One of the most important things to point out about alcohol-related car accidents is that alcohol does not cause car accidents. Instead, the people who make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel cause the accident, and they can be held accountable for those decisions. As far as the actual statistics are concerned, a surprising number of accidents in Arkansas are alcohol-related.
Arkansas’ drunk driving laws punish drunk drivers and protect victims. In addition, Arkansas’ court system can help the victims of drunk driving accidents get compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one suffered car accident injuries in Arkansas from a drunk driver, or if you lost a loved one to a drunk driving accident, talk to an attorney. Fayetteville, Arkansas car accident attorney Ken Kieklak may be able to take your case and get you the compensation you need.
Arkansas Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
In the United States as a whole, 10,265 people died in 2015 from alcohol-related crashes. This statistic comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where statistics from 2015 are the most recent ones available. The Center for Disease control (CDC) reports that, between 2003 and 2012, there were 119,110 deaths from drunk driving. In 2014 (the most recent year the CDC has numbers for), there were 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people between the ages of 21 and 34. Compare this to the average (across all age groups) of 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
In Arkansas, specifically, drunk driving kills more frequently than in the rest of the country. While the United States has a drunk driving death rate of 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people, Arkansas has a death rate of 4.6 (as of 2014). This is significantly worse for those aged 21-34, where the death rate is 6.3. This makes Arkansas the 13th most dangerous state for DUI-related car accidents.
This is an improvement over 2012. In that year, the national death rate was 3.3 deaths per 100,000, and the death rate for people aged 21-34 was 6.7. Arkansas’ rate was significantly higher. Arkansas’ 2012 death rate for DUIs was 5.1 deaths per 100,000 people, with a rate of 10.5 for those aged 21-35. This placed Arkansas as the 7th most deadly state (tied with Oklahoma) for drunk driving related death rates for 21-34 year-olds.
Luckily, Arkansas has policies in place to crack down on DUIs. In 2009, Arkansas’ strict ignition lock laws went into effect. These require an “ignition interlock” to be installed on the cars of every individual convicted of DUI. An ignition interlock makes it impossible to start the car without blowing a clean alcohol breath test. Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that, as of December 2016, this has stopped 50,969 instances of drunk driving in Arkansas.
Arkansas Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
If you or a loved one has been affected by a drunk driving accident, you might have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, the law may be on your side. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages (if you had to miss work), and for the physical pain and mental suffering itself.
Often, car insurance companies pay for injuries that their clients cause, even while driving drunk. Because drunk driving injuries are expensive, insurance companies may not be willing to pay the full amounts you might be entitled to. Because of this, you may need a lawyer on your side to argue for the maximum compensation available, and to fight the insurance companies on your behalf.
Taking your case to court might be the only way you can get the full compensation you are entitled to. Because insurance companies may not pay for pain and suffering, you may need to file a lawsuit. Since pain and suffering often awards the highest damages, you do not want to lose these damages. A personal injury attorney can help fight your case in court, where a jury can award you damages with no legal limits.
Taking your case to court may also entitle you to other damages from the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver. Under § 16-126-104 of the Arkansas Code, the “Dram Shop” law, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the driver was under 21 years-old or was overserved at the bar.
Fayetteville, Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer
Fayetteville personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak represents injured DUI victims. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a car crash with a drunk driver, or you lost a loved one to a DUI accident, talk to an attorney today. Call (479) 439-1843 today for a free, confidential consultation on your case.