Vehicles can turn into deadly weapons if a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Although recent measures have brought death tolls down considerably, drink-drive accidents still account for nearly 13% of all road deaths in Britain. If you have been injured in a collision with an impaired driver, you have the right to file a claim to recover compensation for everything you have lost as a result of the crash.
Penalties for Drink Driving in Scotland
Drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit are far more likely to cause an accident than a sober driver, and they are six times more likely to die in a road accident. In 2014, Scotland reduced the legal alcohol consumption limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml of blood in an effort to reduce drink driving incidents.
Under current law, any person found guilty of drink driving—even for a first offence— may face multiple penalties, including:
- A driving ban lasting a minimum of 12 months
- Up to 6 months in prison
- An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years
- Potential loss of the driver’s vehicle
- Unlimited fines
It is important to note that there are differences between criminal cases and civil claims. Even if the driver who struck you has been arrested and charged, you will still need to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injury costs and other losses related to the accident.
How Drink Driving Affects a Car Accident Claim
Although impaired drivers are six times more likely to die in a road accident, the majority of injuries sustained in drink driving accidents are innocent parties such as passengers and sober drivers. In 2014, 340 people suffered drink driving crash injuries as passengers or drivers in other vehicles, while 70 pedestrians were injured or killed as a result of a drink driver.
A driver who is over the legal alcohol limit is far more likely to cause an accident than a sober driver. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause dulled faculties, blurred vision, slower reaction times, and an inability to make rational decisions. A driver who has gotten behind the wheel after drinking has not only shown poor judgment, but he or she is likely to be seen as negligent in a personal injury case.
If you have been injured in an accident with an impaired driver, you may be eligible to collect compensation for your:
- Medical costs. All medical costs related to the accident, including prescription fees, physiotherapy, counselling, or other costs you have had to pay out of pocket can be compensated for as part of your claim.
- Care costs. If you have not been able to perform your usual daily activities (such as bathing, dressing, cooking for yourself, or driving) you may be able to recover the expense of hiring someone to care for you.
- Travel expenses. Victims who have had to travel in order to attend doctor’s visits or other appointments necessary for their recovery may submit a claim for mileage and travel-related costs.
- Loss of earnings and benefits. In addition to actual pay loss resulting from time off work during injury recovery, injury victims can recover an amount to pay for their decreased future earning potential, reduced benefits, and other forms of lost income.
- Disability. Injuries that have caused permanent complications or limitations may qualify a victim for additional compensation. For example, a back injury that caused trauma to the spinal cord or nerve injuries (such as paraplegia and spastic quadriparesis) typically allow for higher awards.
- General damages. A general damages award is meant to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering he or she was forced to bear as a result of the accident. General damages may be awarded to victims who experienced fear of impending death, prolonged conscious pain, or mental anguish.
A road traffic accident can be a traumatic event for victims and their families. It is our goal to relieve as much of the burden as we can by sharing the risk of the case in our no-win, no-fee pledge, paying court fees out of our own pockets until we secure compensation. Call us today or fill out our enquiry form to set up your no-obligation chat with a member of our legal team.