Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts the safety of not only the driver at risk, but also any passengers and innocent people who share the road with the impaired driver.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, the year 2014 saw 3,558 alcohol-related crashes and 1,036 drug-related crashes on Oklahoma roads. More than 200 people lost their lives in DUI accidents that year, and more than 2,000 people were injured, including those who suffered catastrophic, incapacitating, and permanently disabling or disfiguring injuries.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by a drunk or impaired driver, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries. You should not have to bear the physical, emotional, and financial burden of a DUI fatality or injury alone. A DUI accident attorney can fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve from those responsible for your injuries or loss.
Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, or driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance, is against the law in Oklahoma.
DUI is defined as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater, or driving with any detectable amount of an illegal drug or controlled substance in one’s system. A person can be charged with DUI even if he or she legally took a prescribed medication, if the driver failed to heed drug warnings that the prescription drug could impair his or her ability to drive safely.
In general, a first offense of DUI is a misdemeanor, and subsequent offenses are felonies.
Penalties are increased for impaired drivers who cause injury accidents or fatality accidents in a DUI collision.
If an impaired driver is involved in a personal injury accident, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days to one year in jail. If the accident results in “great bodily injury,” the impaired driver is guilty of a punishable by one to five years in prison.
If an impaired driver causes a fatal accident, he or she will likely be charged with first degree manslaughter; however, if the driver has prior DUI convictions, he or she will be charged with second degree murder. First degree manslaughter is punishable by a minimum of four years in prison; second degree murder carries a sentence of 10 years to life.
While the criminal penalties associated with involvement in a DUI accident can bring a measure of justice to DUI accident victims and their families, they do little to alleviate the financial burden associated with medical expenses, lost wages, long term or permanent disability, and funeral or burial expenses. Through a personal injury lawsuit, an Oklahoma accident lawyer can help injured DUI victims and their families achieve a settlement or judgment that can allow the fullest recovery possible.
If you or a loved one was injured in a DUI accident, your priority should be on physical and emotional recovery. Trying to deal with insurance companies and accident liability in the aftermath can take you away from your family and your focus.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to advocate for you allows you to handle immediate medical needs, working toward healing and rehabilitation following a serious accident. You can rest assured that your lawyer is looking out for you, diligently pursuing maximum compensation from those responsible for the accident.
The situation is likely new to you, so having an experienced advocate can help you avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your financial recovery or minimize any settlement you receive. Our personal injury attorneys can anticipate future financial needs and identify potential sources of liability to seek compensation and restitution that covers your current medical expenses and immediate losses and also protects you in the future.
Our accident attorneys are committed to securing favorable results for those who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in a DUI accident in Oklahoma. If you are suffering in the aftermath of a drug or alcohol-involved accident, you have nothing to lose by speaking with a personal injury lawyer about your case. Call today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an attorney ready to help you.
Call (405) 608-4990 or submit the free case evaluation form at the top of this page.