Helping Car Accident Victims Pursue Justice and CompensationCar accidents can be incredibly traumatic experiences, often resulting in severe injuries and lasting emotional and financial consequences. When alcohol is involved in a car accident, the situation can become even more complicated, as victims may have legal recourse against not only the driver responsible for the accident but also the establishment that served the alcohol. Claims against alcohol servers can bring you the compensation you need. However, pursuing a claim against an alcohol server or establishment after a car accident can be, especially for those who are already dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury. That’s why it’s essential to seek the help of a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience handling alcohol-related personal injury claims. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions of an intoxicated individual, it’s essential to seek the help of a skilled personal injury attorney. At The Villari Firm, we understand the difficulties and complexities involved in pursuing claims against alcohol servers and establishments. We are committed to fighting for the rights of the injured, the voiceless, and the wronged. Our attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to handle even the most challenging alcohol-related personal injury claims. If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, PA, look no further than The Villari Firm. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
Why Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney For My Alcohol-Related Car Accident?For those who have suffered an injury in Pennsylvania, it may be tempting to skip hiring a car accident attorney to represent them. However, representing yourself can jeopardize the chances of receiving compensation, and it is vital to hire an attorney who can build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the client’s rights in court if necessary. At The Villari Firm, we provide aggressive, results-oriented representation for our clients. Our attorney will work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Here are some reasons why hiring a personal injury attorney is beneficial:
- Knowledge of the Law – An experienced attorney knows the law inside and out and can apply that knowledge to your case.
- Understanding of the Legal System – The legal system can be complex and challenging to navigate. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you avoid common pitfalls.
- Investigation and Evidence Collection – An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of your case, gathering evidence to support your claim.
- Negotiation with Insurance Companies – Insurance companies will often try to settle for less than you deserve. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation.
- Courtroom Experience – If your case goes to trial, an attorney with courtroom experience can present your case effectively and persuasively.
- Objectivity – An attorney can provide an objective perspective on your case, helping you make informed decisions about how to proceed.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?A personal injury claim is a legal case that arises when someone is injured or harmed due to the negligence or intentional actions of another person or entity. The injured party, or plaintiff, may seek compensation from the responsible party, or defendant, for the damages they have suffered. Personal injury claims can arise from a variety of incidents, such as car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. Personal injury claims can be complex and require the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that the plaintiff’s rights are protected and that they receive the full compensation they deserve.
What is Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law?Pennsylvania’s dram shop law is rooted in statutes – written laws that govern how bars and taverns must behave when serving alcohol. The most important statute in this area is 47 P.S. § 4-493(1), which makes it illegal for a business or its employees to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. The law clearly states that it is unlawful to “sell, furnish or give any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to be sold, furnished or given, to any person visibly intoxicated. . . .” Despite this clear rule, the statute also imposes some limits on when a person can bring a claim against a bar or tavern. Specifically, the law allows for claims only in two situations:
- When a visibly intoxicated person is served alcohol or
- When a minor is served alcohol.
What are the Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents?Drunk driving accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe or even life-threatening. Some common injuries suffered in drunk driving accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): A TBI can result from a blow to the head or violent shaking of the brain. This type of injury can have long-term effects on cognitive function, speech, and motor skills.
- Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury can result in partial or complete paralysis, as well as loss of sensation and bowel or bladder control.
- Broken bones and fractures: Drunk driving accidents can cause broken bones and fractures, which can be painful and require surgery and rehabilitation.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries, such as damage to organs, can be difficult to detect and may require surgery to repair.
- Burns: Burns can result from fires or explosions that occur in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident.
- Emotional trauma: Victims of drunk driving accidents may suffer emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Dram Shop Case?To prove negligence in a dram shop case, the plaintiff must show four elements. These elements include:
- Duty: The defendant, such as the bar or tavern, had a duty not to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.
- Breach: The defendant breached that duty by serving alcohol to the visibly intoxicated person.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered damages, such as physical injuries, emotional distress, lost wages, or medical bills, as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Pennsylvania?In modified comparative fault states like Pennsylvania, damages are determined proportionately to the degree of fault. This means that if a plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for an accident, their damages award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 30 percent at fault for an accident and their damages award is $100,000, their award will be reduced by 30 percent, resulting in a total award of $70,000. It’s important to note that Pennsylvania’s modified comparative fault rule allows a plaintiff to recover damages as long as they are found to be less than 51 percent at fault. If a plaintiff is found to be 51 percent or more at fault, they may not recover any damages.
What Damages Can I Recover in an Alcohol-Related Car Accident?If you have been injured in an alcohol-related car accident, you may be entitled to various types of damages. These damages may include the following:
- Medical expenses: You may be able to recover the cost of medical treatment related to your injuries, including emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be able to recover the income you would have earned if you had not been injured.
- Property damage: If your car or other property was damaged in the accident, you might be able to recover the cost of repairs or the fair market value of the property if it was totaled.
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover damages for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
- Loss of consortium: If your injuries have affected your relationship with your spouse or partner, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship, affection, and other intangible benefits of your relationship.
What Should I Do After an Alcohol-Related Accident?After an alcohol-related accident, taking certain actions can help ensure that the alcohol server can be held liable for damages. Here are some steps to take:
- Seek Medical Attention: The first and most important step after an accident is to seek medical attention for yourself and any others who are injured. Call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately if necessary.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Call the police and report the accident. The police will investigate and document the details of the accident, including any evidence of drunk driving.
- Collect Information: Obtain the contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles.
- Do Not Admit Fault: Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. These statements can be used against you later on.
- Keep Records: Keep records of any medical treatment, bills, and expenses related to the accident. Also, keep track of any missed work or lost wages.
- Contact an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney, like The Villari Firm, who can guide you through the legal process of recovering damages. Your attorney can help you gather evidence, build your case, and negotiate with insurance companies.