Car accidents can be very stressful experiences, especially when they result in serious, potentially lifelong injuries. Cases involving drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol tend to result in serious injuries and are more likely to cause a fatality. As such, New Hampshire drunk driving cases often leave victims with significant medical expenses and other losses. While drunk drivers can face criminal charges, including incarceration and fines, they may also face liability under the civil justice system through a personal injury lawsuit filed by the accident victim.
These accidents often result in serious injuries involving brain and spinal cord trauma, paralysis, lacerations, organ damage, and psychological distress. The impact of these accidents can be long-lasting and require ongoing medical treatment. While insurance may cover part of these expenses, the coverage is often inadequate. This can leave victims and their families to experience additional trauma. For instance, recent reports described a New Hampshire drunk driving accident that took the life of a New Jersey man. A 66-year-old Maine woman was driving northbound when she hit a minivan, crossed into the median, and hit a southbound Jeep. The 27-year old Jeep driver was ejected from the car and later died from his injuries. The 66-year-old woman suffered severe injuries and is facing charges for aggravated driving while under the influence.
In cases like this, the victim’s family or estate may file a claim under New Hampshire’s negligence per se laws. Negligence per se is a doctrine where a person’s conduct is negligent because it violates a statute that the law is intended to protect again. In New Hampshire, negligence per se only applies to alcohol-related claims. In this context, it means that evidence of the at-fault party’s intoxication is enough to establish negligence. In contrast, in typical personal injury cases, victims must establish that the defendant’s conduct was not reasonable. As such, a person who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit will be negligent per se.
While the state’s negligence per se law eases some of the burdens, plaintiffs must still prove that negligence per se applies and establish the remaining elements of their claim. On the other hand, plaintiffs may still have a negligence claim even if the other party does not face drunk driving charges or a conviction.
Have You Suffered Injuries in an Accident with a Drunk Driver?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a New Hampshire car accident with a drunk driver, contact Peter Thompson & Associates for assistance. At our office, the personal injury attorneys maintain an active practice dedicated to representing victims and their families after a catastrophic accident. We handle New Hampshire accident cases involving motor vehicles, pedestrians, premises liability, defective products, and medical malpractice. Our lawyers use their extensive knowledge, experience, and resources to ensure that their clients recover the damages the law entitles them. Damages in these cases may include payments for medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment, lost wages and benefits, and pain and suffering. Contact our firm at 1-800-804-2004 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.