Despite the common knowledge that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous, drunk driving continues to be among the leading causes of auto accident injuries and fatalities in the United States, including Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 4,854 alcohol-related crashes in 2017 alone, which resulted in 3,095 injuries and 320 deaths in the state. Drunk driving is negligence, which means that injured victims are eligible to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re likely facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses you’re not prepared to pay for. Our Mesa drunk driving accident attorneys are able to hold the at-fault driver responsible so you don’t have to pay a cent. When you hire Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC, you’re accessing not just our attorneys, but our decades of experience, resources, and past successes, too.
What Are Arizona’s DUI Laws?
In Arizona, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because the state officially uses the term “driving under the influence” (DUI) instead of “drunk driving” or “driving while intoxicated,” this means people who are on drugs can be arrested and penalized, too.
In Arizona, the following individuals are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle:
- Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol if the driver is impaired to the slightest degree
- Drivers under the age of 21 who drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system (also known as a “not-a-drop” law)
Though other forms of driver negligence, including distracted and reckless driving, can result in a personal injury claim, drunk driving accidents can result in criminal charges, too. Drivers who are charged with DUIs usually spend time in jail, have their license suspended, and have to pay fines that add up to thousands of dollars, and repeat DUI offenders are punished severely. However, criminal charges don’t require the offender to pay victims, which is why you need to file a civil claim, or personal injury claim, if you wish to recover damages. Drunk drivers can face both criminal charges and civil claims.
How Does Drunk Driving Contribute to Accidents?
Alcohol has many physical and cognitive effects on individuals, all of which prevent them from operating motor vehicles in a safe manner. Drivers owe a duty of care to other vehicle drivers and passengers on the road, which is why they’re required to be alert and focused at all times; anything less than this is negligent.
Drunk driving can contribute to car accidents in the following ways:
- Decline in visual functions
- Decline in ability to handle multiple tasks at once, like keeping eyes on the road and braking
- Reduced coordination, including the ability to steer and change lanes safely
- Impaired perception
- Loss of judgment, which can lead to risky behaviors like speeding
- Slower response time and slowed thinking
- Fatigue, which can result in drivers losing control of their vehicles or drifting over lanes
The injuries victims can suffer from drunk driving accidents range depending on how the accident occurred and how fast the driver was going. Some injuries can include whiplash, cuts and abrasions, and sprains and fractures, though many drunk driving accidents result in serious injuries. Because drunk drivers typically speed or miss important traffic signals, they’re more likely to speed through a red light or stop sign, causing devastating accidents. Some serious injuries include crushed bones, burns, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Why You Need an Attorney
Besides seeking medical attention, hiring a personal injury lawyer to get started on your case is the most important thing you can do after a car accident is caused by negligence. Though your case may seem straight-forward, the reality is that at-fault parties and insurance companies often try to evade liability and even undermine your claim to avoid paying you the full extent you deserve. When you have an experienced attorney at your side, however, you can rest assured knowing you have a better chance at securing the full amount of financial compensation available to you.
Our lawyers have successfully settled countless car accident claims and have recovered millions of dollars in damages, including:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital bills, medications, and surgeries
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages or future earning capacity
- Property damage, including costs of car repairs or replacements
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients reclaim their lives after traumatic instances. Handling an injury claim on your own can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a thorough knowledge of the legal system. Our team can guide you through the process.
"Jess was amazing. He instantly put my mind at ease on the handling of my case. If you want great results and to deal with great people, Jess Gulbrandsen is who you need to see after a car accident."Todd, Client
"I got into a real bad roll-over, and they did everything to their ability to get me what was right. I just want to give a huge thanks to Chris and Ria for all the wonderful help and time that they put into my case, as it was a long one."Matt, Client
"My experience with Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience has been nothing short of amazing... I recommend Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience to all my friends and family."Rusty, Client
A Record of ResultsWe have recovered millions of dollars for injured clients throughout Arizona and are proud members of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Experience on Your SideFounded in 1961, we are among the oldest firms in the East Valley, proudly serving injured clients in our communities for 60 years.
Personalized Legal SolutionsWe believe in treating each client and case with the individualized care and attention that they deserve.
When you hire our firm, you will work with one attorney from start to finish, ensuring that your representation is intimately familiar with the details of your case.