Drunk driving, and the fight against it, is not new. Some states have had laws that outlaw drinking and driving for more than a century. State laws have progressed, national campaigns have been launched, and non-profit organizations have worked hard to reduce drunk driving accident fatalities.

Yet, Drunk Driving Remains a Significant Problem in Wisconsin

On a statewide level, drunk driving accidents remain serious and cause deadly problems. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation:

  • 6,050 alcohol-related crashes occurred on Wisconsin roads in 2020
  • 167 people died in these crashes
  • 3,120 people were injured in these crashes

On a personal level, a fatal Wisconsin drunk driving crash is devastating. Whether you were hurt or you lost a spouse, parent, child, relative, or friend, you are suffering from an accident that never should have happened.

Drunk Driving Injuries and Recoveries

Drunk driving crashes are often severe. The intoxicated driver may be speeding, fail to brake, or cross the center line, for example. These types of accidents may result in:

  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Eye or facial injuries
  • Other serious injuries

In many cases, these accidents cause people who were not driving drunk to die, and families are left grieving their senseless deaths.

Nothing can undo the pain that you experience from your injury or loss. However, Wisconsin law allows you to recover damages if you can prove that the other driver was drunk or negligent. Your damages may include compensation for past and future:

  • Medical costs for expenses such as ambulance transportation, hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ appointments, medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive medical devices, and other healthcare costs
  • Lost income for any complete or partial wages, benefits, raises, bonuses, or income from self-employment that are lost due to accident injuries
  • Physical pain for the pain you experience from your injuries
  • Emotional suffering for the psychological suffering you experience because of the accident and the things that you miss because of your accident injuries
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for your property damage and other damages incurred because of your injuries

Additionally, while punitive damages are not awarded in most Wisconsin car accident cases, punitive damages may be awarded in drunk driving cases. Punitive damages are meant to punish the drunk driver for acting maliciously or with intentional disregard of the rights of the plaintiff, but the practical effect of punitive damages is also to award you more money for your accident case. In Wisconsin, punitive damages are limited to $200,000 or twice the amount of your compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt or a Loved One Has Been Killed in a Wisconsin Drunk Driving Car Crash

As with other types of car accident cases, you will need to prove that another driver was liable for your injuries before you can recover damages. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case to prove that the other driver was negligent. Evidence of negligence may include but is not limited to any sobriety tests administered by police at the accident scene, blood test results, witness testimony about how the other driver was driving, damage to both vehicles, and more.

Our experienced Wisconsin car accident lawyers are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve after a crash. Insurance companies know that we mean business and that we won’t settle our clients’ claims for less than a fair recovery. This often encourages insurers to settle our clients’ claims to avoid the uncertainty of litigation. However, we are always willing and prepared to go to court to protect our clients.

So far, we’ve helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion in damages. Let’s talk about how we may be able to help you. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation in our Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, or Wausau office, or by phone or video conference.

Additionally, we encourage you to learn more about what to do after an accident immediately by downloading a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims.

 

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham