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July 4th Water Safety – How Personal Injury Laws Apply to Drunk Driving and Boating Accidents

drunk driving and boating accidentsGlen Larson Law Injury Attorneys know the 4th of July holiday is a major occasion for celebration and getting together with friends and family.  This year the 4th falls on a Tuesday, which offers a great opportunity to enjoy a long weekend.

Several activities are synonymous with the 4th of July holiday, including road trips, boating, barbecues, and fireworks. Unfortunately, it is also a time when impaired driving increases, and impacts everyone on the roads and waterways.

Here we will be discussing the implications and liability of drunk driving and boating accidents, and how personal injury laws apply to these cases.  We want everyone to have a safe holiday!

Drunk Driving and Boating Increase the Potential for Danger

When drunk drivers get behind the wheel of a car, or the helm of a boat, they create dangerous circumstances for everyone in the area. This includes other motorists and boaters, pedestrians and onboard bystanders, bicyclists and water skiers.

Alcohol use impairs judgment, decreases reaction time, and compromises the driver’s coordination: All of which increases the potential for an accident to occur.

Over the 4th of July weekend, when alcohol use is prevalent, it is important to designate a driver for your vehicle, and your boat, to ensure you are doing all you can to help keep everyone safe.

Personal Injury Laws and Drunk Driving Liability

Personal injury laws play a crucial role in holding intoxicated drivers and boaters liable for the accidents, injuries, and fatalities that result from their negligence.

Although personal injury laws vary by state, all 50 states allow for individuals to pursue a personal injury claim against drunk drivers and boaters to recover their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other applicable costs allowed in their jurisdiction.

Drunk Driving and Boating Have Both Criminal and Civil Consequences

The first thing most people think of when driving or boating while intoxicated is if they get stopped by law enforcement — either on the road or water — they are going to go to jail. Whether it is a Driving/Boating Under the Influence or Driving/Boating While Intoxicated charge, it can come with a night in jail and significant criminal penalties, including the loss of their licenses, fines, and legal fees their insurance will not cover.

However, if the drunk driver or boater injures or kills someone, the civil consequences can include pursuing their insurance company — and/or the individual personally — for the complete damages they have caused. Depending on the individual’s injuries, or the financial compensation the family is seeking in a wrongful death claim, the consequences can be life changing.

To pursue a drunk driving accident, injury, or fatality claim, our skilled personal injury lawyers must establish that negligence was the cause of the crash.

That includes:

  • Proving the driver/boater had a duty of care to operate the vehicle or vessel safely and without impairment.
  • Proving the driver/boater breached their duty of care by consuming alcohol, becoming impaired, and getting behind the wheel/helm.
  • Proving the driver/boater’s intoxication caused the accident to occur.
  • Proving the driver/boater’s drunk driving accident led to the injuries and losses suffered by the victim.

In addition, if someone is hurt or killed in a car or boating accident by a drunk driver, the criminal penalties will dramatically increase, and may include prison time.

Dram Shop Laws Increase the Number of Liable Parties

Over 40 states enforce Dram Shop liability laws that hold establishments — like bars, restaurants, and other businesses that sell alcohol — accountable for serving alcohol to individuals who are visibly intoxicated. When these establishments serve already intoxicated people who then operate a car or boat, Dram Shop Laws provide an additional avenue for seeking compensation from the commercial establishment that overserved the person who drunkenly caused a crash.

Holding Drunk Drivers and Boaters Accountable for Their Negligence

Drunk driving and boating accidents always pose a significant risk to anyone else on the road or water, especially over holidays like Independence Day, where there are typically more people who can be impacted by negligence.

Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys help injury victims and family members who have lost their loved ones to negligence pursue compensation from the liable parties, so they can seek justice for their life-changing crashes.

Our personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance companies, and fight for fair compensation on your behalf while raising awareness, enforcing accountability, and promoting responsible alcohol consumption to create safer and more enjoyable celebrations over the 4th of July holiday.

Contact Us at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys for Review Your Case

Call our skilled personal injury attorneys in Austin at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.

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