York, PA Drunk Driving Injury Lawyers
Strong advocacy for injured drivers, passengers, and others in York County
Everyone knows the rule: don’t drink and drive. Drunk drivers can cause catastrophic and permanent injuries, and sometimes those injuries are fatal. Yet every day, people choose to get behind the wheel when they should not. If a drunk driver causes you or your loved one harm, that driver can be held liable.
At KBG Injury Law, our York, PA drunk driving accident lawyers fight to hold drivers and other responsible parties liable for the fatal and serious injury accidents they cause. We work to confirm the driver was intoxicated and to show the intoxication caused the accident. We understand that drunk drivers speed, fail to yield, run red lights, cross into oncoming lanes, and create other dangers. Our lawyers have a strong record of success settling car accident and truck accident claims for the insurance policy limits. A primary reason we can settle accident cases for higher amounts is that insurance companies know we are skilled at trying accident cases before a jury.
How can we help?
- How deadly are York PA drunk driving accidents?
- What kinds of injuries do drunk drivers cause?
- What are Pennsylvania’s drunk driving laws?
- Can anyone besides the driver be held liable in a York PA drunk driving accident case?
- What damages can you claim for a drunk driving accident in York, PA?
- Is there a drunk driving accident lawyer near me?
How deadly are York, PA drunk driving accidents?
The statistics are overwhelming. Drunk driving is a leading cause of fatal traffic accidents in America and in Pennsylvania. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2019. That number means that more than 27 people, on average, die in a car accident due to a drunk driver every day.
According to Alcolock, an ignition interlock device (IID) company:
- An accident involving driver intoxication is four times as likely to cause a fatality than accidents that don’t involve alcohol.
- In Pennsylvania, in 2017, 293 people died in crashes involving driver intoxication; 45 of the people who died were passengers.
- 18% of the fatalities involved young drivers – drivers under 21.
Like many states, Pennsylvania is trying to reduce the number of fatal drunk driving accidents by using sobriety checkpoints and educating teenagers on the dangers of drunk driving. Drunk driving can be especially problematic in towns such as York, PA, because this is a “college town,” and many college students drink to excess. This can increase the number of drunk drivers, as well as the number of drunk pedestrians who may be hit by a car.
What kinds of injuries do drunk drivers cause?
Drunk driving accidents can lead to life altering injuries for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others. KBG Injury Law represents victims of catastrophic car accidents who sustain injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Multiple broken bones
- Cervical fractures
- Burn injuries
In the worst cases, a drunk driver can be responsible for another person’s death.
The reason these injuries are so severe, according to The Drive, is because of the way a body is impacted during a crash:
Most vehicle collisions involve three separate impacts: the vehicle hitting an object; the operator (or passenger) hitting the interior of the vehicle; and that person's internal organs slamming against the inside of his body. During the course of these three impacts the individual is undergoing rapid deceleration, causing enormous strain on their solid organs and bones—often the cause of fatal injuries.
Ironically, drunk drivers are more likely to walk away from a car accident because they are less likely to brace for impact.
What are Pennsylvania’s drunk driving laws?
Pennsylvania makes it illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle while his or her driving is impaired due to driver intoxication. Drivers who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or more are presumed to be impaired and will be charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Drivers who have a commercial driver’s license are presumed to be impaired if their BAC is .04 or more. Drivers under 21 are presumed to be driving while impaired if their BAC is .02 or more.
According to the NTHSA, alcohol “reduces the function of the brain, impairing thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. All these abilities are essential to operating a vehicle safely.” Blood alcohol content levels affect a driver’s ability as follows:
- .02. Some loss of reflexes and judgment. Altered moods. A reduced ability to multitask and to track movement.
- .05. Difficulty focusing one’s eyes. Less alertness. Reduced coordination. Difficulty steering. A decrease in the driver’s ability to respond to traffic emergencies.
- .08. Poor muscle coordination including reduced reaction times, increased difficulty detecting dangers, impaired reasoning, and poor balance. Drivers have difficulty concentrating and processing information.
- .10. Slow thinking. A “clear deterioration of reaction time and control.” Difficulty staying in the same lane and applying the brakes when the need arises.
- .15. Drivers may vomit. They will have limited muscle control. Drivers will be substantially impaired in their ability to control their vehicles and respond to emergency situations.
What is the relationship between the DUI case and your personal injury claim?
It is not necessary to show a driver was convicted of a DUI in order to file a civil personal injury or wrongful death claim. Even a small amount of alcohol in a driver’s body can affect a driver’s ability to control his/her vehicle.
Still, skilled York, PA drunk driving injury lawyers coordinate their case with the prosecution’s case. If a defendant is convicted of a DUI, then that conviction can usually be used to negotiate a settlement with the driver’s insurance companies or can be used to persuade a jury of the driver’s negligence.
For various reasons, the prosecution’s DUI case is usually tried before any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The DUI breath test results generally can be admitted into evidence in a civil case, regardless of whether the driver is convicted of a DUI or not. Normally, if a driver is intoxicated there are other reasons the driver should be held liable. Drunk drivers often violate the various Pennsylvania traffic laws such as laws against speeding and running through stop signs.
Can anyone besides the driver be held liable in a York, PA drunk driving accident case?
In Pennsylvania, the following defendants may also be liable for a drunk driving accident:
- The owners of the vehicle, if they are different than the driver, may be liable. For example, parents may be liable for allowing a teenager to drive their car if they knew or should have known that their child was likely to drink and drive.
- Taverns, hotels, and other businesses that sell alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated may be liable for any accidents that someone causes. Generally, entities may also be liable for serving alcohol to a minor who causes an accident – regardless of whether the minor was visibly intoxicated. Social hosts who serve liquor to minors may also be liable for a drunk driving accident caused by the minor.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or other state entities may be liable if the accident is also due to poor road design.
- The manufacturers of defective auto parts if the accident is also due to product defects.
What damages can you claim for a drunk driving accident in York, PA?
Any victims who have tort coverage or suffer a “serious bodily injury” can demand damages for their injuries. At KBG Injury Law, we demand compensation for all your:
- Medical expenses including hospital bills, doctor visits, therapy, assistive devices, and medications.
- Lost income for as long as you are unable to work
- Daily physical pain and emotional suffering for as long as you have any injuries.
We also demand compensation for your property damage, any scarring or disfigurement, and loss of consortium. In drunk driving cases, we usually demand punitive damages.
If a spouse, child, or parent dies due to a York, PA drunk driving accident, we file a wrongful death action. We demand that the liable defendants pay the funeral and burial expenses, the loss of financial support the decedent would have provided the family members, and the loss of guidance, support, and services the decedent would have provided.
Is there a drunk driving accident lawyer near me?
KBG Injury Law is located at 110 North George Street. We are right in the heart of York, near Interstate 83 and Routes 30, 74 and 462. We also have offices throughout South Central Pennsylvania.
Speak with an experienced York, PA drunk driving lawyer now
At KBG Injury Law, our lawyers understand how devastating it is to lose a loved one or suffer a severe injury because a driver was drunk. We fight aggressively to hold the drunk driver and anyone else who caused the accident accountable for ending or changing a life. We guide victims and families calmly step-by-step through the litigation process.
To discuss your right to hold drunk drivers liable, call us at 717-848-3838 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. We represent drunk driving injury victims and families in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg.