Looking at the latest college football poll from the Associated Press is all the confirmation you need that the SEC is the best conference out there for college football fans. And looking at the police blotter the day after any big SEC match-up is all the confirmation you need that SEC football fans (and players) do not take the risks of drunk driving as seriously as they should.
Although Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman’s team members like to celebrate on Saturdays as much as anyone else, we also see the pain and suffering that is caused by drunk drivers. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for people who have been hurt by drunk drivers in Shelby County, Tennessee, and Desoto and Tate counties in Mississippi.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are involved in an accident on game day, and you suspect the other driver was intoxicated.
1. Drunk Driving is a Criminal and Civil Offense
Drunk driving is a criminal offense, which can result in fines, jail time, and even the loss of one’s driving privileges. But it is also something the driver can be held civilly liable for.
This means that accident victims have two roles to play when it comes to holding drunk drivers accountable. First, victims may be called on to testify or provide evidence for prosecutors during a criminal trial. The Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman team supports our clients who want to assist with the criminal trial because a criminal conviction is strong evidence in the civil case that follows.
The civil case is where our clients seek compensation for their injuries. Victims can obtain compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injury, and pain and suffering. Given the extreme recklessness of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Mississippi courts may also award punitive damages to the victim.
2. Drunk Driving is a Choice
Every drunk driving accident is preventable. There is no reason someone who is intoxicated should ever get behind a wheel. This is why drunk driving is considered negligent or reckless behavior, and is punishable as a criminal and civil offense.
3. The Driver May Not be the Only Person at Fault
In Mississippi, bars and restaurants that over-serve patrons who are later involved in a drunk driving accident may be held liable for the harm they helped cause. When people are over-served at private parties, including tailgates, it may be possible to hold the hosts responsible for not keeping guests in line.
It is often necessary to sue these third parties in order to get victims the full amount of money they need to compensate them for their injuries. Our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys will let you know if it is possible to seek compensation from anyone other than the driver if you have been injured in an accident.
The Lawyers That Listen
Being an SEC football fan should not mean risking your safety each time you get in a car on game day. Drunk driving accidents are completely avoidable, and the best way to reduce them is to send a message that drunk drivers will be held accountable for the harm they cause.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, and you are ready to seek compensation for the harm you have endured, the Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman team is here for you. We serve clients in Shelby County, Tennessee, and Desoto and Tate counties in Mississippi, as well as the surrounding area. Please contact us today to set up a meeting.