When someone talks about a person driving under the influence (DUI) and causing an accident, most people envision a horrific scene involving mangled metal and flaming wreckage. While this is unfortunately sometimes the outcome of a person’s decision to drive drunk, there are also many other possible endings that result in injury to others. What many people may not consider is the ripple of damage and peripheral injuries that DUIs can cause to family members, friends, and the community.
Fallout of a DUI Crash
As many individuals who choose to drive drunk find out the hard way, a DUI’s effects can have far-reaching consequences to their family members and their career. Incidents of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even suicide can be related to the decision to drive drunk. Job loss and financial or emotional ruin after a DUI occurs may trigger these side effects. Further, these affect both sides of the decision if a drunk driver injures another person, as the victim’s family struggles also to put the pieces of their lives back together. While it may be easy for some to justify “the short drive home” after a few drinks, the peripheral injuries can include more than any physical results from the accident.
One of the many consequences of receiving a DUI includes difficulty in finding employment. Many employers conduct criminal background checks before making an offer of employment, and the employer may use a previous DUI to choose another candidate. Further, many drivers know that a DUI often results in the temporary suspension of a person’s driver’s license, but they do not realize that reinstatement requires proof of auto insurance, which may be more difficult to receive post-DUI. A DUI may also affect certain freedoms which are otherwise guaranteed to all U.S. citizens such as the right to obtain a passport, receive government assistance or housing, and even the restriction of the driver’s right to purchase a firearm or vote.
DUI Peripheral Injuries
Victims of a drunk driving incident are often diagnosed with non-physical peripheral injuries, such as depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of these injuries include nightmares, temper flares, difficulty concentrating, exaggerated emotions, and increased vigilance in everyday life. These emotional injuries cross the divide between drunk driver and victim, and can require extensive mental health treatment to overcome. Families who have lost loved ones due to a driver’s choice to drive drunk are also likely to undergo the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and then acceptance. Whether the family member reaches eventual acceptance may depend on whether they are able to receive adequate treatment for their injuries.
Given that the costs of serious mental illness can be extremely high, it is important that the person at fault for these injuries is responsible for their actions. Whether a victim of a drunk driver receives the care they need may depend on whom they trust to defend their rights in court. The professionals at the Thompson Law Firm, PLLC, are ready to speak to and advocate on behalf of anyone who has suffered negative implications of a drunk driver’s careless actions.
Insurance Coverage and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Anyone who is involved in a car accident knows that their physical bodily recovery is only part of the recovery equation. Insurance companies are undoubtedly involved after an accident, as insurance agents on both sides are tasked with determining how much their company must pay to their insured drivers. Assuming both the victim and the drunk driver are insured (as uninsured drivers are a separate issue), merely the fact that a driver was drunk may not mean that an injured victim will receive everything to which they are entitled without a fight.