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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Can I Seek Damages for Injuries in a Wisconsin Drunk Driving Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Racine County drunk driving accident injury attorney

There are very few crimes in the United States that could be accurately described as victimless. Most of the time, crimes that are committed will affect someone in some way, shape, or form. When it comes to a crime such as driving while under the influence of alcohol, also known in Wisconsin as OWI, there often are personal injury victims. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 alcohol-related traffic deaths across the country in 2018 and many more alcohol-related injury- or damage-only crashes. Accidents involving drunk drivers are often traumatic for the victim, which is why the victim has the right to pursue compensation from the offender.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you get into a car accident with another person, you have a right to pursue compensation for damages that you may have sustained. This is true in Wisconsin, especially if you were in a collision with an intoxicated driver. Wisconsin operates on a system of comparative negligence when it comes to motor vehicle crashes. This means all parties involved have the potential to be partially at fault for the accident. As long as you were not found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you can pursue damages.

When it comes to accidents with a drunk driver, however, most of the liability is put onto the other driver. All Wisconsin drivers have the responsibility to follow the traffic laws and rules of the road to keep everyone safe. Failing to do so puts others at risk and may mean that they acted negligibly. In Wisconsin, criminal negligence is defined as “conduct that the actor should realize creates a substantial and unreasonable risk of death or great bodily harm to another.”

Types of Damages You Can Pursue

Getting into an accident with a drunk driver can leave you with many unexpected expenses. These could include costly medical bills, lost wages from having to take time off of work, or even damage to your vehicle. If you pursue a lawsuit, you can seek compensation for damages such as:

  • Surgeries or medical procedures

  • Medical equipment and medication

  • Hospital stays

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional trauma or PTSD

  • Repairs to your vehicle

Victims of car accidents involving drunk drivers are also often privy to another type of damage called punitive damages. These damages are awarded upon the judge’s discretion and are considered a type of punishment for the defendant’s behavior. In Wisconsin, punitive damages are typically capped, but not when dealing with OWI cases involving a driver who is so intoxicated that he or she is unable to safely operate his or her vehicle.

Contact a Walworth County Victim’s Rights Lawyer

If you have been injured in an auto accident with a drunk or impaired driver, you should speak with a skilled Waukesha County personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Attorney Paul Bucher of the Bucher Law Group, LLC, is one of the only attorneys in the state of Wisconsin who practices victimology. He has also worked as both a defense attorney and a prosecutor, providing him with the vast knowledge and experience to protect your rights every step of the way and maximize your compensation amount. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 262-303-4916.

 

Sources:

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812826

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/895/I/043/6

 

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