Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered a criminal offence in Canada. This is because it poses an enormous risk to not only the driver’s safety but also the safety of others around them, be that of other drivers, passengers in the car, or pedestrians. This careless act causes an estimated 63,000 injuries per year in accidents and more than a thousand deaths. A DUI is referred to as an impaired charge in this country and carries significant legal consequences, including hefty fines and various sentences for imprisonment. It also drastically changes the lives of those involved in the event of an accident. At Bergeron Clifford, we are here to support you and your family if you are left to deal with the aftermath of an accident involving an impaired driver.
Understanding the Legal Ramifications of Driving Impaired
If a driver is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, the charges will vary depending on the amount and type of substance in their system and if this is a repeat offence. For a first conviction, you’ll be required to pay a minimum fine of $1,000 and face up to 10 years in prison. A second conviction carries similar fines as the first but also includes a minimum 30-day jail sentence. Upon a third or subsequent offence, a driver will face at least 120 days in prison, increased fines, and the likelihood of an extended sentence. For a comprehensive look at the penalties associated with impaired driving, consult the federal government’s website.
In addition to significant legal consequences, impaired drivers must also deal with the repercussions of the impact that their actions have caused. This negligent decision can permanently alter the lives of people beyond the driver. They may face an uphill battle with ongoing medical concerns, residual trauma and an inability to get behind the wheel again, or suffer the loss of a loved one. While the driver will have to face the legal consequence of what they have done in court, their sentencing may feel temporary to the families whose lives are forever changed by the damage they have caused.
Recovering from an Accident Involving an Impaired Driver
If you are involved in an accident with an impaired driver, the recovery process will likely be difficult. Factors such as where the vehicle was hit, speed, and where you were sitting in the car will all impact the severity of your bodily trauma.
Common car accident injuries can start in the spinal cord, causing constant discomfort and taking months, potentially even years, to heal. There is also a chance of paralysis, which can be a difficult diagnosis to hear and fully understand. If the impact caused you any kind of brain trauma, headaches are not uncommon, and you may be unable to focus on tasks for an extended period of time. Symptoms may further affect you and cause psychological issues, creating anxiety around the idea of getting into a car again. In some cases, broken bones due to these kinds of accidents can be increasingly challenging to repair and recover from. In addition, your soft tissues may be significantly damaged around wounds or lacerations, extending your healing time and requiring constant support and care.
All of these injuries can result in mounting medical bills that you may struggle to pay for if you cannot return to work. However, compensation is possible if you have been in an impaired car collision that left you with life-altering injuries. A DUI accident lawyer can help.
Working with an Experienced DUI Accident Lawyer
After being the victim of this kind of incident, your primary focus should be on healing and restoring your well-being. While challenging to do given the unique circumstances, adding stress by dealing with insurance companies is the last thing that you should be worried about. At Bergeron Clifford, we have a proven track record for dealing with cases like this.
Our team will take the time to sit down with you, whether in our offices or wherever is most convenient, and hear your story. After gathering all the details, we can begin to build a case that will highlight the difficulties you have faced and ones that will continue to be a challenge. Ultimately, we are seeking to get you fair compensation to ensure you can continue to live life as close to the way you once did.
If you are unsure whether you would like to file a lawsuit and are simply considering getting a DUI accident lawyer, we are happy to have a discussion with you so that you can better understand your options. We want you to feel supported in your decision and believe that we can help make things easier for you. Please contact us to learn more about our areas of practice or to set up an appointment.
Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP
Contact us if you have suffered a motor vehicle injury in Eastern Ontario. Call us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet you in Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or wherever is most convenient for you.
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