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Are Drunk Driving Laws in Seattle Too Lenient?

— May 3, 2022

When you make a personal injury claim you must present medical records showing that you were injured in the accident.

Seattle, WA – A recent tragedy caused by a drunk driver in Seattle raises new questions about drunk driving laws in Washington state. Or, maybe the laws are good, but they are not enforced as they should be.

The tragedy happened on March 25 when a mother with her young newborn baby and her parents went out for a nice walk. As they were crossing an intersection, they were hit by a 50-year-old driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.22, almost three times the legal limit. The grandparents, who had just moved to the area to be near their grandson, were killed on the spot. The mother and her 12-day-old baby were hospitalized in critical condition. The police report indicated the drunk driver made no effort to stop or avoid the family.

What makes this accident particularly terrifying is that the drunk driver was a repeat offender, with at least five other DUI arrests on his record. His most recent arrest was on Christmas Day 2021 when he was caught driving with a BAC of 0.32, four times the legal limit. However, although he had prior convictions, the incident was treated as a first-time offense as his last arrest was seven years old. His license was suspended and he was ordered to install an ignition lock, which he never did. An ignition lock does not allow someone to drive if there’s alcohol on their breath. The tragedy wouldn’t have happened.

Maybe now the guy will be taken off the roads as he was charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving.

What to do if you’re in a drunk driving accident in Seattle?

If you or someone you love were recently involved in a drunk driving accident, you should contact experienced Seattle DUI accident lawyers right away. On the one hand, you’ll want someone with good legal expertise to investigate the crash and, on the other hand, you may need a lawyer to represent you in the negotiations with the insurance company.

Even if the other driver was drunk, you will still need to prove that they caused the crash. At the same time, as Washington follows the comparative negligence rule, your damages may be reduced if it is determined that you were partly to blame for what happened. 

Also, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. When you make a personal injury claim you must present medical records showing that you were injured in the accident, otherwise the insurance adjuster may argue your health issues have nothing to do with the crash.

X-ray of person with broken collarbone; image by Harlie Raethel, via
Image by Harlie Raethel, via

As Washington is an at-fault state, you will recover damages by making a claim against the responsible party’s insurance. Never trust an insurance adjuster to tell you how much your claim may be worth. Only skilled Seattle accident lawyers will tell you that. 

Economic damages which refer to your medical expenses or lost wages are easier to calculate. However, you will need a lawyer with many years of experience in this field to put a value on your non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering damages. In Washington, these damages are calculated using the multiplier method. The total amount of economic damages is multiplied by a factor between 1 and 5. If you have a good attorney they will convince the insurance adjuster (or the jury, if you go to trial) that your injuries are severe enough to justify the use of the highest factor. 

Attorneys Near Me

If you’re looking for an accident lawyer or need professional help with other legal matters, you may be wondering “Where can I find Attorneys Near Me?” Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link to go to the extensive database on Select the legal area you’re interested in, your state and your city, and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer in your area.  

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