Despite the fact that drink driving is punishable by law, there are many road accidents and pedestrian collisions due to people operating vehicles over the legal limit. The Road Safety Authority in Ireland recently revealed that an average of 180 drivers are being arrested per week on suspicion of driving under the influence.
These accidents can result in a range of injuries, both for the driver themselves, any passengers (willing or unwilling) and pedestrians and other vehicle users. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drink diver, then you may be eligible for compensation.
Claims Ireland has provided a full guide which covers all you need to know about drink driving and the process of claiming compensation for your injuries.
What is drink driving?
In Ireland, there have been laws in place to prevent people under the influence of alcohol putting themselves and other people in danger by driving a vehicle since 1961 when the Road Traffic Act was first introduced. However, it was not until 1967 that a legal drink driving limit was set.
In 1964, a study conducted in the USA found that the chance of a person’s involvement in a road traffic accident rose highly when they were found to have an alcohol level of 80mg/100ml blood. In light of this, and after an increase in the number of road accident in the UK and Ireland, both governments introduced a limit to the amount of alcohol legally allowed to be in the system while someone was in control of a vehicle. This limit was set at a maximum of 80mg/100ml blood.
What is the drink drive limit?
The drink drive limit in Ireland was recently reduced and is now in line with European levels. The new Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is 50 milligrams (mg) for all drivers, and 20mg for specified drivers, defined as learner or newly qualified drivers (for a period of two years after passing their driving test) or professional drivers (of buses, goods vehicles and public service vehicles).
A new penalty system has been introduced to deal with offences that come under the new limits. Under the previous system, all drink driving offences were dealt with in the courts and those who were convicted were automatically disqualified from driving. Under the new system, a driver who fails a preliminary breath test at the roadside will still be arrested and required to provide an evidential breath, blood, or urine specimen at a Garda station.
What to do if you are involved in a car accident caused by drink driving
If a drunk driver has caused your injuries, then there is a good chance you will have a claim for compensation. To assist your claim, it is wise to collate as much evidence as you can. The sort of evidence that can be vital in proving your case can include, but is not restricted to, the below:
Photographs – Whether you use your smartphone or have a camera handy, you should attempt to photograph both the scene of the accident and any physical visible injuries you have suffered. If you are unable to take photographs yourself, you can ask others to photograph the scene and your injuries for you.
Witness Contact Details – If anyone has witnessed the accident that has caused your injuries then you must try to get their contact details in order that they may be called as a witness if required, or provide a written witness statement. Address, contact number and full name should be sufficient at this point.
Driver details – Wherever possible, you should also attempt to get the vehicle/driver details for the person that has caused the accident. If the vehicle is a commercial vehicle, make sure you or someone else notes the name of the company and contact details for the business.
How to begin a car accident caused by drink driving claims
To make a claim for injuries sustained in an accident caused by a drunk driver, then all you need to do is call us. We have years of experience in dealing with claims just like yours, and whilst every claim has unique details, we know that what most people need is for the whole process to be as stress free as possible. After all, you have more than likely had to deal with a heavy amount of stress during and after the accident.
Whether you’ve been dealing with mounting bills due to your inability to attend work, or had to bear pain and discomfort, making a claim for drink driving compensation shouldn’t cause you any more problems.
What can be claimed for after a car accident caused by drunk driving
You may be wondering how much can I claim in a car accident claim that’s not my fault? Depending on the nature of your injuries, your prognosis and any costs you may already have had to pay out of pocket, your settlement figure will be calculated taking into account the following:
General damages – A general damages award is meant to compensate you for the suffering and pain you have had to bear due to the accident.
Travel Expenses – It is possible in many cases for you to submit a claim for travel costs you have incurred whilst attending appointments necessary for your recovery and pertaining to your claim.
Medical Costs – Whether it is prescription fees, counselling bills, or physiotherapy, the likelihood is that you will have had to pay out of pocket for some medical costs. These can often be compensated for as part of your claim.
Care Costs – If you have not been able to complete the usual day to day activities you usually complete to take care of yourself, then you may have had to have someone care for you. The person that has become your carer should be able to submit a claim for care costs.
Earning Loss – If you have missed work due to your injuries and lost out on income, then it is likely that you will be able to claim for this loss of income.
How much compensation will I get after a car accident caused by drunk driving?
If you have sustained any type of injury in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be wondering if you have a claim, and if so, how much compensation you may be awarded. Sadly, as each case is entirely unique, we cannot give a definitive answer to this question.
There are many different variables from case to case, and whilst two cases may seem at first look to be almost completely identical, there may be some small intricacies within the case than can have a marked effect on the amount of compensation awarded.
However, we have put together a Full Injury Calculator Guide to help give you an idea of what compensation you may be entitled to pending on your injuries.
Why choose us as your claims service for your car accident claim?
We will take the time to explain every aspect of our service to you so you know exactly what the process is and what we will need from you. We also work tirelessly to ensure that the process does not cause you undue stress and worry along the way.
Call for free advice and to start a claim
It could not be easier to get in touch with our experienced team. Simply call us on (01) 2549899 if you are dialling from Ireland, or (028) 90393628 if you are calling from the UK, and one of our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have about your accident caused by a drunk driver, or alternatively you can fill in an Online Enquiry Form.
Since 2001, we have built up a great panel of solicitors, loss assessors and other experts in assisting with compensation claims, and now we’re looking to expand that panel. Our experts always aims to get members of the public the maximum compensation they deserve for incidents they have been involved in.
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