Few Oklahoma car crashes are as violent and emotional as those collisions caused by a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. Victims and bystanders alike are usually incensed when the at-fault driver – the driver who consumed too much alcohol – walks away from the crash with only minor injuries while the occupants of the other vehicle are seriously injured or even killed.
Aside from these challenges, drunk driving car crash lawsuits can be deceptively complicated for injury victims to win. For this reason, Michael Carr of the Tulsa car crash law firm Carr & Carr, Attorneys at Law recommends retaining the services of an experienced car accident lawyer to assist you in recovering compensation if you or a loved one are injured in a car crash.
Proving the Crash was Caused by Alcohol
One of the first challenges that injury victims will likely face in their quest for compensation is proving that the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol and unable to safely drive a vehicle. Driving after having consumed too much alcohol is a negligent and reckless act that can make the drunk driver liable for the expenses and losses of others, but it falls on the injury victim(s) to prove the at-fault driver was drunk. Unfortunately, the smell of alcohol or even proof that the driver consumed some alcohol before the crash is insufficient to prove the driver was “drunk.” Instead, there must usually be evidence consisting of:
- A criminal conviction in which the driver was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle while his or her breath or blood alcohol level was over the legal limit or while he or she was not able to operate a vehicle safely due to the impairing effects of alcohol;
- Breath or blood tests performed by either a hospital or a law enforcement agency that would suggest that the driver was impaired by alcohol because the alcohol concentration of his or her breath or blood was over the “legal limit”;
- Admissions made by the at-fault driver to others that he or she knew he or she was too drunk to drive, that he or she shouldn’t have been driving after drinking, or some other similar admission of fault.
- Field sobriety tests: Often times the police will conduct a field sobriety test on the drunk driver. The results of such test will help show that the driver was intoxicated.
Holding Others Accountable for a Drunk Driver’s Bad Choices
In certain cases, the establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver may also be responsible for the injuries you and/or your loved one suffers. Under what are known as “dram shop laws,” those establishments or social hosts who continue to serve alcohol in excess to another, or who provide alcohol to a person who is obviously inebriated, may also be sued for compensatory damages as a result of a drunk driving crash. Unlike other states that have actually passed “dram shop” laws, the ability of plaintiffs in Oklahoma to bring suit against social hosts and establishments that serve alcohol is founded upon past judicial decisions. This adds even more complexity to a drunk driving injury case.
Call Carr & Carr for Compassionate and Skilled Representation
Knowing the complexities of drunk driving cases and the devastating effects drunk drivers can have on the lives of innocent drivers and passengers, Carr & Carr, Attorneys at Law is dedicated to helping victims injured in an Oklahoma drunk driving crash recover compensation they need for their losses and holding drunk drivers – and the establishments that serve them – accountable for their misdeeds.
We have offices in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City but can travel wherever you may live. Please contact us today!