Children and Drunk Driving Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Personal Injury Attorney. It is a tremendous tragedy whenever a drunk driving accident results in injuries or death to a child. These can be the most heartbreaking experiences in a parent’s lifetime. Understanding the incidence of these accidents and knowing what to look for in a drunk driver on the road is crucial to ensuring the safety of yourself and your children.
The Incidence of Drunk Driving Accidents
In a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,497 people passed away in drunk driving accidents. This number accounted for 28 percent of all traffic deaths in the country. The severity of this negligent driving behavior goes well beyond the statistics surrounding injuries and fatalities. Out of the 111 million drivers who reported being under the influence while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, more than 1 million motorists were arrested for this offense that same year in question. This number represents only one percent of the self-reported drunk driving occurrences, which can be alarming to all roadway travelers.
Adolescent Fatalities in Drunk Driving Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1,233 children ages 14 and younger lost their lives due to traffic accidents in 2016. Of this number, roughly 214 adolescents passed away in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Of these deaths:
- 115 adolescents were occupants of the motor vehicle driven by a party who had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher
- 61 children were passengers of other cars
- 36 kids were nonoccupants (e.g., bicyclists, pedestrians or other nonoccupants)
Watch YouTube Video – Best MADD Anti DUI commercial ever. Caution: This video may be disturbing to some viewers. Please don’t drink and drive.
Children and Traumatic Injuries
Adolescents are particularly susceptible to suffering a traumatic injury when involved in a drunk driving accident as a bicyclist or pedestrian due to their lack of protection against a motor vehicle. These accidents also pose a higher risk of catastrophic injury for children due to their small size and developing bodies. While the younger population may have the ability to bounce back from injuries, this is not always possible in the case of a severe injury. Brain trauma can leave a child with developmental or learning disabilities, amputations or disfiguring burns can cause social complications and psychological damages, and spinal cord injuries can result in permanent paralysis for the remainder of a child’s life. It is essential for parents never to underestimate the severity of their child’s injury and always seek proper medical care for their children.
Children and Wrongful Death Claims
A drunk driving accident often proves fatal, especially when one involves a young child. When this happens, a parent can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased child to recover damages such as the expenses related to the death of a child including medical bills and costs of a funeral and burial may be recovered. Other damages may be available. It’s best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn what is available in your specific situation.
Best Personal Injury Attorney Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Personal Injury Attorney. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to any parent whose child was injured or killed in a drunk driving accident. If this situation applies to your family, I am here to provide you with compassionate, free and friendly advice. You may give me a call any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates. Members of this group are trial attorneys who have won or settled a case in excess of $1 million.
A list of some of my prior cases and summaries of their results may be viewed on my Verdicts and Settlements page.
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