Who is at fault in a drunk driving accident?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2022 | Personal Injury

It is a well-known fact that drunk driving is risky behavior that can lead to an accident. Despite this, alcohol remains a leading cause of traffic fatalities, with thousands of lives lost every year.

While a drunk driver is criminally liable for driving under the influence, it is a whole different ball game when it comes to car accident claims. Just because a driver is drunk does not mean that they are responsible for a crash. Here is what you need to know.

Everything hinges on negligence

A drunk driver is not always responsible for a crash. They might have been drunk when the crash happened but did not cause the accident. It all boils down to the negligent actions of the drivers involved.

When determining fault, these three elements are crucial.

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of such duty
  • Causation and damages

By default, all drivers owe each other a duty of care on the road. When they are intoxicated and, as a result, reckless or careless when driving, it is a breach of this duty. However, there should be a link between their negligence and the subsequent accident. The driver’s drunkenness can only be used to support the fact that they were negligent.

Finally, you need to have suffered injuries or other damages for your claim to hold.

Both drivers may be at fault

Fault can be shared even if the other driver was drunk when both drivers contributed to the accident. In such a case, the amount of recoverable compensation for your claim may be affected.

It is crucial to learn more about car accident laws in your state and the options you have when pursuing a settlement for the injuries you suffered. It could save you a lot of trouble when handling your claim.






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