Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in North Carolina
Fighting for Justice in Winston-Salem, Greensboro & Beyond
Drinking and driving is against the law but, sadly, this does not stop many people from doing it. The consequences of drunk driving can be devastating, both for the victims and their families. We understand how overwhelming this situation can be, and we are here to help.
At Comerford Chilson & Moser, we advocate for victims of negligence throughout the state of North Carolina. We fight for their rights and for the fair compensation they deserve. Our attorneys have more than 90 years of collective legal experience, in addition to a long track record of success. Our firm has earned a reputation for providing clients with aggressive advocacy, in and out of the courtroom.
At Comerford Chilson & Moser, our team of drunk driving accident lawyers in North Carolina can work tirelessly to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. Call us at (336) 568-8779.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States. Every day, 28 people die because of an alcohol-impaired driver. That’s one person every 51 minutes. Drunk driving accidents account for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities across the country.
Shockingly, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over half of all traffic accidents are caused by impaired or drunk drivers. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
What is Considered Drunk Driving in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, it is generally illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This limit is lower for certain drivers, such as those under 21 years old or commercial drivers.
Penalties for a DWI conviction in North Carolina can include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, community service, and even jail time, depending on factors such as prior convictions and aggravating circumstances.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you may be wondering about your rights. Fortunately, in most cases, you will be able to take legal action to hold the driver accountable and recover damages for your injuries.
How to Prove Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident
Proving liability in a car accident involving a drunk driver in North Carolina typically involves gathering evidence that demonstrates the driver's impairment and connection to the accident.
Here are some steps and considerations:
- Police Report: The police report is a crucial document that provides an official account of the accident. It may include the officer's observations, statements from involved parties and witnesses, and the results of any field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests administered to the suspected drunk driver.
- Witness Statements: Gather statements from any witnesses to the accident. Eyewitness accounts can be valuable in establishing the behavior of the driver, signs of impairment, or any erratic driving leading up to the accident.
- Medical Records: If there are injuries involved, medical records can help establish a connection between the accident and the impairment of the drunk driver. Medical professionals may document signs of intoxication, and injuries sustained in the accident can be linked to the impaired driving.
- Breathalyzer or Blood Test Results: If the suspected drunk driver underwent a breathalyzer or blood test, obtain the results. Positive test results indicating a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit can strongly support the case for liability.
- Field Sobriety Tests: If field sobriety tests were conducted, the results and the officer's observations can be crucial. These tests are designed to assess a person's physical and cognitive abilities, and a failure can be indicative of impairment.
- Surveillance Footage: If available, any surveillance footage from nearby cameras can provide visual evidence of the driver's behavior leading up to the accident.
- Accident Reconstruction: In some cases, accident reconstruction experts may be employed to recreate the events leading to the collision. This can help establish the role of the impaired driver in causing the accident.
- Prior Convictions: If the driver has a history of DUI convictions, it may be relevant to establishing a pattern of behavior.
- Legal Assistance: Consult with an attorney experienced in personal injury or traffic law. They can guide you through the legal process, help gather evidence, and ensure that your rights are protected.
Dram Shop & Social Host Liability Laws in North Carolina
In North Carolina, commercial alcohol vendors, such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, can be held liable if they serve alcohol to individuals who are visibly intoxicated. This means that the person shows clear signs of impairment that a reasonable person would notice.
Liability is typically triggered when the visibly intoxicated person causes injury or property damage as a result of their impairment. This connection between the intoxication and the harm caused is crucial in establishing the vendor's liability.
Remember, the vendor must have known or should have known that the customer was visibly intoxicated at the time of service. This requirement emphasizes the importance of the vendor's awareness of the customer's condition.
Liability is generally limited to situations where the sale or service of alcohol occurs during the vendor's normal business hours. If the vendor served alcohol after business hours or after they had stopped serving for the day, they may not be held liable for any subsequent actions of the intoxicated person.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover after a Drunk Driving Accident?
In a personal injury lawsuit, accident victims can seek compensation for their injuries.
This may include:
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Future loss of earnings
- Medical bills
- Loss of quality of life
If the accident resulted in a fatality, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages such as funeral expenses and loss of companionship.
Injured by a drunk driver? The experienced team at Comerford Chilson & Moser is here to help you receive maximum compensation. Call us at (336) 568-8779 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation!
$18.5 Million Settlement
$10.4 Million Verdict
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$9.5 Million Verdict
Benefits of Working With an Attorney
There are several reasons why you should hire an attorney if a drunk driver has injured you:
- Insurance companies are experts at minimizing the value of your claim. They begin working on your case immediately, and their goal is to pay you as little as possible.
- Depending on the circumstances of your case, several parties may be found at fault. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, the driver would be held responsible for his or her own behavior. However, if the driver was served alcohol at a party or bar, the host or server could also be held liable.
- An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation you are due.
Our Reputation Speaks For Itself
"During our first meeting, he assured me that he would take this anxiety and responsibility from me. Emotionally, I felt a deep sense of relief that stayed with me during the months he was working for me."- Roberta T.