Tacoma Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Did you get hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver? If so, contact Park Chenaur and Associates LLP to learn about your available legal options.
The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be scary and confusing. Injuries can be severe and require extensive medical treatment to heal. You might face significant financial strain while paying expensive medical bills. Pursuing legal action against the drunk driver might seem impossible to handle alone.
That’s why you should hire Park Chenaur and Associates LLP. We will simplify your life by taking over your case so you can focus on your health. For over 20 years, our legal team has fought for injured clients, and we’re ready to do the same for you.
Call us today for a free consultation with an experienced Tacoma drunk driving accident lawyer to learn more.
Why Choose Park Chenaur and Associates LLP?
Park Chenaur and Associates LLP has represented accident victims in Tacoma, Washington, since 1999. People know us as lawyers our clients can trust. We always provide personalized attention and support because we care about our clients. We aim to meet your unique needs and help you achieve a favorable case result.
You can visit us at our conveniently located office in Tacoma. We are less than two miles away from State Route 16. Our legal team is also available 24/7, so you can talk to an actual person whenever you call. We understand the importance of dependable customer service and being there for our clients in their time of need.
At Park Chenaur and Associates LLP, we are proud of the reputation we have built since opening our firm. We received recognition from The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Washington
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, nearly 21 percent of the traffic fatalities statewide in one recent year involved impaired drivers. Impaired driver-involved crashes accounted for more than 20 percent of all serious injuries.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Washington.
Washington law makes a person is guilty of driving under the influence if they drive a vehicle and:
- The person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher on a breath or blood test,
- The person is under the influence of or affected by an intoxicating liquor, cannabis, or any drug, or
- The person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, cannabis, or any drug.
Drunk drivers aren’t the only potential liable parties in drunk-driving accidents. You might be able to hold a vendor that sells liquor liable under specific circumstances.
Washington Revised Code 66.44.200 prohibits vendors from selling alcohol to someone who is obviously under the influence of liquor. Washington Revised Code 66.44.270, prohibits giving, selling, or otherwise supplying liquor to someone under 21 or permitting anyone under 21 to consume liquor on their premises or premises under their control.
Under this law, you could hold a social host liable for injuries from a drunk-driving crash if the host served liquor to a minor or an obviously intoxicated adult who caused an accident.
Washington law imposes a time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit for a drunk-driving accident. In Washington, the statute of limitations gives you three years from the crash to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver, vendor, or social host.
Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents and Injuries
Alcohol can affect a person’s judgment, reaction time, motor skills, and other motor functions. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in the system can be dangerous. Collisions often occur because intoxicated drivers have compromised faculties.
The most common types of drunk driving accidents include:
- T-bone accidents. A T-bone crash occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another. A driver under the influence of alcohol can have challenges reading and understanding traffic signs. They might run a stop sign and collide with a car at an intersection.
- Rear-end collisions. A drunk driver might cause a rear-end collision because they don’t have a quick enough reaction time to brake for a stopped vehicle in front of them or a motorist who enters their lane.
- Wrong-way accidents. A wrong-way accident involves a driver who travels on a one-way road or highway in the wrong direction. Impaired drivers might fail to recognize one-way signs or observe the direction in which traffic heads.
- Head-on collisions. A head-on accident can have fatal consequences. A drunk driver can cause a head-on collision after drifting into oncoming traffic or entering the wrong lane after completing a turn.
Injuries in drunk driving accidents can range from minor to life-threatening. Some heal without long-term complications, while others are permanent and require ongoing treatment.
The most common injuries in drunk driving accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Psychological trauma
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Permanent disability
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
Drunk Driving Accident Compensation
In Washington, every resident who operates a motor vehicle must meet the state’s mandatory auto insurance law by selecting one of these options:
- Carry liability insurance with minimum limits of bodily injury and property damage coverage
- Have a liability bond of at least $60,000 filed by an authorized Washington surety bond company
- Apply for a certificate of deposit to pay for liability insurance with the Department of Licensing
If a drunk driver injures you, you can file a claim with their liability insurance carrier. Under certain circumstances, you can file a lawsuit against them.
The compensation you seek could include the following losses:
- Prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, and other medical expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Lost future earnings
- Cost of acquiring substitute domestic services
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
You might not know how to determine the value of the compensation you deserve. Although calculating expenses is simple, monetizing non-economic losses like pain and suffering is more challenging.
Various factors can contribute to the value of your case, including:
- Length of the recovery period
- Relevancy of evidence against the drunk driver
- Amount of available insurance coverage
- Total accident-related expenses
- Results of a blood or breath test
- Emotional or psychological effects of the crash
- Type and severity of the injury
- Nature and extent of the medical treatment needed to heal
- The estimated cost of necessary medical care and household assistance in the future
- Effects of the injury on work, family, and other aspects of daily life
- Whether the injury causes permanent impairment or disability
You should contact Park Chenaur and Associates LLP and let a dedicated and knowledgeable Tacoma drunk driving accident lawyer from our firm seek compensation on your behalf. We know how to maximize the value of a claim by gathering the available evidence and aggressively negotiating with insurance companies.
Fighting the Insurance Company
Taking on the insurance company after a car accident is tricky. You must know your rights while handling your claim or negotiating with the insurance adjuster. If you don’t understand the value of your claim and how much money you should seek for your losses, the adjuster might take advantage of you.
Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses, they want to save money. They might not accept liability for their policyholders. These companies will investigate to gather evidence to prove the injured party is at fault. Insurance companies will try to avoid significant settlements and do everything they can to reduce the value of a claim.
You should avoid conversations with the insurance adjuster. If they call you to discuss the accident, politely inform them that you hired an attorney and give them your lawyer’s contact information.
At Park Chenaur & Associates LLP, we know how to handle the tactics insurance companies often use to bait accident victims into accepting lowball settlement offers or saying something detrimental to the case. We will obtain all the evidence we can find to prove the other driver should be responsible for your injury and negotiate a settlement to compensate for your losses.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
You must not hesitate to take immediate action after a drunk driving accident. That means calling 911 to report what happened. You should wait at the scene for an officer to arrive and investigate. They should prepare a police report detailing their opinions and observations about what happened.
You can document the accident scene if your injury isn’t too severe. Talk to witnesses, take photos, and get the other driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information.
You likely already sought medical care before contacting Park Chenaur and Associates LLP. If you haven’t, go to the doctor now. Don’t worry if you couldn’t gather evidence at the crash scene. We can start working on your case and handle everything while you attend your doctor’s appointments.
You must continue treating your injury if the initial physician you saw recommends follow-up care. They might suggest X-rays to check for broken bones, surgery to repair internal bleeding, or physical therapy to regain the range of motion in your joints. Attend every appointment regularly until you heal or your medical providers release you from their care.
Gaps in treatment can benefit the insurance company. If you regularly skip appointments, deviate from the recommended recovery plan, or stop treatment too soon, it can indicate a minor injury that doesn’t require a high settlement. The insurer will likely offer compensation much lower than you deserve.
It can be helpful to keep a pain journal after a car crash. List the type of injuries you sustained and the symptoms you experience daily. You can also explain whether your symptoms worsen during specific activities or times of the day. Keep track of how the injury affects your life. Discuss times when you couldn’t go to work, perform routine tasks, or attend a special event.
Maintain every document related to your case. You should keep copies of prescriptions, physical therapy notes, diagnostic test results, and other records. Forward them to your Tacoma drunk driving accident lawyer, who can review everything to determine what they can use as evidence. It is okay if you still need to collect your medical records and other documentation.
Posting to social media is a popular pastime. You might use your accounts to keep in touch with family, share photos, or write about what’s happening in your life. However, a seemingly harmless post can negatively affect the outcome of your case. Insurance carriers and defense lawyers can search public social media accounts for evidence that works in their favor. They might find a picture that contradicts the severity of your injury.
Furthermore, frequent online activity might indicate a lack of attention to treatment. A defense attorney might question your priorities if you spend significant time commenting on others’ posts or staying active on your account.
You should stay away from social media. That includes asking others not to share photos or information about you on their accounts. You eliminate the risk of the opposing party finding online evidence they can use against you by avoiding your accounts until after your case ends.
Contact Park Chenaur and Associates LLP for Help in the Fight for Justice
Many motorists drive with alcohol in their systems despite laws prohibiting driving under the influence. When a drunk-driving accident occurs, the injured party can and should pursue legal action for the suffering they endure.
At Park Chenaur and Associates LLP, we believe in advocating for people harmed by others’ wrongdoings. Our trusted team works together to hold individuals and companies accountable. We always try to achieve the best possible result when clients come to us for help. For more information reach out to a Tacoma personal injury lawyer.
3517 6th Ave, Tacoma,
Phone: (253) 345-2555