If you’ve been in a Charlotte car accident with a drunk driver, you should strongly consider hiring a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to assist you. This article addresses some unique concerns about a Charlotte car accident involving a drunk driver. We hope it’s helpful to you.
Drunk Driving Statistics
In 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35,092 people were killed as a result of driving accidents. Drunk driving was involved in 10,265 of those accidents. That is roughly 29% of all traffic fatalities. The desire to limit these unnecessary fatalities allows punitive damages in many drunk driving accidents.
Punitive Damages In Drunk Driving Accidents
If you were injured or if a family member was killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are distinguishable from compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to make the victim whole again. They often include repayment for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and permanent disability. Punitive damages are meant to punish or deter the at-fault party and others. By allowing a jury to award punitive damages, the court sends a message to all future offenders. The hope is that the threat of a large verdict against you will prevent you from driving drunk.
The aggravating factor in a drunk driving accident is willful and wanton conduct. This aggravating factor, codified in North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 1D. Willful and wanton conduct is defined as “the conscious and intentional disregard of and indifference to the rights and safety of others, which the defendant knows or should know is reasonably likely to result in injury, damage, or other harm. Willful or wanton conduct means more than gross negligence.” When a victim is able to establish this requirement they are able to recover punitive damages in a North Carolina drunk driving accident.
Attorney Fees In Drunk Driving Accidents
Like all other personal injury claims our firm handles, our firm is paid on a contingent fee basis. This means that unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you, you do not owe us anything. In a situation of a Charlotte car accident with a drunk driver, that fee structure remains the same.
Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Today
The consultation is free. Call 704.749.7747 to speak with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer in our office today. We consider it part of our job to provide answers even if you don’t choose to hire us. You’re entitled to understand your rights. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.