operating a motorcycle safely requires coordination, balance, and good judgment. It is precisely those characteristics that are lacking when a motorcycle operator is intoxicated. Being under the influence of alcohol slows reflexes and impairs one’s ability to be safe on the road.
If the rider that caused a motorcycle crash was drinking, any injured passengers or other bikers involved have the right to file a personal injury claim against the intoxicated rider that caused the accident. If the unspeakable has happened, and you have lost a loved one due to an intoxicated rider, you can file a wrongful death claim.
What types of injuries do drunk driving accidents cause?
Accidents with impaired drivers are usually serious. Many cause life-altering injuries. This is because drunk driving accidents often involve head-on crashes, broadsides, rollovers, jackknives, and high-speed accidents. Some of the most common injuries our lawyers have seen include:
- Broken bones. When vehicles collide with other vehicles or non-passengers, the violent impact can result in fractures and broken bones.
- Head and brain injuries. Injuries to the brain can occur when a car, truck, or motorcycle accident causes a person's head to bump against a hard surface. The force of the collision can also cause the head to jerk, causing the brain to move around inside of the skull.
- Spinal cord injuries. The vulnerability of the spine makes it particularly susceptible to serious injuries. A spinal injury may cause chronic pain, as well as partial or complete paralysis.
Other common types of alcohol or drug-impaired accidents include burn injuries, seat belt accidents, road rash, neck and back injuries, lacerations, internal bleeding and organ damage, vision loss, and hearing loss.
How much is my Phoenix drunk driving accident claim worth?
Each personal injury case is unique. Our accident lawyers are respected by insurance companies, defense lawyers, and most importantly former clients for our strong record of strong settlements and verdicts. We demand compensation for all the following:
- Economic damages. These damages are designed to make you “whole” again. They include your financial costs including all your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
- Personal damages. This part of a settlement or verdict includes your past, present, and future pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of function of any body part.
- Punitive damages. In many drunk driving and drug-impaired cases, we seek punitive damages because driving while impaired is especially egregious.
Tragically, many Phoenix drunk driving accidents are fatal. At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family when a loved one dies.
Do you have a drunk driving accident lawyer near me?
At Plattner Verderame, P.C., our personal injury lawyers meet clients at our Phoenix office located at. 316 E Flower St. We also have a Tempe office.
When necessary, we meet clients away from the office or through video conferences.
Our injury lawyers will calmly and clearly guide you through each stage of the accident claims process.
Speak with an experienced driver alcohol and drug impairment accident lawyer now
At Plattner Verderame, P.C., you will find skilled attorneys who truly care about the well-being of each and every client. We provide strong honest representation for victims of serious injuries. When you work with us, you get representation from a law firm where every partner is certified by the Arizona State Bar as Specialists in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation. We know how to fight for you and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.
You should never have to suffer because of the bad and reckless decisions of someone else. Please call us or contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if the case settles or we obtain a verdict on your behalf.