Impaired Driver Litigation: Drunk Driving Survivor Settlements & DUI Fatality Victim Wrongful Death Lawsuits
DUI Victim's Rights Attorneys - We Only Represent Victims of Drunk Drivers, Not DUI Offenders. We Hold Drunk Drivers Responsible!
|Attorney Chris Davis and his wife Mischelle are committed to fighting drunk driving in Washington State.
During his career as a prosecutor for King County, attorney Chris Davis brought hundreds of DUI offenders to justice. Today he helps the victims of drunk driving collisions and their families gain financial compensation for the harms caused by DUI offenders. Chris' wife Mischelle Davis is a leading volunteer with Washington State Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and a member of MADD's state advisory board.
Call 206-727-4000 to schedule a no obligation consultation with an experienced DUI victim's rights attorney.
Drunk Driving Crash: Injured in an 'Accident' Caused by an Intoxicated Driver in Washington
In Washington State, 42% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involve a driver that was under the influence of alcohol. In 2009, 206 people in Washington State lost their lives in drunk driving crashes. In Washington State there is a sharp increase in the number of drunk driving incidents near major holidays.
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle collisions. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in the United States in 2010. This figure represents 31% of all traffic incident deaths. More than 500,000 Americans are injured in drunken driving crashes each year.
There is Nothing Accidental About a 'Drunk Driving Accident'
Like our friends at Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), at Davis Law Group we believe that there is no such thing as a ‘drunk driving accident’. Drunken driving collisions result from carelessness or deliberate dangerous driving (under the influence of alcohol), not from circumstances beyond the control of the at-fault driver. Car crashes that are caused by a drunk driver are entirely avoidable.
Unfortunately there are still irresponsible people who will get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. It seems that no matter how tough drunk driving laws may be, drunk driving collision victims continue to suffer at the hands of people who just don't think that drunk driving is serious. There are few words that can express the anger and emotion people feel when they're injured by a car driven by a drunk driver or by a driver under the influence of drugs.
Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings: Lawsuits Against Drunk Drivers Who Cause Car Accidents
Intoxicated drivers who cause drunk driving accidents may face both criminal and civil court proceedings.
Criminal proceedings are designed to punish the offender for breaking the law and to protect the public by acting as a deterrent against impaired driving. Driving drunk can result in criminal prosecution even if there was no accident and/or no one was injured.
Civil proceedings against an impaired driver typically come in the form of a claim or lawsuit against the drunk driver for injuries caused by the drunk driving collision. Fatal drunk driving crashes can result in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of the victim. In many cases a civil suit may be the only way to recover damages such as medical treatment costs, lost wages, damaged property, other economic damages and pain and suffering.
We Sue Drunk Drivers
Seriously injured by a drunk driver in Washington state? Want justice for your loved ones? Make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else.
Call attorney Chris Davis at Davis Law Group. Call 206-727-4000 now for a FREE legal consultation regarding your drunk driving injury case. We serve drunk driving victims all over Washington State.
Yes, we can arrange to have someone come to you if you are unable to visit one of our offices.
Davis Law Group Is Proud To Support Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Attorney Chris Davis is serious about helping victims and survivors of drunk driving get justice while trying to help eliminate drunk driving crashes in Washington State. Chris' wife Mischelle Davis is one of the leading volunteers in Washington State MADD. She drove the effort to establish the first Walk Like MADD fundraising event in Seattle in 2011. In 2012 she attended MADD's National Conference in Washington DC where she was invited to be a speaker to share her experience with other MADD chapters and accept the MADD Chapter of the Year award on behalf of Washington State. Mischelle is also one of the founding members of MADD's Washington State Advisory Board. The board provides leadership and strategic guidance to the local state chapter. The board helps determine how to best implement programs and services to broaden MADD’s operation and funding base and increase capacity through the building of partnerships in Washington State.
Each year the attorneys, paralegals and support staff at Davis Law Group form a walking team for Washington State Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)'s Walk Like MADD fundraising event. Once again as in 2011 and 2012 our law firm's 2013 Walk Like MADD team took the top prize for the most money raised by a business or corporation.
See the 2011 SPECIAL MADD EDITION and the 2012 SPECIAL MADD EDITION of the Davis Law Group Newsletter.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Washington State
Founded by a mother who lost her daughter in a crash, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. Washington State has a MADD chapter with victim advocates that are ready to provide drunk driving crash victims and their families with the emotional support that they need. MADD welcomes donations that support awareness campaigns and educational programs in our local area.
Drunk Driving Laws In Washington State
Washington State Drunk Driving Law
Washington State law provides that the drivers on the road have the duty to not operate a motor vehicle when under the influence of alcohol. See RCW 46.61.502. A DUI arrest in Washington means license suspension, jail time, and up to $5,000 in fines and fees. You may be ordered to install and pay for a device (called an ignition interlock) that won’t allow your car to start if you have any alcohol in your system. The court can order you to pay for and attend alcohol or drug treatment.
Washington State Dram Shop Law
Dram shop laws make it possible for bar owners and alcohol servers to be held financially liable if a customer becomes obviously intoxicated on their premises and subsequently injures someone or causes property damage, typically by driving drunk. Washington State law forbids the selling of alcohol 'to any person apparently under the influence of liquor.’ See RCW 66.44.200(1).
The lawyers at Davis Law Group have successfully handled a number of Dram Shop cases against retail establishments, restaurants, and bars for selling or over-serving alcohol to people who are intoxicated.
Washington State Law Regarding the Sale of Alcohol to Minors
Washington State Law prohibits vendors from selling alcohol to minors. See RCW 66.44.320.
Drunk Driving Awareness & Prevention Programs in Washington State
Here are just a few of the programs that are working to prevent drinking and driving and save lives in Washington State.
Washington State's 'Drive Hammered-Get Nailed' Program
Washington State Patrol helps to enforce the Washington Traffic Safety Commission's "Drive Hammered-Get Nailed" campaign to catch crunk drivers. This program puts many more DUI task forces out on Washington streets, roads, and highways throughout the state between mid-August and early September. The idea is to catch more drunk drivers during the days and weeks surrounding Labor Day weekend in order to stop the drunk driver before they do any damage to themselves or others.
Tie One On For Safety Campaign
To raise awareness the Washington State chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is working with a number of law enforcement agencies and first responders in Washington State that will be placing red ribbons on fleet vehicles to remind drivers not to drive drunk this holiday season, and every day of the year.
Washington State's Crime Victims Compensation Fund
Washington State provides financial assistance for victims of crime including drunk driving collsions. Drunk driving crash victims can qualify for benefits if they suffered an injury or severe emotional distress. Almost any incident involving a drunk driver qualifies as a vehicular crime and qualifies for Crime Victim Compensation benefits. The incident must have been reported to the police within one year and a claim must be filed for benefits within two years.
If you're applying for benefits from the Crime Victims Compensation Fund you will not be prevented from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or any other entity (like a bar, the state, the home owner who hosted a party). It should be noted that the Crime Victims Compensation Fund is a payer of last resort which means that if you have your own health insurance, or either the at-fault driver OR you have car insurance, that insurance money must be exhausted before you begin receiving benefits from the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
To apply for Crime Victims Compensation you must:
1. Fill out the application located at: http://www.lni.wa.gov/forms/pdf/F800-042-000.pdf
2. Send the application to: Crime Victims, PO Box 44520, Olympia, WA 98504-4520 or fax the form to: 360-902-5333.
3. If you have questions about completing the application form, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a FREE consultation at 206-727-4000.
NOTE: Bankruptcy protection doesn't apply to drunk drivers. Drunk drivers cannot obtain relief from Chapters 7 and 13 Federal Bankruptcy Codes to avoid paying personal injury judgments or criminal restitutions for drunken driving claims. So if you are awarded a judgment against a drunk driving offender and that person later files for bankruptcy, they will still owe you the money-- the drunk driving case and the money they owe will not be discharged.
Top Ten Holidays Associated With Drunk Driving Collisions
Below are the dates and holidays most associated with drunk driving wrecks in the United States. But the true statistics will shock you. Here is the ranking based on common perception:
1. Fourth of July Weekend
3. Labor Day Weekend
4. Thanksgiving Weekend
5. Christmas Week
6. Memorial Day Weekend
7. New Year’s Day
8. Super Bowl Sunday
9. New Year’s Eve
10. St. Patrick’s Day
Many people mistakenly believe that New Year's Eve is the holiday with the most drunk driving accidents. Most are surprised to learn that New Year's Eve runs a distant second to the holiday that statistically has the largest number of drunk driving fatalities--Thanksgiving.
During Thanksgiving weekend in 2008, 389 people were killed in car crashes in the United States; thousands more were injured, and most of the collisions involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
The Critical Role Played by Law Enforcement in the Fight Against Drunk Driving in Washington State
Davis Law Group recognizes that law enforcement officials in Washington State are the heroes who keep our roads safe. High-visibility law enforcement programs such as Target Zero, Drive Hammered Get Nailed, DUI Checkpoints and increased patrols during holiday weekends, special events, concerts and ballgames catches drunk drivers and discourages drunk driving. Davis Law Group would like to thank the Washington State Patrol, the Seattle Police Department's DUI Squad, the King County Sheriff's Office, and all of the other city, county and state law enforcement and agencies such as the Washington Traffic Safety Commission which keep Washington State citizens safe.