Our friends at the Lombardi Law Firm encounter their fair share of drunk driving injury accident claims, which is why they are here today to share some of the most frequently asked questions around these cases:

What Do You Need To Be Doing To Preserve Your Drunk Driving Personal Injury Accident Claim?

What you should not be doing is sitting around doing nothing. Because while you are doing nothing other people are destroying the evidence you will need to win.

What Is A Drunk Driving Personal Injury Case?

A drunk driving accident is an accident involving a person suspected of being intoxicated at the time of the crash. Many times that person escapes without serious injuries. Sometimes they pass from injuries suffered in the substantial impact. Even a single-vehicle collision involving passengers is a drunk driving accident requiring immediate action by the passengers or their relatives and friends.

If you have been in an accident, you would benefit from the knowledge of an auto accident lawyer on your case. Many times, they provide direction even before someone decides which lawyer to hire. Identifying and preserving the critical evidence is the most important action anyone can take right after the accident.

Why Do The Police Always Say, The Accident Is Under Investigation?

Have you ever read or listened to an accident report where the police are quoted, or the reporter states, the accident is under investigation? That usually means the police are waiting for toxicology reports. Toxicology reports have definite amounts of blood, breath or urine measurements and will indicate how much alcohol a person had in their body at the time of the collision. That is important because it indicates whether the driver had the necessary judgment to know that what they were doing was likely to cause a collision. You have to know more than just that they had been drinking. Just drinking alcohol is not enough to say this is a drunk driver case. That is where the lawyers can earn their fees.

Why Is It Important To Quickly Sue A Drunk Driver?

Most people do not understand how to prove a drunk driving case. Nor do most people understand that suing the driver is only one option. Another option is to sue the tavern or restaurant where they were served the alcohol. The legal requirements are “sold and served,” not just sold. If you stopped at a convenience store to pick up a twelve-pack and you were obviously drunk, in many states that would not be enough to be able to recover damages from the convenience store. That is because the store only sold the booze, they did not serve the drink. Think of sitting at the bar, paying for a shot of tequila, and then drinking it right at the bar. That is alcohol being sold to a patron and his being served a drink. For whatever reason the politicians who write and pass the laws see that as enough of a difference to allow the one to skate and the other to be held accountable. 

Know Your Dram Shop Laws

This is known as a state’s dram shop laws. A dram is a measure of alcohol and that is what bars do, they measure drams of whiskey, gin, vodka, and other spirits into glasses and serve it to people. The dram shop is the bar.  So, dram shop laws provide the guardrails for injured people being able to legally bring an action against a bar for the negligence of a drunk driver. But, like most laws there are certain requirements. And in most states, you have to put the bar on notice of your intent to sue them or at least that you are investigating a drunk driver who drank at their bar on a certain date. Some of the details or the accident are required in the dram shop notice.

To craft the dram shop notice you need to have details and most of the time those details will require an immediate investigation. Interviewing witnesses. Sending a preservation letter about the bar’s security camera video. Rummaging through the drunk’s car or truck to see if there are receipts, napkins, matches or any of the other evidence I have been lucky enough to discover. Investigation takes creativity, intelligence, and the requisite experience to know what to look for and where to look.

What Is The Legal Limit Of A Blood Alcohol Level?

In most states the legal limit for a blood alcohol level is .08. At .15 you are at the threshold for enhanced penalties. 

Before jumping into the driver’s seat after a few drinks, think UBER or LYFT.

What Is One Thing To Do To Investigate A Drama Shop Case?

A good investigation likely includes rummaging through the drunk’s truck. A lawyer who is truly on your side will stop at nothing to prove your case.

If you have been involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident and you suspect the at-fault driver was drunk, then contact a lawyer near you for a consultation. They are most always willing to talk about what you should be doing to gather and to preserve your evidence.