Surviving a DWI Wreck – Physically, Psychologically and Emotionally
By Neil Kalra
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes: that’s one death every 50 minutes. Though these DWI fatalities have fallen by a third since 1990, drunk-driving crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives annually and seriously injure tens of thousands more.
A recent survey report by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) for the insurance industry shows that drunk driving costs the United States more than $132 billion each year. So even if you don’t drink and drive, these costs still affect you.
- Higher insurance rates
– While directly passed on to the offender, much of the costs are often indirectly passed on to the general consumer through higher premiums.
- Higher taxes
– Even a first-time offender becomes a burden on society because it costs money to catch, arrest, book, jail, prosecute, incarcerate, and administer all these legal steps against the offender. That’s your tax money.
- Medical and property costs
– EMS at crash scenes, damage repair to guardrails, and road signs after a DUI injury wreck are just a few more municipal necessities which are funded by YOUR tax dollars.
The Human Cost Doesn’t Stop with Dollars and Cents.
Lives are forever altered in the aftermath of an accident caused by a drunk driver. When police officers arrest for DUI (or drugs), the suspect likely faces harsh consequences: from hefty fines to higher insurance rates, to even jail time if convicted.
But even more to the guilty, and the financial cost aside, a violent drunk driving crash can produce overwhelming physical, psychological, and emotional trauma: a hefty burden indeed.
Alcohol-related Drunk Driving Accidents – the Physical Residue
Any survivor of a drunk driving crash with few if any injuries are very lucky. And yet, many car crash survivors aren’t nearly so fortunate and need expensive medical care. Some recover and continue their fruitful lives. Others will never be the same.
The most heartbreaking car wreck injuries involve the head and brain. Survivors with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be rendered unable to see, speak, talk, walk, or even eat on their own – some for the rest of their lives.
Aside from head and neck trauma; the chest, spine, legs, and knees are also quite vulnerable in a car crash. It can take years for victims to recover from serious bodily injuries. And many are never the same as before the wreck. Thousands of DUI victims long suffer from chronic pain for the rest of their lives.
Drunk Driving Crashes – the Psychological Cost
A drunk driving crash is traumatizing: especially when it’s so violent someone dies or is seriously hurt. Many survivors can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Generally, millions of Americans suffer from PTSD which typically manifests its symptoms in one or a combination of the following: irritability, sleep disorders, jumpiness, inability to concentrate or focus; emotional numbness, and nightmares.
Certain activities like riding or driving a car can also trigger “flashbacks.” This Deja-vu causes PTSD sufferers to relive the traumatic experience all over again. Anything that may remind them of that fateful day like news reports about a car crash or seeing fellow survivors can set off flashbacks. And there are even deeper anxieties in some PTSD sufferers that warrant intense professional counseling.
The Emotional Leftovers
When drunk drivers who cause a deadly car crash survive it, many feel increasing guilt over the deaths and injuries they caused, and it can hang around for a long time. Some even feel so overwhelmed by this guilt that suicide is contemplated.
Other survivors of a drunk driving wreck may feel guilty they DID survive; especially if friends or family died. “Why did I survive and my child didn’t?” Anger is another affliction to survivors of a drunk driving crash; especially against the reckless driver who caused it.
Indeed, the toll drunk driving accidents take on ALL of us is very high. Survivors need all the support and help they can get to overcome their nightmare. And though it takes time and hard work, with the help of professionals, survivors of drunk driving crashes can resume their normal lives.
Whether you were, or a family member was, injured due by a distracted driver – private citizen or behind the wheel of a commercial delivery vehicle; you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve.
The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting all accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced distracted driving accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. If you have any questions about your distracted driving accident, call our New York City and Queens accident lawyers today at (718) 897-2211. www.unionlawyer.com