Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers & Wrongful Death

Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers: Some of the most dangerous and deadly motor vehicle accidents occur when an individual drives under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI).  Although Arizona has strict laws against driving while intoxicated or impaired, DUI accidents or driving while intoxicated (DWI) accidents accounted for nearly a quarter of all traffic accident fatalities in Arizona in 2006.  Drivers can be held both criminally and civilly accountable if they are responsible for causing a DUI accident resulting in death or injuries.

Blake Law Firm has the expertise and experience to recover the maximum compensation injured clients deserve, whether from the at-fault party’s insurance company, the at-fault individual, or the client’s own insurer if applicable.

Arizona Insurance Laws

Arizona is a fault-based insurance state, meaning that the at-fault driver is responsible for reimbursing the injured person for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.  Arizona law requires drivers to have a minimum amount of motor vehicle insurance in the following amounts:

  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage.

However, some drivers are uninsured or underinsured.  When this happens, it is extremely helpful if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. At Blake Law Firm, we understand insurance laws and practices, and can effectively negotiate with your insurance company to recover the maximum coverage amounts under your policy.

Arizona Dram Shop Laws

Individuals who were injured and families who have lost loved ones due to the fault of an intoxicated driver may be able file a dram shop action against the establishment that knowingly sold alcohol to the intoxicated individual.  According to Arizona Revised Statutes 4-311, an establishment that is authorized to serve alcohol is liable for property damage and personal injuries if the establishment sold liquor to a person who was obviously intoxicated, and the consumption of alcohol was a proximate cause of death or injuries that resulted.

Arizona’s Wrongful Death Statute

Blake Law Firm understands the devastating and traumatic effects that losing a loved one can have on surviving family members.  Whether the accident involves a collision with an automobile, truck, motorcycle, or bus, Arizona law allows surviving family members to recover monetary damages in wrongful death actions.

Arizona Revised Statutes 12-611 through 12-613 enables the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, or parents to bring a wrongful death action when the death of the person is caused by “a wrongful act, neglect, or default.”  Family members may also recover the following types of damages in wrongful death actions:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of financial support of the decedent
  • Loss of future earning potential of the decedent
  • Loss of companionship

Punitive damages, which are damages intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter them from harming someone else, may also be awarded in some cases, but require that actual damages be proven.

If you were injured in a DUI accident or lost a loved one due to the wrongful or negligent acts of another, contact an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney at Blake Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.

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