There’s no doubt that many drunk driving accidents wreak havoc on victims and communities. One recent example is the Main Line mother who ran a stop sign while under the influence of alcohol. When she missed the stop sign at the intersection of Spring Mill Road and Morris Avenue in the Philadelphia suburb of Villanova, Pennsylvania, her vehicle slammed into a flower delivery van with such impact that the driver was killed.
The aftermath looked like a nightmare: the frame on the bottom of the van was bent, the vehicle was rolled, and the van driver lost his life. The woman who caused the accident, Meredith Williams-Earle of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania – a teacher and mother of two young children – has been charged with homicide, DUI, homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another person, and a string of traffic offenses.
While many drunk driving accidents happen at night, this particular incident occurred mid-morning on August 6, 2013. More details about this Main Line accident are available at http://6abc.com/archive/9223381/
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to feel as if your entire world has been turned upside down in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. If you were a victim of such an accident, your injuries are likely severe and you are probably unable to work, at least in the short term.
While it’s impossible to go back and change the past, there are important steps that you can take for your future to protect yourself. Legal recourse for accident victims is one way that you can get the help that you need to recover and move on.
Drivers May Face Criminal and Civil Charges
What’s Next? Immediate Help After an Accident
Your first concern in the wake of an accident should be to get the medical care that you need. Don’t assume that just because you feel “okay” or “decent” after an accident that you are actually free of injuries. Your body may be in the process of shock and not able to fully register what has happened. When this wears off, you might notice signs of serious injuries or chronic pain that limits your mobility.
Another reason to continue with follow-up treatment has to do with the fact that some injuries don’t become apparent until a few hours or days after the accident. You need to make sure you’re on top of your medical care so that your injuries have a chance to heal rather than worsen.
After you have gotten treatment for your injuries or been put on a treatment plan by a physician, you may notice that your life has changed significantly. While it’s common that you may have to miss work for at least some time, you may notice other aspects of your life that are much different because of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
Many accident victims might discover that the medical bills mount quickly in the weeks following the accident, but you need to focus on recovery rather than the financial stress of coping with your post-accident life. That’s where a personal injury attorney comes in to help you investigate possible sources of compensation. You need a team you can trust who will fight for your rights in court, which is what Donaghue & Labrum will do for you.
The Dram Shop Law and You
In the event of an accident where you are injured due to a drunk driver’s negligence, you more than likely have a personal injury claim against this individual. What you might not be aware of, however, is that you may also have a personal injury claim against another entity.
Pennsylvania has a “dram shop” law, which means that you may be able to hold a restaurant or bar accountable for your injuries. This is applicable in cases where the liquor establishment knowingly served alcohol to an intoxicated individual.
If you believe that this element might be true in your case, you need to retain an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney who will conduct an investigation into the grounds for a case against the establishment.
This may be critical for increasing the compensation that you are eligible to receive as a DUI accident victim. If a homeowner served alcohol to a person who was obviously drunk, this may be another avenue to pursue.
What is Negligent Entrustment?
The state of Pennsylvania recognizes what is known as negligent entrustment. This means that car owners can be held responsible legally for the negligence of a drunk driver who operates their vehicle. If the owner of the car was aware that the driver was likely to drive recklessly or drink and drive, the car owner could be held responsible for the crash.
To learn more about under what circumstances others may be held liable, contact Donaghue & Labrum at 610-565-9120.
Going Through a Criminal and Civil Case
Drunk driving is against the law, but it still happens unfortunately far too much. Those who end up paying the price are the victims of the accidents, many of whom have injuries that will impact them for years to come. While you may be involved in the criminal case to some extent, you also need to protect your future by considering the benefits of a personal injury lawsuit.
Whether you are the accident victim or whether you are a family member of a loved one who was killed in this kind of accident, you may have recourse through a lawsuit. The law recognizes the many implications that a drunk driving accident can have on a victim and his or her family. This is why it’s important to have your case evaluated as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or for the wrongful death of your loved one.
The compensation can be critical for allowing you to piece your life back together after an accident. For an injured victim, the number one priority post-accident is following a regimen and treatment plan that promotes recovery.
There are limitations regarding the time period in which you can file an accident claim, so it’s in your best interest to do this as soon as possible. Failing to adhere to the statute of limitations may result in your claim being denied entirely and all future cases dismissed.
Some people hesitate to move forward with legal action because they feel overwhelmed and confused, but you should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as you feel able.
Don’t let a drunk driving accident turn your life upside down. Set up the path for your own successful future with the compensation you may be entitled to under Pennsylvania personal injury laws. Get the help that you deserve so that you can put the pieces back together and focus on recovery.
No one should have to suffer the ramifications of being an accident victim in a personal injury suit, but it’s reality for too many people across the tri-state area. If you’ve been hurt because someone else got behind the wheel of a car under the influence of alcohol, reach out for help from someone who can fight for you. Donaghue & Labrum will do all that’s possible to get you the compensation you deserve.