Despite laws against driving while drinking or impaired by other intoxicants, impaired drivers continue to pose safety risks to everyone on the road. Medical expenses and other hardships confront people injured in these accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Looking at data from the year 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that each injured survivor of a drunk driving crash faced approximately $49,000 in direct costs and then an additional $50,000 per person for losses in quality of life. The scale of the problem is large. Alcohol played a part in over two million crashes in the United States that killed 16,792 people and injured well over 500,000.
Figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reveal the human cost of impaired driving. In 2012, alcohol impairment is estimated to have caused 31 percent of traffic deaths. Young children up to 14 years old were 20 percent of the total 10,322 deaths for that year in drunk driving accidents. Over half of the juvenile deaths took place in vehicles driven by an impaired driver.
People injured by drunk drivers sometimes choose to prepare a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. Pain and suffering along with direct medical expenses can sometimes by factored into the damages that an injured person attempts to recover. Seeking the help of a lawyer might help a person in that situation prepare for court or reach a settlement out of court. A lawyer familiar with personal injury might be able to identify information in the accident and police reports that will show that the negligence of the impaired driver caused the accident.