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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.
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.
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:
In the event of a wrongful death, compensatory damages may also include:
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.
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.
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.
We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.