Eagan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Being under the influence of alcohol can affect a person’s decision-making, personal safety, and the safety of others, especially if a drunk person chooses to drive. DUI accidents are very common in our state. In 2021, more than 24,000 DUI arrests were made in Minnesota, and 74 people died due to impaired driving. 

Eagan DUI Accident Lawyer
Minnesota DUI Arrests

These accidents can have life-altering consequences for people and their families. Financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit can help them recover. By providing individually tailored legal services for our clients, Sieben Polk’s DUI accident lawyers can help you secure the compensation you deserve. Call (651) 437-3148 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Eagan, MN DUI Accident Lawyers

If you were injured in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be legally entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain, suffering, and more. Driving while impaired (DWI) occurs if someone is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. It’s the same as driving under the influence (DUI), though “DWI” is Minnesota’s official charge.

The sooner you start your case, the better, and our car accident lawyers can help. Nationally recognized and locally rooted, Sieben Polk has been recovering compensation for injury victims in the Twin Cities for half a century. 

drunk driver accident lawyer

Millions Recovered for Minnesota Car Accident Victims

Our DWI attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for victims of car accidents in Minnesota, and we’re prepared to help you pursue the full and fair compensation you are entitled to under the law. Some of our high-value case results include: 

Determining Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident

Minnesota has numerous laws governing drunk driving, automobile accidents, and auto liability. Drivers in Minnesota are obligated to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance so there’s coverage regardless of who caused the accident. However, PIP only covers up to $20,000 for medical costs and $20,000 for non-medical costs. 

Once this coverage is exhausted, accident victims can seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. Their intoxication is evidence that they did not uphold the legal duty to take reasonable care behind the wheel. This is important for establishing liability. At Sieben Polk, our team of experienced DWI attorneys can help you establish an intoxicated driver’s liability for your injuries and hold them accountable.

Holding Minnesota Bars Responsible Under the Dram Shop Act

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to drive in Minnesota is 0.08 percent. However, a drunk driver isn’t always the only responsible party in an alcohol-related car accident. 

Liquor stores, bars, restaurants, and their employees may also be held liable under the Minnesota Dram Shop law for illegally serving someone who later causes injuries while intoxicated. Illegal service includes selling to people under 21 or who are visibly intoxicated. 

Businesses can also be held responsible for selling alcohol without a license. Additionally, “social hosts” can be held legally responsible for serving underage guests alcohol when they later cause accidents.

Lawsuits brought under the Dram Shop Act must be filed within two years from the date of the underlying accident. A number of people may be entitled to compensation under this law, including a “spouse, child, parent, guardian, employer, or other person injured.” If the accident resulted in a death, surviving family members can also seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

How Do Drunk Driving Accident Claims Work in Minnesota?

DWI accident lawsuits in Minnesota involve a great deal of preparation and negotiation, but getting compensation through a lawsuit can help alleviate the financial burden of recovery. The first step to beginning a lawsuit after a drunk driving accident is contacting a personal injury attorney to handle your claim. Your attorney will then begin gathering evidence, including the accident report, medical records, and photos of the accident or injuries.

The other party’s insurance company will likely attempt to settle your case before a lawsuit is filed. If no settlement is reached, your attorney will draft a complaint. More settlement negotiations will follow. 

Ultimately, if a fair settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial, where a jury will decide the verdict and award you damages as it sees fit. Hiring a drunk driving accident lawyer is the best way to prevent you from receiving less compensation than you deserve.

A man holding the car steering wheel and a bottle of alcohol
Physical Signs of a Drunk Driver

How Do You Prove Someone Was Under the Influence at the Time of the Crash?

To successfully sue a drunk driver, you can prove negligence by showing that they owed you a duty of care, caused the accident by breaching their duty, and thereby caused your damages. Alternatively, under the doctrine of negligence per se, their intoxication may allow you to circumvent these elements by simply proving that the at-fault driver violated a law meant to keep roads safe, such as laws against drunk driving. 

There are many ways that lawyers and victims of drunk driving crashes can determine if the at-fault driver was drunk at the time of the accident. The driver may exhibit physical signs of being drunk, such as slurred speech, red or watery eyes, trouble keeping their balance, and smelling of alcohol. Police breathalyzer and sobriety tests are also important evidence. 

If possible, gather additional evidence at the scene, such as photos and videos, or check for nearby surveillance cameras that may have caught the crash on video. Getting testimonies from witnesses about the other driver’s erratic driving behavior or symptoms of being drunk can also help your case. These driving behaviors include swerving, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, slow response times, and abrupt turns.

What to Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver

What Damages are Available for Victims of DUI Accidents?

Under Minnesota law, victims of DUI accidents can claim three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages cover monetary losses you suffered from the accident, such as medical bills for treatment and rehabilitation, wages lost from taking time off work to recover, and funeral expenses in cases involving death. Non-economic damages cover the more subjective impact of your accident, such as pain, suffering, and psychological trauma.

The goal of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault driver to prevent the behavior from reoccurring. These damages are available if the driver was under the influence of a controlled substance, had a BAC of 0.08 or higher, or refused to take a breathalyzer test while under the influence.

what damages are available for victims of DUI accidents.

Talk to a DUI Accident Lawyer at Sieben Polk P.A. Today

If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, one of our DUI car accident attorneys can help. As a Minnesota personal injury law firm with 200 years of combined legal experience, we understand the legal terrain and community of the Upper Midwest. Our client testimonials speak for themselves.

Sieben Polk’s managing partner, John P. Sieben, has spent his entire legal career representing thousands of personal injury clients in court. He has successfully obtained numerous favorable settlements, trial results, and appellate decisions. Schedule your free consultation with our skilled attorneys today by contacting us online or calling (651) 437-3148.

Drunk Driving Accident Attorney FAQs

The amount of compensation you may receive for your DUI accident case depends on several factors, including the availability of evidence, whether you contributed to the accident, the type and severity of your injuries, and whether you anticipate a full medical recovery. Speaking with one of our Minnesota attorneys can help you get a better idea of how much compensation you could recover.

Our DUI accident lawyers at Sieben Polk P.A. work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t collect payment unless we win your case. If you do recover compensation, our fee will be calculated as a pre-negotiated percentage of the compensation we recover for you.

After an accident with a drunk driver, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, either with an ambulance on the scene or at an emergency room. Then, report the accident to the police. It may show the results from their breathalyzer test, which will also be important evidence for your case. 

Exchange insurance information with the other driver, if possible, and take photos and notes at the scene. If there are witnesses, get their contact information. Then, call our drunk driving accident attorneys as soon as possible. The earlier you get started on your case, the better.

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