Within the UK, drink driving is considered against the law, and those that are caught driving under the influence could face severe repercussions. In most cases, those that are convicted of a drink-driving offence could face serious consequences, such as imprisonment, fines, and a ban from driving. If a drunk driver were to inflict a degree of injury or harm onto an innocent individual, then a claim for compensation could be brought against them, as they could be held accountable for the trauma they’ve caused.
If you have been injured by the negligent actions of a drunk driver, then you might be searching for legal advice on how to make a drunk driver compensation claim. This guide has been created to help inform those that have been affected by negligence of the claims process and to outline the various ways our panel of solicitors could be of assistance. If you read this guide to the very end and have additional questions, why not contact a member of our team? Here at Legal Helpline, we could offer you advice on how to make a personal injury claim if you have been hit by a drunk driver and, if you have a credible claim, we can put you in touch with a specialist solicitor from our panel.
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- A Guide To Claims If Injured In An Accident With A Drunk Driver
- What Is A Drink Driving Road Traffic Accident?
- Drink Driving Death And Accident Statistics
- UK Drink Driving Limits
- Drink Driving Penalties In The UK
- Types Of Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Drink Driving
- Fatal Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Drink Driving
- Could I Claim If I Was In The Same Car As The Drunk Driver?
- Hit By A Drunk Driver Compensation Claims Calculator
- Special Damages If Injured Because Of A Drunk Driver
- Steps To Take If Hit By A Drunk Driver
- How Our Team Could Help After An Accident With A Drunk Driver
- No Win, No Fee Claims If Injured In An Accident With A Drunk Driver
- Start Your Drunk Driver Accident Claim
- Information On Road Traffic Accidents
If someone gets behind the wheel of a car under the influence of alcohol, their actions could cause an innocent road user harm. If you have been injured due to the negligent actions of a drunk driver, then you might be questioning whether you could claim compensation. After all, nobody expects to be involved in an accident on the road, much less an accident caused by a drunk driver. If you have been injured in a collision with a drunk driver, this guide could be of use. We’ll look to answer the following questions:
- What is a personal injury claim?
- What is a No Win, No Fee agreement?
- Can you get in trouble if the driver is drunk?
- What do you do when you get hit by a drunk driver?
- Can I sue a drunk driver for hitting my parked car?
- Is it illegal to get in a car with a drunk driver in the UK?
Drink driving incidents can often cause innocent individuals an array of injuries and additional complications. In some circumstances, those that have been hit by a drunk driver might be unsure of how to make a claim. Within this guide, we’ll provide those seeking a financial settlement after getting hit by a drunk driver with useful information. However, if you read this guide to the end and have a question that hasn’t been answered, why not pick up the phone and contact a member of our team? Our phone lines are free to call, and our team of advisers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Alcohol is a powerful substance that can have intoxicating effects on the body. Driving under the influence of alcohol can be a severe offence and presents a multitude of problems. This is because alcohol directly affects the brain’s functionality, causing it to operate at a reduced level. Additional effects of alcohol outlined by the NHS includes:
- Reduced reactions.
- Limited hand-eye coordination.
- Impaired nervous symptoms.
- Causes lightheadedness.
If someone were to get behind the wheel of a car and cause an innocent individual a degree of injury or harm, then they could be held accountable for the damages they’ve inflicted. So if you were injured in an accident with a drunk driver and wish to make a claim, please speak to a member of our team. They can offer you free legal advice and help you begin the claim process.
According to DrinkDriving.org, approximately 85,000 people within England and Wales are convicted of drink driving related offences every year. It was also found that between the years 1979 to 2014, an average of 666 people were killed in drink driving incidents each year in the UK. 3,551 people were seriously injured in England and Wales.
Alcohol affects the human body in various ways, and factors such as weight, age, and the type of alcohol that has been consumed will play a significant role. Within this section, we have outlined the various drink driving limits that apply to England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
England & Wales Drink-Drive Limits
In England and Wales, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967 stated that the drink-driving limit per 100 milligrammes of blood is 80. This Act also stated that driving, or attempting to drive a motor vehicle beyond the legal blood alcohol level is a punishable offence.
Scottish Drink-Drive Limits
There are strict Scottish drink-drive limits that state those who drive under the influence of alcohol could face imprisonment, fines, and various publishable offences. Since 2014, the drink-driving limit in Scotland per 100 milligrammes of blood is 50, and those that breach this limit could face serious repercussions.
Northern Ireland Drink-Drive Limits
Much like England and Wales, the drink-driving limit in Northern Ireland per 100 milligrammes of blood is 80. However, this is dependent on the type of alcohol consumed, the amount, and the weight and age of the person.
There are strict driving penalties within the UK surrounding drink-driving, as it is considered a severe offence. If an individual were to be caught driving under the influence of alcohol, the penalty they’d be given is primarily up to the magistrates that hear the case. But according to GOV.uk, those that are convicted of a drink-driving offence could experience one of the penalties that are listed below.
If you are in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit, then you could face:
- Up to 3 months of imprisonment.
- A £2,500 fine.
- A potential driving ban.
Those that attempt to operate a vehicle or are caught driving a car when they are above the legal limit may face:
- An unlimited fine.
- Six months of imprisonment.
- A ban of 1 year (this could be extended to 3 years if you have been convicted twice within ten years).
If a driver causes death due to careless driving, then they could face:
- Up to 14 years of imprisonment.
- A fine that isn’t capped (unlimited).
- A 2-year ban from driving.
- And they may also be required to take an extended driving test before their license is returned.
It is also worth highlighting that those who are convicted of a drink driving offence could:
- Experience high insurance costs.
- Have difficulty travelling abroad.
- Experience career limitations, as employers can see your convicted offence on your licence.
Even in smaller doses, the consumption of alcohol can profoundly affect a driver’s judgement, coordination, and reaction times. The use of alcohol can cause a driver to have a lapse in judgement, leading to poor decisions, which ultimately could affect an innocent individual. Within this section, we have outlined some potential accidents that could be caused by a drunk driver.
- Head-on Collisions – If a drunk driver got behind the wheel of a car and becomes drowsy or falls asleep, the vehicle could veer into oncoming traffic and cause a head-on collision.
- Rear-end Collisions – When under the influence of alcohol, a driver’s ability to judge distance is severely impaired, and their reaction time is limited. This can often lead to rear-end collisions, as the driver cannot stop quickly or slow down safely.
- Pedestrian – A drunk driver’s impaired vision could affect their ability to see a pedestrian, especially when at night-time. This could lead to catastrophic injuries, or in severe cases, death.
- Wrong-way Wreckages – Incidents of this nature are often caused when a driver cannot read the traffic signs correctly, causing them to run a red light, drive down a one-way street, or to misjudge an exit for an entrance.
Losing a loved one to a drink driving accident can be a devastating and life-altering experience. Although a monetary settlement cannot undo the pain you’ve endured, you might consider claiming compensation to help deal with the financial implications. If that is the case, then a solicitor from our panel could potentially handle your claim.
If you’re an executor of the estate of a lost family member, or you’re a next of kin relative or were dependent upon the deceased, it may be possible to claim compensation.
Fatal road traffic accident claims involving an uninsured driver are often handled by the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).
Here at Legal Helpline, we could connect those who wish to make a claim of this nature to a solicitor from our panel. They can provide legal advice and support throughout the claims process. However, it is worth remembering that there is a distinct difference between wrongful death and one that is caused by negligence. So if a loved one was fatally injured in a drink-driving incident, please speak to a member of our team today.
If you have been involved in a drunk-driving incident, then you might be questioning whether you have valid grounds to make a claim for compensation? To make a claim for compensation, you must begin your claim within the personal injury claims time limit. The time limit comes into action from the date of the accident, meaning you have 3 years to begin your claim for compensation from that point. A failure to begin a clan within this period will hinder your eligibility to claim.
It is also worthing highlighting how crucial evidence is within the claims process. Evidence can come in various forms. Citizens Advice state that those who have been involved in a road-related collision should consider:
- Taking photographic evidence.
- Do not admit liability at the scene of the incident.
- Swapping contact information with whoever witnessed the incident.
Those that pursue a claim for compensation might question how much compensation they could be entitled to. A settlement package may consist of two heads of claim: special damages and general damages. General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by the injury. The value of general damages is determined by the severity of the injuries. To give you an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to, we’ve put together this personal injury claims calculator.
Injury The Severity of the Injury Compensation Awarded Injury Description
Paraplegia Severe £205,580 to £266,740 Severe cases of paraplegia are expected to cause a loss of independence, life expectancy, sexual function, and a perchance of pain will prevail. The amount of compensation awarded will take into consideration a degree of risk, such as syringomelia.
Brain Damage Minor £14,380 to £40,410 Less severe cases of brain damage are often expected to make a decent recovery. However, the affected individual will be expected to suffer from memory loss, limited career prospect, and their social life will be affected.
Brain Damage Severe £264,650 to £379,100 Severe Brain Damage is expected to have a life-altering affect on the invidious. In the severest scenarios the affected individual will experience symptoms, such as:
The loss of physical movement
Limited life expectancy
Inability to communicate
Knee Injury Moderate Up to £12,900 A moderate knee injury is often expected to involve cases of acceleration, lacerations, twisting, bruising, and pain.
Knee Injury Severe £65,440 to £90,290 A severe knee injury is when there has been a serious disruption of the joint, causing a development of osteoarthritis, ligament damage, pain and suffering. The affected individual will require length treatment.
Other Pain Disorders Serious £39,530 to £59,110 Cases of this nature revolve around significant and on-going symptoms that retail despite the treatment. This will vault in an inability work and will require care and assistance. Most cases of fibromyalgia with persisting symptoms will fall in this category.
Scarring Minor £3,710 to £12,900 Minor scarring often refers to one or two scars that can be camouflaged or corrected through surgery.
Scarring Severe £27,940 to £91,350 Severe scarring is expected to have a serious impact on the psychological well-being of the effected individual. The scarring is expected to leave disfiguring that isn’t fixable through cosmetic surgery.
The figures within the table are based on the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication used by solicitors and the courts to value claims. However, it is worth remembering that these figures are for example purposes only, and the compensation you could be entitled to may differ.
Alongside general damages, those that have been affected by the negligent actions of a drunk driver may also be awarded special damages. The purpose of special damages is to compensate you for any financial losses or expenses that may have been incurred as a direct result of the injury. Some of the types of expenses and losses you can claim for include: :
- The loss of future earnings
- The loss of earnings
- The cost of medical expenses
- Travel expenses
If you have suffered a financial loss that hasn’t been listed above, please do not worry. Simply contact a member of our team. One of our knowledgeable advisers can discuss your potential claim in greater detail and provide you with free legal advice.
In the unfortunate event you are involved in an accident that has been caused by a drunk driver, you might question what steps you can take to rectify your situation. If a drunk driver has injured you, it is always advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also consider:
- Collecting the contact information of all the individuals that were involved in the incident. This includes any drivers, passengers, and witnesses of the event.
- Write down notes of the vehicle, such as its make, model, colour, licence plate, and any distinct markings that will help identify the car.
- Take photographic or video evidence at the scene of the incident. This could include skid marks, tire marks, damage to your vehicle, or any various documentation that could support your claim.
- Keep documentation of any financial expenditures you encounter after the incident, such as mechanic bills, medical expenses, repairs, travel costs.
If you are injured and are unable to collect this information yourself, you could ask a loved one to do it on your behalf. You may also seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor, as they can provide you with applicable information on what you could do.
Understandably, being injured because of a drunk driver can be an upsetting and unforeseen experience in many people’s lives. In some cases, those that have been affected by the negligent actions of a drunk driver might be unsure of their legal position. If you have been hit by a drunk driver and wish to make a claim, Legal Helpline is here to assist you. We work with an accomplished panel of solicitors that are well versed in personal injury law. With their decades of experience, they can guide you through the claims process with ease, debunking legal jargon along the way. They will strive to ensure you recover the most compensation possible and will keep you updated every step of the way. So if you wish to make a drunk driver compensation claim, get in contact with a member of our team and begin your case today.
If you have valid grounds to make a claim for compensation, a solicitor from our panel could offer to handle the claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. A financial agreement of this nature is designed to minimise the threat to your finances throughout the claims process. In some circumstances, it may also be referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped and will be agreed with you in the CFA before the claim begins. If you are questioning whether you have valid grounds to make a claim, why not contact a member of our team?
If you or a loved one have been hit by a drunk driver and wish to make a claim, why not contact a member of our team and begin your claim? Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that personal injury claims of this nature can be stressful. That is why our experienced team of advisers are standing by to support you. So if you wish to speak to an adviser and begin your claim, why not give us a call? Our phone lines are free to call, and our advisers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you could enquire online about your ability to claim through our website. Once you’ve submitted an online enquiry form, a member of our team will contact you at a later date and discuss your claim further.
Call us on 0161 696 9685 if you wish to speak with an adviser.
If you wish to enquire online through our website, please click here.
Within the following section, you will find relevant and additional materials that could be of use.
Could I Have Grounds To Make A Claim For A Whiplash Injury?
Head Injury Claims
Is It Possible To Make A Claim For Head-Related Injuries?
Hit And Run Claims
A Family Member Was Involved In A Hit And Run, Could I Claim On Their Behalf?
Guide by MN
Edited by REG