Drunk driving has been the focus of extensive media coverage and advocacy for several decades now. But for all the anti-drunk driving messages and public safety campaigns, there is relatively little discussion of the impact a drunk driving accident can have on a victim’s life.
The process of recovering from injuries caused by a drunk driver can be long and painful. In many cases, the victim can never fully recover, and he or she suffers permanent paralysis, disabilities, or other impairments. All of the losses a drunk driver causes are subject to compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. This includes intangible losses such as the inability to hold a child or enjoy sporting hobbies. While these losses are difficult to value, they are very real, and victims are legally entitled to be compensated for them.
The Painful Recovery Process
Injuries sustained in a DUI accident can be minor, serious, or life-ending. Regardless of the severity of the injuries, the recovery process can take a long time. Whiplash, for example, is a symptom which commonly appears after being struck in a rear-end accident. While this neck pain often relieves itself with rest, this is not always the case. Some accident victims experience neck pain for years after an auto accident. Such permanent impairments can occur with other musculoskeletal injuries as well.
Of course, a DUI accident can cause far more serious injuries. Life-threatening injuries may require immediate surgical intervention. Any surgery requires careful observation during a post-operative recovery period. Emergency surgeries can also result in complications that extend the recovery process. Sometimes, additional surgeries are required in order to manage these complications. This leads to longer recovery periods. Depending on the type of surgery that was performed, the recovery process can be physically painful.
Once a patient’s medical recovery is stabilized, he or she can begin recovering other skills. This may require the use of speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. The skills which were lost may take months to be relearned. Some may not be recovered at all. In either event, the therapeutic process is long and frustrating. For exercises in a physical therapy setting, the process can be painful as well.
A New Type of Impaired Driving Risk
With so much media attention focused on the dangers of drunk driving, it can be easy to forget that alcohol is not the only substance that can impair a driver. America’s opioid abuse crisis has also affected roadway safety across the country. Drugged driving is becoming public health crisis on par with drunk driving. The Washington Post even reports that 2015 was the first year in which drugged driving caused more traffic fatalities than drunk driving.
An auto accident attorney can help victims of DUI crashes access compensation for the many different losses they have suffered. Whether your accident occurred in Mobile, Auburn, the D.C. area, or Baltimore, you need an attorney’s experience to help ensure that your legal losses are compensated fully and fairly.