Erie Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving is a terrible crime that kills thousands of innocent drivers and pedestrians every year. In Erie County, four people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2016. While this is a decrease from previous years (there were 13 such deaths in 2013), it is still too many lives lost due to someone else’s reckless decision. If you suffered an injury or a loved one died because of a drunk driver in Erie, seek justice with help from a dedicated team of attorneys. Call on the lawyers at Dallas W. Hartman P.C. for their experience with these cases.
Pursuing a Civil Claim Against a Drunk Driver
In most drunk driving crashes (other than hit-and-runs), police will arrest the suspected intoxicated driver at the scene. They will report to the accident, conduct field and/or chemical sobriety tests, and arrest for DUI (driving under the influence) if there are indicators of intoxication. The initial investigation will likely garner evidence such as the results of sobriety tests, accounts from eyewitnesses, and the arresting officer’s impressions of the driver. These pieces of evidence can be important during criminal and civil suits against the driver later.
According to Pennsylvania laws, the courts can try the same intoxicated driver twice – once for criminal charges and once for civil claims. While victims of drunk driving accidents have no control over whether prosecutors press criminal charges against the driver, they do have control over civil charges. The only way for a person who has been badly injured by a drunk driver to pursue financial recovery from the at-fault party is through a civil claim.
A criminal conviction for drunk driving will not result in any recovery for injured accident victims. Instead, its purpose is to punish the drunk driver for his or her unlawful acts. It is civil law that provides the opportunity for accident victims to recover compensation. It is up to victims to file these claims in Erie within the time limit – typically two years from the date of the accident. Working with an attorney can ensure you follow all the rules and regulations for a successful claim.
Why Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer After a DUI Crash?
The Pennsylvania civil court system does not treat drunk driving accidents lightly – especially when the intoxicated driver causes catastrophic injuries or deaths. Victims who opt to sue the at-fault driver often walk away with significant settlements or jury verdicts for their losses. At Dallas W. Hartman P.C., we’ve garnered outstanding results for victims of drunk drivers, including seven-figure settlements and verdicts. The courts are often willing to order compensation for the following losses:
- Physical injuries
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional suffering or distress
- Disability/permanent scarring
- Lost enjoyment of life
Free Consultations from our Erie DUI Accident Attorneys
Many drunk driving cases also result in punitive damages, or additional awards meant to punish the drunk driver for his or her gross negligence. Get the most out of your claim when you retain an attorney from Dallas W. Hartman P.C. We are a top source for legal representation in Erie, and want to help you after a devastating crash. Reach out today for a free consultation. Call us in Erie today! (814) 461-8844