Oklahoma's Premier Injury Law Firm
Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk Driving Accidents in Oklahoma

Fighting for the Rights of Accident Victims

Drinking and driving is a major issue, affecting individuals across the United States in irreparable ways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 traffic fatalities in the United States involves a driver with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. In 2014, nearly 10,000 people suffered fatal injuries in drunk driving accidents, accounting for about a third of all traffic-related deaths in the country. In Oklahoma, 188 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2015, an increase from the previous year. This is an entirely preventable accident that no one should have to suffer from.

Unfortunately, individuals who been injured in drunk driving accidents often suffer irreversible damages and injuries. As a result, most victims must undergo costly surgical procedures and often require medical attention for the remainder of their lives. At Martin Jean & Jackson, our Oklahoma car accident lawyers are ready to defend the rights of drunk driving accident victims. We understand that no amount of money can reverse the injuries and distresses you and your loved ones have faced, but we can work diligently to recover monetary compensation for your damages.

Contact us for a free consultation today!

The Compensation We Pursue for Accident Victims

Car accidents involving drunk drivers cost many lives and change many more in unimaginable ways. Often, these types of accidents result in the need for long-term care or at-home assistance to carry out duties that can no longer be performed alone. While there are many criminal penalties a perpetrator can face, victims of drunk drivers may also pursue compensation through a civil suit to recover damages for losses, which may include:

  • Medical treatment
  • Surgical procedures
  • Emotional damages
  • Lost wages
  • Ongoing treatment and rehabilitation

Penalties the Drunk Driver May Face

A DUI charge in Oklahoma is usually based on the BAC of an individual, which must not exceed 0.08%. Even if an individual tests under the legal limit, it is still possible he or she may face penalties if considered impaired. For drivers under 21, any measurable amount of alcohol will result in penalties. Penalties can include:

  • Imprisonment
  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Mandatory participation in an Alcohol and Drug Assessment and Evaluation.

Additional Drunk Driving Statistics in Oklahoma

Drunk driving is alarmingly common in Oklahoma. According to the State of Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 2,104 people were injured in alcohol-related collisions in 2016 (the latest year for which data is available) and another 189 people died in alcohol-related crashes. Of the 628 total fatal crashes in Oklahoma in 2016, alcohol-related accident fatalities comprised more than 27 percent.

Despite ongoing efforts to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, including harsh DUI penalties for offenders, many people continue to make the choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Sadly, this negligence can and does lead to countless injuries and deaths in Oklahoma every year.

To speak with an Oklahoma car accident attorney from our team, call Martin Jean & Jackson today. We are ready to fight for your rights today

The True Cost of Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents come with an immense cost—billions of dollars, in fact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), crash-related fatalities cost the United States approximately $44 billion in medical and work-lost expenses in 2013 alone. In Oklahoma, crash-related fatalities that same year resulted in a loss of approximately $902 million in medical and work-lost costs. This does not even take into account the cost of non-fatal accidents.

While the costs associated with traffic fatalities are indisputably high, the true cost of drunk driving accidents for individuals is, arguably, immeasurable. This is because drunk driving crashes come not only with economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages, but also with non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, trauma, and loss of companionship.

Many victims of drunk driving accidents are suddenly left facing massive medical costs; those without health insurance may struggle to shoulder these costs out of pocket. When these medical costs are compounded by an inability to return to work, victims and their families can face incredibly stressful financial challenges. All of this can greatly affect victims’ mental health and overall well-being. When a person dies due to a drunk driving accident, there are no words to convey the full, life-long costs surviving loved ones must contend with.

Drunk Driving Accident FAQ

  • How does one drink affect a driver?
    Many drunk driving accidents happen because a driver completely underestimates just how much a single alcoholic drink can affect their driving abilities. You have probably seen signs that say something along the lines of “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” and it’s true. After having just one drink, a driver will experience worsened reaction times, poor motor control, lessened visual acuity, and difficulties with concentration. All of these side effects of intoxication increase the chances of causing a crash, and, therefore, can increase the drunk driver’s liability.
  • Can you sue a bar that sold alcohol to someone who was drunk and crashed later?
    In some states, there are dram shop laws that extend the liability for a drunk driving accident to the party that intoxicated the driver who later caused a crash. Dram shop laws differ noticeably from state to state, but most disallow a bar, restaurant, or alcohol vendor from selling alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk and who is likely to drive shortly after the transaction. For example, if a convenience store clerk sees someone drive up to their store, display visible signs of intoxication, and attempt to buy alcohol, then the clerk should refuse to make that sale. If they do not and the driver crashes later, then liability could be split between the vendor and the drunk driver.
  • Can you sue a drunk driver if you were their passenger?
    It is important to explore all of your legal options after being hurt in a drunk driving accident that was not your fault, whether you were another motorist, a pedestrian, or a passenger in the drunk driver’s car. If you were riding in a drunk driver’s car when they caused a crash, then you could have the opportunity to file a claim against their auto insurance policy. However, you should expect that your case will be challenged by the insurer through the defense of “assumption of risk.” Basically, the insurer will argue that you knew it was risky to get into the car of a drunk driver but still got in their car all the same and, therefore, you are entitled to no or fewer damages.
  • Do you have to wait for a drunk driver to be convicted before suing them?
    No, you can prepare and begin your drunk driving accident claim against a drunk driver whenever you are ready. The criminal justice system and the civil court system are separate, so you can sue someone who caused a drunk driving accident if they have not been convicted or even charged for the crime yet. The evidence that the state uses to convict a drunk driver could prove useful in your claim, though. Our attorneys can advise you regarding the right time to file a claim based on the available evidence and what the state has done yet to prosecute the drunk driver.
  • Should you always call the cops when hit by a drunk driver?
    Yes, it is always the right idea to call the police after being hit by a drunk driver. It is illegal in all states to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of at least 0.08 or with any BAC level above 0.00 that causes the driver to become unsafe on the road. Only law enforcement officials can remove a drunk driver from the road, ensuring they do not cause any more harm. Also, calling the police will add legitimacy and a new source of evidence like police records to your claim later.
  • Is impaired driving treated the same as drunk driving?
    Taking certain prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and illegal narcotics causes a driver to become impaired. Although the criminal statutes against impaired driving can look quite different from intoxicated driving laws, the end result is often seen and treated the same: impaired driving is just as dangerous as intoxicated driving. If you were hit by someone who you believe was impaired by a substance, then let our attorneys know, so we can better understand what we should be looking for while investigating your claim.
  • Toxic Torts $8,200,000
  • Insurance Bad Faith $7,000,000
  • Professional Negligence $6,000,000
  • Motorcycle Accident/Wrongful Death $6,000,000
  • Wrongful Death $6,000,000
  • Professional Negligence $5,000,000
  • Professional Negligence $5,000,000
  • Product Liability $3,000,000
  • Truck Accident $3,000,000
  • Professional Negligence $3,000,000

Seek Skilled Representation to Maximize Your Compensation

If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you need an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to ensure you receive compensation to help relieve the burden of costly medical bills or lost work. At our firm, we do not believe you should not have to deal with this on your own. The attorneys at Martin Jean & Jackson have more than 100 years of combined experience, which we will put to work for your case. If we do not recover compensation, you do not pay a single dime for legal fees.

You can reach us at our Oklahoma City office at (405) 221-9699, Tulsa office at (918) 623-4119, Stillwater office at (405) 384-7887 or our Ponca City office at (580) 290-1006 to get started on your case

“Martin Jean & Jackson Law Firm has the highest integrity when dealing with clients.”

- John A.

What Makes Us Different

  • Free Consultations in English & Spanish
  • More Than Half a Billion Dollars Recovered
  • Over 15,000 Injured Clients Represented
  • Over 100 Years of Combined Experience
  • Individually Tailored Legal Services

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