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Drunk Driving Accidents

Car Crash Attorneys Helping Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Detroit Residents

Despite significant drunk driving campaigns spanning decades, many people in Michigan still choose to drink and drive. In fact, over 26,000 people were arrested for Michigan DUIs in 2022 alone. Drunk and drugged drivers are much more likely to cause an accident, which often results in serious injury or death to innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

After a crash that causes you serious impairment, permanent disfigurement, or a loved one’s death, you should consult an experienced car accident attorney. At Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City drunk driving accident lawyers regularly secure more than $3 million in personal injury cases on behalf of our clients. We take a comprehensive approach to every case we handle, doing everything possible to maximize both your chances of success as well as your damages.

Establishing Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident

Michigan is a no-fault insurance state, in which you must suffer a “threshold injury” to go beyond your own no-fault PIP benefits and sue an at-fault driver for noneconomic damages. The no-fault PIP benefits will compensate an insured for economic losses if the insured does not have a threshold injury. Threshold injuries are those that cause death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of bodily function. These definitions are regularly interpreted and reinterpreted by courts, and, as a result, the meaning is subject to change.

If you have a threshold injury, you likely can sue a drunk driver for negligence in order to recover noneconomic damages, which typically include pain and suffering. You might also be able to make a claim for excess economic loss damages, which include compensation for lost income extending beyond the three-year window during which PIP benefits are provided.

Proving a DUI Accident Lawsuit

When bringing a DUI accident lawsuit, you will have to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the drunk driver owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, that the defendant’s breach resulted in your injuries, and that you sustained actual damages.

Drunk driving is illegal, and so it is likely that you will be able to establish a breach of duty by using evidence such as a police report, eyewitness testimony, or bar receipts.

Keep in mind that a different, higher standard of proof is used in criminal cases, so even if a drunk driver is acquitted or charges are dismissed in criminal court, it does not mean that you cannot recover damages in civil court.

In addition to noneconomic damages, you may also be able to recover punitive damages for injuries related to a drunk driving accident. Punitive damages are intended to deter future similar misconduct and punish an at-fault party.

Can a Restaurant or Bar Be Held Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident?

Sometimes, victims of drunk driving accidents in Michigan may pursue damages from the business that sold alcohol to the drunk driver in a lawsuit under the Dram Shop Act. Retail liquor establishments, such as bars and restaurants, are not permitted to give alcohol to someone who appears visibly impaired. If the sale of alcohol is a legal cause of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to recover damages from the retailer. Note, however, that there is a shorter statute of limitations and notice requirement under the Dram Shop Act.

Has Your Life Been Altered by a Drunk Driver?

Drunk driving accidents can be devastating and often result in catastrophic injuries—and even fatalities. A victim’s only recourse may be a personal injury lawsuit. If you need to sue for damages, the Traverse City drunk driving accident attorneys at Neumann Law Group can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. We represent victims in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Traverse City personal injury lawyers at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless and until we can connect you with the compensation you deserve.

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- Joyce L.

I was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident and was able to obtain a large settlement that will take care of me for the rest of my life. I also referred my friend to Neumann Law Group regarding a medical malpractice matter. She has also been overly satisfied with this firm. I highly...

- Kevin R.

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