Omaha Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
The incidence of drunk driving unfortunately still plagues the roads throughout Nebraska and the country as a whole. Despite ongoing legislative changes to increase the penalties on drunk drivers, the prevalence of drunk driving continues to astonish and injure people throughout the state.
History of Drunk Driving Laws
When Henry Ford patented his first Model T, he was not thinking of the misuse of his vehicles, but instead a new way for the average citizen to get from one place to another. It only took two years after the advent of motor vehicles for legislators to implement the first drunk driving laws in New York. Many other states followed suit shortly after, recognizing the inherent danger that came from drunk driving. The first blood alcohol content (BAC) limit was set at .15 after studies indicated that drivers could still operate a vehicle without impairment below .15. However, the increased lobbying efforts of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers throughout the 1980s resulted in lowering the BAC limit to .08, where it now remains.
Nebraska Drunk Driving Statistics
In 2014, the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety recorded approximately 1,700 car accidents that were due to alcohol-impairment. This is a noticeable drop from the peak number of 2,200 in 2002, although the numbers remain high. Nebraska has implemented increased penalties over the years for drivers arrested for driving under the influence which has assisted in lowering the number of alcohol involved car accidents. The number of DWI arrests also rose dramatically between 1975 and 2005 leading to safer roadways throughout Nebraska. However, alcohol-related crashes remain a top cause for car accidents throughout the state.
Fortunately, Nebraska has managed to drastically reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in the past 15 years, due largely to new laws which were implemented over the years. The peak of drunk driving accidents occurred in 2002, shortly after Nebraska changed their BAC limit to .08. The implementation of enhanced penalties for repeat DUI offenders additionally encouraged drivers to be more mindful when taking to the roads after having a few drinks. While drunk driving accidents still make up a large percentage of car accidents each year throughout Nebraska, the number continues to decrease.
Recovery After Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Drunk driving accidents unfortunately have the tendency to be much more severe to the victim of the accident than to the responsible party. However, the person responsible for the accident should be held liable for any resulting injuries from the accident. Drunk driving accidents can cause the following types of injuries:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brian injuries
- Internal organ injuries
Many of these injuries are quite severe and can result in extended hospital stays as well as rehabilitation after discharge. As the victim of a drunk driving accident, you are entitled to seek the following from the responsible party:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
A personal injury attorney will be able to assist you in putting together a claim for your injuries and can additionally help calculate the true amount of damages are as a result of the accident.
Drunk driving accidents are often brought in both criminal and civil court since drunk driving is an illegal offense. However, the result of the criminal court proceeding does not dictate the result of the civil court proceeding. Civil courts have a lower burden of proof, and therefore it is often easier to recover from the drunk driver in civil court than it may be to receive a criminal court penalty.
The Knowles Law Firm | Omaha, Nebraska
If you or a loved one have been injured in a drunk driving accident, do not hesitate to contact the Knowles Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling drunk driving claims and understand just how devastating these accidents can be. Drunk driving accidents often result in terrible injuries and potentially loss of life to the drivers who were following all traffic laws and often relatively few injuries to the drunk driver. Contact our Omaha office today for your initial free consultation during which we will go through the facts of your case and begin to put together your claim.