Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Responsibly
Around 130 million Americans plan to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Some people just wear green. Some people decorate their entire home or office. Many people, over 50 percent, will attend some sort of party whether it be a private function or at a bar/restaurant. Unfortunately, this inevitably leads to people making the mistake of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. In 2006, 60 people were killed in drunk driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Don’t become a new statistic.
Be sure to have a way to get home before you head out for the night. Do not rely on your reduced decision-making skills while intoxicated to make a rational choice. There are a multitude of options for sober rides like a ride from a relative/friend, through a ride sharing app like Uber/Lyft, taxi service or public transportation. Do you think the cabs and ride sharing apps are too expensive? Try $10,000 for a DUI conviction depending on your state. DO NOT WALK IF POSSIBLE. Walking while drunk can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Your impaired motor skills coupled with intoxicated motorists on the roads leads to an increased risk of bodily injury.
Are you hosting a party? If one of your guests involved in an accident caused by their alcohol intoxication, you may be held liable for damages in most states due to “social host liability”. In New Jersey, Social Host Liability allows an injured party to seek damages even if you didn’t directly serve alcohol to the involved party but merely witnessed “visible intoxication” and allowed the person to drive drunk. In Pennsylvania, social host liability only applies when serving minors.
A body of law known as Dram Shop Law is used to hold establishments like restaurants, bars and taverns liable for injuries arising from accidents involving their patrons. Specific laws vary state by state. In New Jersey, a personal injury claim may be brought against an establishment who served the offending person, if the person was “visibly intoxicated” when served or if the vendor knew the person was under the age of 21. Pennsylvania has similar language in the Pennsylvania Liquor Code.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident involving an intoxicated driver you be eligible for compensation. This can be in the way of “specific damages” such as medical expenses, property loss, and lost wages, or what are called “general damages” such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium (relationship). The exact value of your claim will depend on a combination of damages and circumstances in your specific case. To help maximize you chance of winning fair compensatory relief, follow these quick guidelines:
- Call 911. After making sure you are safe from the flow of traffic and your car has been turned off, immediately call the police and alert them of your situation and location.
- Seek medical attention. If necessary call for medical attention for yourself or others involved.
- Exchange car insurance information (if possible). Your insurance company will discuss with the opposing insurance company on how the damages will be paid.
- Gather evidence. Take photos, written/recorded statements and police reports. These will be valuable when assessing your case.
- Contact a car accident lawyer. Our team of experienced lawyers at Williams Cedar can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, call the experienced team of New Jersey car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar at 856-470-9777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We will ensure that your legal rights are protected and help you claim the justice and compensation you deserve. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, allowing us to represent clients Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the nation.