Thursday, October 31, 2013

Drunk Driver Negligence: About BAC Levels and What Injured Parties Can Do

One of the most common reasons for the injuries and death of motorists in the United States is drunk driving. Road accidents in which alcohol is involved are still rampant today despite traffic safety advocates and law enforcement agencies joining together to educate motorists about the dangers of drunk driving, as well as crack down on those who are intoxicated while driving. Research shows that a person can get drunk even before he or she reaches the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels that would cause him to be charged with drunk driving. While 0.08 percent is the BAC limit for all 50 states, a driver can already be at risk of getting involved in a crash if his or her BAC level is still below the limit, at around 0.05 percent. Severe to fatal injuries, meanwhile, may most likely happen if his or her BAC level exceeds the limit, hovering at or above 0.15 percent.

Drunk driving is often regarded as a form of negligence, which is a legal term used to describe a circumstance in which a person failed to perform his or her duty of care towards another motorist or road user, resulting into the latter’s injuries and/or damages. Since every motorist or road user shares the road with one another, it is obvious for each one to look for each other, avoiding anything that could cause potential injury. With drunk driving, not only are the drunk drivers at risk of getting injured, but also innocent passenger car drivers and passengers, as well as pedestrians. In fact, victims of alcohol-related accidents in the country are often those who are not the drunk drivers.

Since this is a form of negligence, it is important for the victims of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes to claim damages from the liable parties responsible for the accidents. For them to obtain a complete and maximum compensation for their injuries and other damages they sustained because of the inconsiderate actions of the drunk drivers, they must first consider hiring a Los Angeles injury attorney who handles injury claims in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.

BAC levels and how it affects a driver’s ability to drive

Alcohol inside the system can really change the way the body functions both physically and mentally. For the part of the driver, his or her overall activity which is essential in operating the vehicle is impaired because of alcohol intake. An injury lawyer in Los Angeles said that even at 0.02 percent BAC level, the driver already has difficulty making the necessary decisions while behind the wheel. Being on this level is enough for the driver to be unable to see clearly, as well as keep track of a moving object outside of the vehicle. Doing two tasks at the same time, like shifting gears while keeping an eye on the road, can also be hard to do.

Moreover, a BAC level of 0.05 percent will lead to restlessness behind the wheel, while remaining unfocused while behind the wheel. Responding an emergency situation, as well as keeping track of moving objects on the road and operating the steering wheel, becomes even more difficult. It becomes worse when the BAC level reaches 0.08 percent, the limit imposed in all states in the U.S. Concentration and perception is completely lost, as well as the ability to process information. Detecting danger becomes slow, which could pave the way to a potential crash that could serious injure or kill not only the drunk driver, but also another motorist or road user.

Filing a personal injury claim against the drunk driver
Most of the accidents in the U.S. that involve alcohol are collisions between the drunk driver and a non-drunk driver. For the most part, the ones who are not drunk in such incidents are the ones who sustain serious to fatal injuries. Indeed, drunk driving is dangerous as this does not only affect the impaired driver, but also other road users such as motor vehicle drivers, passengers, and innocent pedestrians.

If you or your loved one was involved in a traffic mishap because of another driver’s negligence and use of alcohol while driving, then it is important that you uphold your right to obtain full compensation from that driver who is responsible for the accident. By hiring a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, the injured party can be sure that the case will result in the best outcome possible, recovering enough compensation to pay for various economic and non-economic damages that the victim suffered because of the drunk driver’s negligence.