How Drunk Driving Cases Differ From Other Personal Injury Claims

Are you thinking about hiring an attorney due to an accident or personal injury? Learn more about what to expect from the process.

How Drunk Driving Cases Differ From Other Personal Injury Claims

4 April 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Drunk driving is one of the worst sources of vehicle accidents in America. If you were the victim of a drunk driver, it's important for you to understand how your case will likely differ from other kinds of personal injury claims. Drunk driving attorneys will usually point to the following differences.


A major point is that most injury claims against drunk drivers include significant evidence. Foremost, the police likely arrested the driver and made them take a blood-alcohol content test. Also, there are often reports from first responders about the driver's condition, and there may even be medical evidence from an exam. Consequently, you will probably have strong evidence from a trusted source that the driver was impaired at the time of the accident.

Given the presence of cameras seemingly everywhere, there's also an excellent chance that at least one video caught the driver before the incident. You may well have video evidence of the vehicle swerving or otherwise demonstrating evidence of the driver's impairment.


The goal in any accident claim is to get an insurance company to accept the liability of their driver and pay you damages for your injuries. Most insurers aren't wild about reward behavior like drunk driving, and they likely won't go to the mat to defend a drunk driver if there's even a shred of evidence to hold them liable.

Also, some states assign strict liability in drunk driving cases. This means the impaired driver is deemed automatically liable. Even if you weren't driving in such a jurisdiction, the odds are good that the division of liability is going to fall hard against the drunk driver.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages exist to discourage social ills and egregious wrongs. In a large majority of personal injury cases, the claimant doesn't obtain punitive damages. After all, failing to dry a wet floor isn't seen as an egregious breach of good conduct in a society.

However, drunk driving is one of those wrongs that usually justifies punitive damages. Drunk driving attorneys will almost always request appropriate compensation. Even if the insurer balks at punitive damages, the threat of you winning at trial will likely encourage the insurance company to settle.

Pursuing a Claim

Ultimately, you still have to assemble and pursue a claim. This means collecting evidence of your injuries, medical reports about your condition, and financial information regarding your economic losses. You and your attorney can then go after the drunk driver's insurer for compensation.

About Me
Important Questions Answered About Hiring Accident Attorneys

Hi, my name is Sarah Reynolds, and if you have questions about hiring an accident and personal injury attorney, you'll find the answers here. A few years ago, my husband was involved in an accident at work, and we decided to hire an attorney. Through this process, I learned so much about the legal system and why it's important to have an attorney on your side. The paperwork is overwhelming in itself, and it was hard for my husband and I to understand all the legal jargon. If you're thinking about hiring an attorney due to an accident or personal injury, you should first read my blog. I wanted others to learn this information beforehand, so they'll know what to expect when hiring an attorney and so they'll know the importance of legal representation.