Kennewick Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

There’s no excuse for anyone ever driving while impaired due to alcohol or drugs. Anyone who drinks alcohol should be held accountable. Anyone who uses any type of controlled substance (or even legal drugs known to affect a person’s ability to drive) should be held accountable. Along with driver distraction, drunk driving is a leading cause of fatal car and truck accidents in Kennewick.

Our Kennewick drunk driving accident lawyers work with the police and local prosecutors to show that a driver was legally intoxicated at the time of an accident. Andrea and George, partners at Telaré Law, are committed to each other, the local Kennewick community, and to fighting for justice for anyone who is injured due to the negligence of others. Our experienced car accident attorneys have a strong record of personal injury settlements and verdicts. Former clients constantly recommend us for our dedication to our work and to others.

How Can We Help?

  • How dangerous is drunk driving ?
  • The dangers of drugged driving
  • What laws govern drunk/drugged driving?
  • Who is liable for a drunk driving accident?
  • Liability in injury cases involved drivers using drugs
  • What types of injuries do victims of impaired drivers suffer?
  • What are the unique challenges in drunk driving accident cases?
  • Is there a drunk driving accident lawyer near me?

How Dangerous is Drunk Driving?

Drunk driving is extremely dangerous. Drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs don’t have control over their vehicles. Impaired drivers drive erratically, meaning there’s no way for another driver to drive defensively. Drunk drivers might drive anywhere. They swerve, cross into other lanes, drive the wrong way, run through red lights, and create many other dangers.

According to Forbes Magazine (which relied on numerous government and private studies)

  • About 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • More than 10,000 people died due to drunk driving in 2019. The NHTSA reported that in 2020, that number increased to 11,654 drunk driving fatalities.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 fatal traffic accidents involve a drunk driver.
  • Between 2009 and 2018, 1,602 people in Washington State died due to drunk driving.

The NHTSA states that drivers who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 (the DUI level in most states) have poor muscle coordination (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), and poor judgment, reasoning, and memory, which all makes it harder to detect dangers.

The Dangers of Drugged Driving

The NHTSA also identifies the following substances which can cause a driver to be unable to properly control his/her vehicle:

  • Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs cause “slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times.”
  • “Cocaine and methamphetamine can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.”
  • Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines are known to cause drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects. Anyone who uses these drugs should read and follow the warning labels before driving. Driving trucks and other heavy machinery such as farm vehicles can be extremely dangerous.

Using a combination of drugs and or drinks only increases the risks of a serious or fatal accident.

What Laws Govern Drunk/Drugged Driving ?

A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, cannabis, or any drug if they drive a vehicle in Washington and:

  • The driver, within two hours after driving, has a BAC of .08 or higher as shown by a breath or blood analysis.
  • The driver, within two hours after driving, has a “THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s blood.”
  • “While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, cannabis, or any drug.”
  • “While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, cannabis, and any drug.”

Who is Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident?

The driver of a car, truck, motorcycle, or an Uber or Lyft who drives while intoxicated or drugged is primarily liable in the event of an accident. Our Kennewick drunk driving accident lawyers also file claims, when justified, against other defendants including:

  • Car owners, if different from the driver, may be liable for the actions of anyone they grant permission to use their vehicle – especially if they were aware the driver was intoxicated.
  • Employers such as truck companies, when a drunk truck driver causes a truck accident.
  • Sellers of alcohol who serve liquor to “any person apparently under the influence of liquor.” Taverns, hotels, and other businesses that sell liquor to an intoxicated person should know that the driver could be a danger to other drivers and to themselves. Victims (drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders) may have a legal claim against the seller. The inebriated driver (or the family of a deceased driver) may also have a right to file a lawsuit against the seller.

A Kennewick drunk driving accident lawyer could work with the police and our investigators to show that a driver was intoxicated or drug-impaired and that their impairment caused your injuries or a family member’s death.

Liability in Injury Cases Involved Drivers Using Drugs

Possession of certain controlled substances has “effectively been decriminalized” in the state, and both medical and recreational marijuana are legal here (under certain circumstances). But this does not mean a person can drive under the influence of marijuana or other substances.

Under state law, the same rules apply to recreational drugs as to alcohol, which means the same parties could potentially be liable: a driver, an employer, and even a seller.

The “rules” may be different, however, if the person is impaired by a prescription medication. Generally, it will be the driver who is liable unless there is proof that the drug caused impairment but did not warn of this risk (through a label on the bottle or an insert, for example). In some rare cases, it is possible that the manufacturer or even prescribing doctor may share liability.

What Types of Injuries Do Victims of Impaired Drivers Suffer?

Drunk driving and drugged driving accidents are often more severe and deadlier than other accidents because drunk drivers often drive fast, cause head-on crashes, and broadside other vehicles. Pedestrians and bicycle riders have little chance of survival against a drunk driver. Our Kennewick drunk driving accident lawyers represent victims who suffer all types of catastrophic and severe injuries including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Traumatic amputations/limb loss
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Burn injuries
  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Neck, shoulder, and back damage
  • Crush injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Muscle, nerve, ligament, and tissue damage
  • Other injuries

We also represent parents, spouses, and children when a loved one dies due to a drunk or drugged driver.

What Are the Unique Challenges in Drunk Driving Accident Cases?

There is no legal requirement that a driver is charged with a DUI offense in order to file a civil personal injury claim. There isn’t even a need to show that the driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs. Drivers are liable for accidents and injuries they cause if they act unreasonably. Drunk and drugged drivers can also be held liable if they speed, drive in the wrong lane, or act in any unreasonable way.

Driver while intoxicated or under the influence is one type of negligence. Generally, we review the report by the officer who stopped the driver, administered field sobriety tests, and gave the driver breath or blood tests. If a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) was involved, we will review and analyze those finding as well. We also coordinate your civil case with the prosecution if the local prosecutors file DUI charges.

Since the dangers of drunk and drugged driving are so well-known, we may also file for punitive damages along with your claim for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, and all other damages.

Is There a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Near Me?

Telaré Law speaks with drunk driving victims and the families of loved ones who died due to a drunk driver at our office in Kennewick at 819 South Auburn St. We also see clients at our office in Richland.

Our injury lawyers also see clients at their homes or a hospital if they are too ill or injured to travel to us. We conduct video conferences by appointment.

We understand just how traumatic drunk driving accidents are. We’re skilled at showing a driver was indeed intoxicated or impaired by drugs.

Speak With a Kennewick Drunk Driver Accident Attorney Today

Every driver knows that drunk driving and drugged driving are extremely dangerous. At Telaré Law, our Kennewick drunk driving accident lawyers fight for all the compensation you deserve. We work to hold the driver and any other responsible parties accountable. Contact our attorneys at any time to schedule a free consultation.