Vital to obtain assistance

Determining which lawyer is best for the claimant may take some time, but the right fit may allow a case to progress naturally and easily. All information about the accident and injury should be explained and shared with the law firm and lawyer as soon as possible.

Procuring the assistance of personal injury law firms is often a necessity when someone collides with the injured person causing him or her to suffer physical injuries. It is vital to understand what to do next after being injured in these accidents. A vehicle accident compensation lawyer may be needed to ensure damages are paid and medical bills are compensated.

Lawyer to Hire

In most cases, the injured party will hire a lawyer in the state where he or she resides. He or she may look for a lawyer who concentrates his or her practice on personal injury cases.

For damages to property and injury to the person due to DUI allegations, instead of a settlement offered through an insurance company, a lawsuit may be filed through a lawyer representing the victim of the accident. Because of complications or issues with drunken driving involvement and injuries incurred from these offenses, a personal injury lawyer may be the right person to protect a compensation claim and ensure fault issues are sorted out in the case. It is usually imperative to ensure all compensatory payouts are received for medical and surgery bills due to bodily harm from an auto collision.

Filing an Accident Claim

Once all the dust has settled and the accident has concluded, the person harmed from the incident should contact his or her insurance company and speak with an agent. In most cases, the insurance carrier of the person at fault pays for damages. However, if he or she is uninsured, a different type of claim should be filed. This is a claim of uninsured motorist coverage to obtain compensation through a different path.

When contacted, the insurance agent usually explains what to do next and how to proceed with the claim. Forms and documentation are often needed to support and build the claim to support the need for compensation from the accident. In most cases, this includes paperwork for medical bills, medication, treatment and estimates for auto damage and repair costs. For assistance with building a claim, a copy of the police report as well as all collectable evidence about the accident should be obtained. These pieces of evidence may include names and numbers of witnesses, pictures of vehicles, photos of the area and conditions and any other related information.

Continuing with the Claim

A claims adjuster is usually assigned to the case after the initial call and setup for the case. This adjuster is the main contact with the insurance carrier after the preliminary stages have been completed. The person assigned will determine the amount of costs associated with the damages and how much compensation should be received due to the DUI violation. The amount that may be claimed through the insurance policy is also established. Once all this has been completed, a settlement amount imay be presented to the victim.

More factors may be in place when an accident occurs

It is essential to understand how the actions of a DUI affect others and how those consequences may reflect back on the person at fault. When injuries occur to others, the driver that caused the collision is usually at fault and responsible for paying damages either himself or herself or through his or her insurance company if the driver acquired an insurance plan.

Driving under the influence offenses lead to many accidents and injury to the driver, passengers and others in many instances. However, these DUI violations may occur through any vehicle operated by a driver. The most common occur with cars, trucks, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. However, operating other vehicles after consuming alcohol may lead to DUI convictions and may include bicycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles and any others similar to these.

DUI in Other Vehicles

Many believe that drinking and operating a vehicle is only punishable with cars, trucks and similar vehicles. When the knowledge about how DUI affects all vehicles that may be operated by a driver is unknown, many may find themselves in legal battles. Though not all states may look at bicyclists and associate liability when the cyclist is under the influence of alcohol, some states have police officers that arrest those that are intoxicated and riding a bicycle. Just as with a car, these vehicles may cause injury to others when a collision occurs. Some states such as California conduct field sobriety tests with those suspected of intoxication and riding a bicycle. This is usually initiated due to the smell of alcohol or perceived inebriated behavior. An arrest is made when determination has concluded that the driver was intoxicated.

Boating incidents have been on the rise for many years due to insufficient knowledge. When various young persons vacation on lakes and rivers, they often bring food and alcohol to socially interact. However, they also tend to drive a boat to get around on the lake or river. When the driver’s blood alcohol content level is at or above .08 percent, law enforcement on these lakes and rivers may arrest these drivers for DUI violations.

DUI and Boating

Checkpoints are both available on land and at sea. Law enforcement may check drivers for sobriety while operating any vehicle. This may lead to DUI charges when the BAC levels are over .08 even for those driving a boat. The reason that boaters are included in these crimes as well as other types of vehicles is mostly due to the impairment alcohol may induce. This impairment may lead to accidents with other vehicles, property damage and injury. It is important to reduce or eliminate these increasing crimes in all forms no matter what type of vehicle is used.

Alcohol-Related Statistics

Every day of the year, at least 32 persons are involved in vehicular accidents that involve alcohol. These impaired drivers cause damage to vehicles, objects and roads. They usually injure others through their actions when accidents occur. Since 2008, over twenty percent of all bicycle riders at least sixteen years of age that are killed have a tested BAC level at or over .08 percent. These numbers climb as each year goes by. For all boating accidents where a fatality has occurred, alcohol is the number one factor involved. Alcohol is a factor of at least sixteen percent of all boating related accidents that include a death.

Possible to minimize the negative ramifications of a drunk driving conviction

One state that permits a plea of impaired driving is Utah. In this state, impaired driving is considered a class B misdemeanor. The maximum penalty imposed for this offense is six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Ways to Receive Reduced Charge

In states that permit a plea to a reduced charge, there are generally two ways to receive the reduced charge. The first way is if the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer negotiates a plea agreement with the prosecutor for the reduced charge. In this arrangement, the defendant agrees to plead guilty. In exchange, he or she does not face the original stiffer charges and potential penalties. Plea bargains help criminal defendants because they allow them to escape the uncertainty of a trial by jury. They assist prosecutors and the court system by allowing the prosecutor to receive a conviction and to free up time for more serious cases. This also helps prevent the docket from being flooded with cases that can be resolved out of court.
When a person pleads guilty to an offense, the court has the final word on what sentence to impose. The judge can consider the recommendation by the prosecutor but is not usually bound by it. Additionally, some plea agreements include probation or are enforced under a first offender type program in which the defendant must comply with additional terms. This may include seeing a probation officer, completing an alcohol treatment program, installing an ignition interlock device or completing other conditions imposed by the court. In these types of situations, the plea is usually conditioned on successfully fulfilling the terms imposed by the court.

Another way that a person may be able to plead to impaired driving is if the prosecutor agrees to this charge and the court finds that this plea is in the interest of justice. With this type of arrangement, the charge is not conditioned on successfully completing terms imposed by the court. Instead, the plea is entered into immediately as the reduced charge without threat that it will be upgraded later to a DUI charge.

When Prosecutors Might Agree

The prosecutor must generally agree to providing a lesser charge. The main factor used to determine whether the prosecutor may agree is if the defendant had a BAC under .14. Other factors may include whether the drunk driving offense was related to an accident that caused property damage or injury. Additionally, the prosecutor may consider any criminal history of the defendant.

Reasons to Accept a Plea

There are several advantages to accepting a plea bargain. One is that many of the negative penalties can be avoided. Defendants may be able to avoid jail time altogether. With a reduced charge, the defendant may not lose his or her driver’s license or may lose it for less time than he or she would have for the more serious offense of DUI. Some states have mandatory penalties for first time DUI offenses, and these can often be avoided with a plea of impaired driving or similar charge.

Reasons Not to Accept a Plea

Accepting a plea bargain is not always in the defendant’s best interests. For example, if the prosecution’s case against him or her is weak, a DUI lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed or get the defendant acquitted. This can help the defendant avoid all of the possible criminal penalties associated with a DUI conviction. Additionally, a criminal conviction can sometimes affect a person’s professional license, driver’s license, ability to maintain legal immigration status and ability to maintain standing in the community. It is important that a criminal defendant carefully consider the possible ramifications associated with accepting a plea agreement.

Interlock Device History

An ignition interlock device is a small mechanism that is installed on the dashboard of a vehicle operated by someone who has been convicted of a DUI. This contraption requires the operator of the vehicle to blow into it in order to have his or her breath tested for alcohol. The vehicle will not turn on if the individual blows a BAC over a specified limit or fails to blow into the contraption. Some systems are set up to sound an alarm or alert a probation officer if a high BAC reading is recorded. For devices that do not turn on the vehicle due to a high BAC, the user can expect a short lockout period for a few minutes. However, if he or she continues to provide a sample with a high BAC, the lockout period may be extended.

Emergency of the Device

The ignition interlock device debuted in the early 1970s. However, it took time before these devices came part of the arsenal of penalties that individuals convicted of DUI were subjected to. It was not until the mid-1980s that the device became common place for convicted DUI offenders.

Current Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

Since its emergence, 35 states have introduced bills to require the installation of such devices upon certain convictions. States prefer the use of such devices in order to curtail drunk driving. Many states have reported the number of re-arrests for DUI go down significantly after the installation of this device.

However, each state has individual requirements for when a DUI offender is required to install this device. In most states, this is not required upon a single conviction. The requirement to install an ignition interlock device is usually reserved for when a person has two or more convictions for DUI and the court takes notice that the individual may be a threat to the public.

However, other states only impose this requirement if the individual has been convicted of certain types of DUI offenses. For example, this may be required when the individual had a BAC of or above 0.15 percent. The device may be required when there are other aggravating factors, such as if the criminal defendant caused an accident that resulted in injury or death or if a child was in the vehicle at the time of arrest.

Tamper Resistant Characteristics

Due to attempts from convicted offenders to disable the devices, the current manufactured ignition interlock devices contain tamper-resistant characteristics. If someone attempts to tamper with the device, a violation is recorded in the device’s internal memory. Additionally, the device can tell when the vehicle has been started without the use of a breath sample, such as is the case with hot-wiring the vehicle. This information is also stored in the device’s internal memory. Currently manufactured devices also detect when fake breath samples are provided, such as by using air in a balloon. Ignition interlock devices also come equipped with a backup battery so that the data from the log and the memory stays intact even if the primary battery is disconnected.