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Drunk Driving Accidents Attorney in Scottsdale Helping Clients Hold Reckless Drivers Responsible for Their Actions

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that alcohol-related crashes accounted for 4.63% of all the crashes that occurred in the state in 2021 and were responsible for 20.23% of all fatal crashes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is recognized as a violent crime by Arizona law enforcement and can result in severe consequences. Yet, people still make the decision to ingest alcohol and get behind the wheel every day. So, what can you do if you are a victim of a drunk driver? Learn how DUI cases are handled in Arizona and your rights as a victim to recover compensation.

What Are the DUI Laws in Arizona?

Arizona has a zero-tolerance rule for drivers who are under 21 years of age. Anyone who is under the age of 21 and is caught driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with any concentration of alcohol in their blood can be charged with a DUI, even if their BAC (blood alcohol level) is 0.02%, for example.

A driver who is 21 or older and has a BAC of 0.08% or more is considered intoxicated and is not allowed to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the maximum allowed BAC is 0.04% or less. Arizona laws also address what is called an Extreme DUI (BAC of 0.15 to 0.20%) and a Super Extreme DUI (BAC of 0.20% or more), each of which has progressively more severe penalties that can include jail time, license suspension, and the requirement to install an interlock ignition device.

How Can You Get Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident?

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may have a couple of different ways to recover compensation. The first option is to file an insurance claim with the DUI driver’s auto insurance company. You will likely need to be prepared to make your case by presenting evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligent behavior and documenting your injuries and damages resulting from the accident. If your claim is accepted, you may then receive a settlement check in a few weeks or months.

Alternatively, if you find yourself dealing with a drunk driver who is also underinsured or, worse – has no insurance –, your next option may be to consult your own auto insurance policy to see if you may file a claim. This may mean you might have to pay a deductible, but it usually results in less waiting time to receive a payment. However, not every insurance policy allows you to do that, so talk to your auto insurance carrier before proceeding.

If all of the options above fail, your next option is to consult a personal injury attorney to see if you have enough evidence to initiate a lawsuit and take your case to the courtroom. While a personal injury lawsuit is considerably lengthier and more complicated than filing an insurance claim, it has the potential to generate more compensation than an insurance claim, as a judge may allow you to seek payment for economic damages (such as medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages and property damage) and non-economic damages (such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress). Your personal injury lawyer can advise you on the best course of action for your case.

Can a Drunk Driving Accident Case Be Criminal?

When thinking of a drunk driving accident, you may be wondering if a case of this nature is criminal as well as a civil case. In most DUI cases, the at-fault driver is found to be breaking traffic laws and can face consequences such as losing their license, paying fines, and facing jail time. They may also end up with a criminal record and have to install an interlock ignition device in their vehicle. Penalties get progressively more severe for repeat offenders.

If the DUI driver injured or killed someone while operating their vehicle under the influence, they may be facing even harsher penalties and a potential conviction for a felony such as manslaughter. However, even if they are arrested for their drunk driving accident, the victims hardly ever receive any type of restitution in a criminal case. This is when filing a civil case can really make a difference.

While a criminal case seeks to punish the defendant for their actions, a civil case such as a personal injury lawsuit seeks to provide financial compensation to the victim of the wrongdoing. So, it is possible to file a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver even if that person is already facing criminal charges. Your attorney can advise you on the right steps to take in this situation.

How Can a Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer Help Me?

If you were injured by a drunk driver, an attorney can help you make sure that the impaired driver is held financially liable for their actions. Your attorney can assist you with the process of negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, if necessary, can take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation.

You deserve fair payment for all your economic losses as well as the pain, suffering, and trauma resulting from the accident. In addition, a drunk driving accident lawyer can also help you fight on behalf of a loved one who was killed by an intoxicated driver and initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have been hurt by a drunk driver in Scottsdale or surrounding areas, the Wilson Ortiz Law Firm is here to help. Reach out by calling 623-294-1442 for a free consultation to see how we can help you.