Drunk Driving Accidents

Oregon Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Dedicated to Recovering Compensation on Your Behalf

Drunk driving accidents result in thousands of fatalities and countless more injuries every year. At The Gatti Law Firm in Oregon, our personal injury team is committed to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should not hesitate to reach out to our law office for the exceptional representation you need to maximize compensation for your injuries. We have represented tens of thousands of clients over the past 45 years with successful results.


Reach out to our law office today at (503) 543-1114 to request a free initial consultation with a member of our team to get started on your case.


Drunk Driving Accidents | The Gatti Law Firm

Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident

To prove liability in a drunk driving accident, several key elements must be established. Liability in this context typically refers to holding the drunk driver responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their impaired driving.

The following elements are generally required to prove liability in a drunk driving accident:

  1. Duty of Care: Establish that the drunk driver owed a duty of care to others on the road. This duty of care is a legal obligation to drive safely and responsibly, which is owed to all other motorists, pedestrians, and anyone else who may be affected by the driver’s actions.
  2. Breach of Duty: Show that the drunk driver breached their duty of care by operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This breach typically involves the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding the legal limit or being impaired to the point where their driving is compromised.
  3. Causation: Prove that the breach of duty (driving under the influence) was a direct cause of the accident. This often involves demonstrating that the driver’s impaired condition led to reckless or negligent behavior, such as speeding, weaving, or ignoring traffic signals, which resulted in the accident.
  4. Damages: Document the injuries, property damage, or other losses suffered by the victim(s) of the drunk driving accident. This may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property repair or replacement costs.

Show that the drunk driver’s actions constituted negligence, which means they failed to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle. Drunk driving is a clear example of negligent behavior because it is both illegal and dangerous.

Typically, law enforcement will administer a breathalyzer or blood test to measure the driver’s BAC. This evidence can serve as a key indicator of the driver’s impairment and their breach of the duty of care.

Gather evidence to support your case, which may include police reports, witness statements, photographs, video footage, medical records, and expert testimony. This evidence should link the driver’s impairment to the accident and the resulting damages.

If available, eyewitnesses who observed the driver’s erratic behavior or the accident itself can provide crucial testimony regarding the driver’s condition and actions.

Common Injuries in a Drunk Driving Accident

Drunk driving accidents can result in more serious injuries compared to those involved in accidents caused by sober drivers due to the driver’s inability to take any evasive measures in the moments before impact.

Here are some of the most common injuries:

  • Broken arms and collarbones
  • Back and neck injuries, including damage to the cervical spine
  • Traumatic brain injuries and hemorrhages
  • Sprains and strains
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Wrongful death

When injuries are debilitating, resulting in permanent damage from which a victim cannot recover, the damages involved can be exponentially greater.

Punitive Damages

In a drunk driving accident, there is also the potential for punitive damages. According to Oregon state law, if the at-fault party acted with malice or showed indifference to the health and safety of others, the injured party may seek punitive damages. If you sustained injuries in a drunk driving accident, you can get a substantially bigger settlement from the insurance company if the insured may be liable for punitive damages. Our legal team will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A CRASH WITH A DRUNK DRIVER

The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be contentious as alcohol often increases aggression. It’s crucial to know what you should do after a drunk driving crash to avoid further problems:

  1. Contact local authorities – Report the crash to local law enforcement as soon as possible. If you can get an officer on the accident scene, you can receive help exchanging the vital information necessary after a crash. Law enforcement officers can also create an accident report that may detail the other driver’s intoxication level. In doing so, they can help you build a strong case for compensation.
  2. Avoid altercations – Drunk drivers can quickly become contentious and aggressive. They may feel that you caused the accident and damaged their vehicle, so they create an altercation rather than calmly exchanging information with you. Another benefit of getting law enforcement officers on the scene is the ability to have the officer navigating these conversations and preventing an altercation. Law enforcement officers can help keep aggressions calm.
  3. Hire a lawyer – A lawyer can help you seek compensation after a crash. After a drunk driving accident, your attorney can gather significant evidence that helps you build a strong case to hold the negligent driver accountable. Before even speaking with insurance companies, hire a drunk driving accident attorney and get legal counsel on your side.

Can I Sue a Bar for a Drunk Driving Accident in Oregon?

Oregon, like many other U.S. states, has a dram shop law, which imposes liability on establishments that serve alcohol to individuals who subsequently cause injuries or damages due to their intoxication. In Oregon, the dram shop law is codified under the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Section 471.565.

Under Oregon’s dram shop law, licensed establishments that sell alcoholic beverages (such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores) can be held liable if they serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor (someone under the legal drinking age), and that person subsequently causes harm to others due to their intoxication. The law applies not only to traditional alcoholic beverages but also to other alcoholic products.

To establish liability, it is crucial to prove that the establishment served alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated at the time. Establishing visible intoxication may involve evidence such as witness testimonies, surveillance footage, and the individual’s behavior.

Additionally, Oregon has social host liability laws that make it illegal to serve alcohol to minors (individuals under the legal drinking age). A social host who provides alcohol to a minor can be held liable for any harm or damages caused by the minor’s consumption of alcohol. This includes injuries resulting from accidents, property damage, or any other consequences of intoxication.

Speak to an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Attorney About Your Case Today!

At The Gatti Law Firm in Oregon, our personal injury team is backed by a proven history of successful results. After being injured in an accident, you only have two years to file a claim, so it is essential to act quickly. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you should not hesitate to seek the assistance of our experienced law firm. You can rely on our knowledge and insight to secure the best possible results for your case. Let our team fight for you!


Reach out to our law office today at (503) 543-1114 to request a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys to get started on your case and learn more about what we can do for you.


 

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