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DUI Victim Compensation in Manchester: Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable

DUI victim compensation in Manchester

A serious car accident can catch you off guard and turn your life upside down in a single moment. When the crash is caused by a drunk driver, it can be all the more traumatizing. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a reckless act that demonstrates total disregard for the well-being of others. 

Regrettably, drunk driving continues to cause significant injury and death nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes. Unlike other kinds of accidents, injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers are preventable. 

Drunk driving victims in Manchester deserve compensation for what they have gone through. However, handling insurance claims and lawsuits involving drunk drivers can be tricky. 

Below, we will discuss the legal consequences of drunk driving in New Hampshire and what kind of restitution can be made to the victims in such an incident. We will then consider what is involved in holding a driver accountable for a DUI accident and how a personal injury lawyer can help you.


Understanding the New Hampshire DUI Laws

Under New Hampshire law, it is illegal to drive a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. In the case of a commercial driver, the legal limit is 0.04 percent, and for a person under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02 percent. If a driver has a BAC at or above the legal limit, he or she will likely be immediately arrested in the event of an accident.

Further, New Hampshire has an implied consent law in place. As a condition of getting a driver’s license, the recipient agrees to submit to testing to determine blood alcohol concentration during a police stop or after an accident.

The results of the breathalyzer test and other physical testing can be submitted as evidence in any civil or criminal action brought against the allegedly drunk driver. If a driver refuses to submit to the alcohol concentration test, there could be additional legal repercussions.


Legal Consequences for Drunk Drivers Involved in Accidents

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances is not a trivial matter; drivers must be held accountable for their actions. There are often steep penalties for the guilty driver.

Depending on the severity of the accident and the driver’s history, some potential consequences for a DUI conviction include:

  • Fines: A person facing a DUI charge will likely have to pay a significant financial penalty.
  • License suspension: A drunk driver may lose his or her driver’s license for a length of time.
  • Jail or prison time: A DUI can result in criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, a DUI can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
  • Probation: If the defendant is free on probation, he or she will be closely monitored for some time.
  • Substance abuse treatment: A person convicted of a DUI is often required to enter a treatment program. 
  • Education courses: As a condition of a more lenient sentence, someone facing a DUI charge may need to participate in alcohol education courses.
  • Community service: A judge may require mandatory community service to hold the driver accountable for what happened.
  • Ignition interlock device (IID): After a DUI conviction, some drivers are required to have an IID installed in their vehicles. An IID device requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece that will detect his or her BAC. The car will not start if the BAC is above the allowed limit.

Law enforcement officials and state attorneys often file the charges that result in the penalties listed above. In addition, drunk driving victims can file personal injury claims against the negligent driver. In this way, the drunk driver can be held liable for your damages.


Common Injuries Sustained in Drunk Driving Accidents

An individual impaired by alcohol may have reduced reaction time and coordination loss when he or she gets behind the wheel. When drivers are in this state, it is just an accident waiting to happen. It is not unusual for the innocent drunk driving victim to suffer severe injuries in the car crash.


Injuries commonly seen in a drunk driving collision include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
  • Internal organ damage
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Burns


Such injuries are significant and may require extensive medical treatment. Many DUI accident victims choose to take legal action against the responsible driver after suffering severe harm. In this way, you too can seek compensation for your medical expenses and other personal losses associated with the accident.


Potential Compensation in Drunk Driving Accidents

As stated, drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries that negatively impact your life for the foreseeable future. When pursuing a personal injury claim, the goal is to seek adequate compensation to meet your long-term needs and that of your family. 


Following a drunk driving accident, you may be able to seek compensation for such things as:

  • Current and future medical bills and medical expenses
  • Long-term disability and impairment
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Vehicle and property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and anxiety
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Additional financial losses
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death


Such losses can be devastating. Because of one person’s reckless decision to get in the driver’s seat while impaired, your life may be forever changed. A personal injury lawyer can help you identify all the damages you have suffered as a result of the DUI accident and what types of compensation you may be eligible to pursue.


Avenues for Seeking Compensation for DUI Car Accident Victims

Victims of drunk driving accidents have various options open to them if they wish to pursue compensation from the responsible party.

You may seek to recover damages through such means as:

  • An insurance claim: Filing an insurance claim is often the first step in seeking compensation from a drunk driver. 
  • A personal injury lawsuit: At times, a reasonable settlement agreement cannot be met with the insurance company. In such cases, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver in order to hold him or her accountable for your losses.
  • Dram shop law: Under New Hampshire’s statutes governing dram shop liability, a DUI victim can file a claim against the establishment or person who negligently served alcohol to an intoxicated person or a minor.

Drunk driving accident claims can grow complicated, and fast. Depending on the available evidence in your case, resolving the claim in your favor may not be straightforward. Thus, it is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury lawyer, experienced in DUI accident cases. He or she can evaluate the facts of your accident and lay a solid foundation on which to build your injury claim against the other driver.


What to Do in the Aftermath of a DUI Accident

If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident and are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, there are several ways you can help your lawyer and improve your chances of a favorable judgment, including:

  • Reporting the accident to the police immediately
  • Collecting evidence at the scene of the accident, including photographs and video footage, and the contact information of eyewitnesses
  • Getting a copy of the police report
  • Requesting a copy of any security or traffic cam footage documenting the accident
  • Keeping a copy of all medical bills and invoices related to your injuries
  • Holding on to all estimates and receipts for property damage sustained in the accident
  • Avoiding speaking to others or posting on social media about the accident

Taking such steps can help to preserve important evidence that will help your DUI accident attorney clearly establish liability for the incident and demonstrate your right to monetary compensation.


How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Hold a Drunk Driver Accountable

Being hit by a drunk driver can be both harrowing and maddening. In the aftermath of such an event, your personal injury lawyer can advocate for your legal rights. He or she will focus on establishing fault and building a robust DUI claim so you can focus on your treatment and recovery.

A personal injury lawyer can aid you in several important ways, including the following:

  • Explaining your rights: A New Hampshire personal injury attorney knows the state DUI laws and how these pertain to your particular situation. Your lawyer can use his or her experience and resources to investigate your case and identify all negligent parties. After establishing the facts of your car crash, your lawyer can clarify what kind of compensation you are entitled to by law.


  • Offering advice: Your attorney can give you educated and objective advice on how best to proceed with your DUI claim. The process of holding a drunk driver accountable is complex and often involves many parties, including lawyers, medical personnel, insurance adjusters, and others. A good personal injury lawyer knows how to interact with all involved parties and can negotiate with them on your behalf.


  • Navigating the legal system: Injury claims typically involve filing a significant amount of paperwork. Your attorney will help you do this in an organized, thorough, and timely manner. This will ensure no important deadlines are missed. Additionally, your DUI accident lawyer will prepare you for any mediation or arbitration hearings that may be necessary to resolve your case.


  • Assessing damages: Your attorney can help you analyze your past and current damages as well as evaluate what your future expenses may be. Doing this is crucial in pursuing rightful and fair compensation for DUI accident victims.


  • Representing you in court: Although many drunk driving injury cases are settled out of court, having a lawyer familiar with your case standing by is invaluable when your case must go to trial. Experienced court representation can ensure a more favorable outcome for DUI victims in a personal injury lawsuit.

It is advantageous to seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you wish to hold a drunk driver accountable after an accident. When you have suffered because of someone else’s negligent and reckless decision, a personal injury lawyer will go to bat for you, fighting tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.


Reach Out to Manchester Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for Advice

A motor vehicle collision involving someone driving under the influence of alcohol can be absolutely devastating. It is imperative that the drunk driver be held accountable for his or her actions. Doing so will do much to compensate you for your pain and suffering and hopefully protect other innocent Manchester drivers from falling victim to a similar accident.

Pursuing a legal claim against a drunk driver can be an exhausting and emotionally taxing experience. There is no reason to go it alone. You have every right to have a compassionate and committed legal advocate on your side.

The dedicated personal injury attorneys of Kiley Law Group have been helping New England accident and injury victims successfully resolve injury claims and settle lawsuits for over 40 years. We have the know-how and resources to hold drunk drivers accountable and maximize your ability to recover just compensation for all you have endured. 

Please call the Kiley Law Group office in Manchester today at (603) 825-4939 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Learn what our skilled legal team can do for you.