phone Call

Wisconsin Crashes Involving Alcohol or Drugs

"*" indicates required fields

FREE Case Evaluation
  • Complete this quick and easy form in a matter of minutes.
  • Your FREE Case Evaluation involves no cost and no obligation.
  • We will get back to you right away to explain your rights and answer your questions.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Those who drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are not only endangering themselves and others, they are also committing intentional misconduct. When intoxicated drivers cause motor vehicle crashes that hurt others, they can be held accountable for resulting injuries and other damages.

Coping with injuries or the loss of a loved due to an intoxicated driver can be especially hard to bear because these types of accidents are entirely preventable. The Madison personal injury lawyers at Boller & Vaughan understand the challenges faced by injury victims and their families, and we work hard to recover the financial security you need to heal and move forward.

If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a Wisconsin traffic crash with an impaired driver, please call us at 608-268-0268 to arrange a free consultation or contact us online to tell us your story now.

Can I Sue a Drunk or Impaired Driver?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a criminal offense, and impaired drivers may face misdemeanor or felony charges under Wisconsin’s operating while intoxicated (OWI) laws.

Penalties for OWI may include fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time, but they do not include compensation for injury victims. However, crash victims and the survivors of those killed by intoxicated drivers may still seek damages through a civil lawsuit.

The civil court system allows personal injury victims to pursue compensation for medical costs and other damages caused by another’s negligent or deliberately harmful actions. If a crash caused by an impaired driver results in death, surviving family members may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death claim, which is a type of civil case.

Compensation for Victims of OWI Accidents

There are two categories of monetary damages that may be awarded in civil lawsuits, including those related to OWI crashes: compensatory and punitive.

In cases relating to motor vehicle crashes, compensatory damages are often paid by the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate victims for quantifiable losses including:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

In the event of a wrongful death, compensatory damages may also include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of benefits

Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for particularly egregious behavior, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Punitive damages are awarded to plaintiffs, but they are meant as a deterrent to the defendant and others from engaging in similar behavior.

OWI Crashes in Wisconsin

Alcohol is the “most frequently consumed substance of misuse in Wisconsin,” according to the Wisconsin Epidemiological Profile on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

In recent years, more than 20,000 people annually have been arrested for OWI in Wisconsin. Alcohol is believed to play a role in approximately 40 percent of Wisconsin’s traffic fatalities each year.

The dangers of intoxicated driving in Wisconsin also extend to recreational vehicles and boats. The number of people arrested for operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or utility-task vehicle (UTV) while impaired has nearly doubled since 2010, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. About 73 percent of fatal ATV/UTV accidents involve alcohol or other drugs.

The same report notes that 241 boating under the influence (BUI) citations were issued in 2016. Since 2010, alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents have claimed the lives of nearly 50 people in Wisconsin.

Legal Help for Wisconsin OWI Crash Victims

Our attorneys have extensive experience in motor vehicle accident cases, and we’re here to guide you through the legal process while you focus on getting back to your daily life.

We understand the physical, emotional and financial tolls a motor vehicle crash can take from injury victims and their families. We also know that initial insurance company settlement offers are rarely enough for victims’ medical needs alone.

If you were hurt or a family member was killed in a crash with an intoxicated driver, please call Boller & Vaughan today at 608-268-0268 or contact us online. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you understand your options, and our attorneys don’t charge for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

More Cases We Handle

Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing Home Abuse

Truck Accidents

Truck Accidents

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Accidents

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death