If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Chad Stavley is a Portland personal injury attorney with over 18 years of experience holding drunk drivers accountable for their actions.
Chad is a former prosecutor who prosecuted hundreds of DUII cases in criminal court. For the last fifteen years, he has represented victims of drunk driving in civil lawsuits and has a record of holding drunk drivers and the bars who overserve them responsible.
We want to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation. 503-546-8812.
Drunk Driving Accidents - What You Need To Know
You may have many questions after being involved in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are common. If you go to any courthouse in the state, you will see their docket is packed with cases involving drunk drivers. It's important that you know what to expect as the victim of a drunk driver.
The Criminal Case
After a car accident involving a drunk driver, there is often a criminal case. The case usually begins when a police officer makes observations that lead him or her to believe they are dealing with an impaired driver. The officer will perform an investigation that may include questioning, field sobriety tests, and tests of breath or blood to determine a blood alcohol content (BAC).
If the officer determines the driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the drunk driver will likely face criminal charges. The specific charges can differ based on the facts but will include Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII). When there is a drunk driving accident, the drunk driver will likely additionally be charged with Criminal Mischief for the property damage and Assault when there are injuries. Depending on the severity of the injuries and the drunk driver's criminal history, the charges may be misdemeanors or felonies.
As a drunk driving victim, you should be notified by the district attorney's office of the charges against the drunk driver, listed as a witness to the crime, given the opportunity to be heard in matters related to sentencing, and asked for restitution information.
It is important that you understand that the criminal system is focused on punishing criminal offenders. A criminal conviction can result in jail time, probation, drug and alcohol treatment, and fines. Criminal courts have little to do with making sure you get financial compensation for your losses. The prosecutor or a staff person called a "victim's advocate" may ask you for your out-of-pocket expenses related to the drunk driving accident. The prosecutor can then ask the court to order that amount of money as "restitution."
Restitution does not include pain and suffering. Also, while criminal courts often order restitution, those judgments are rarely paid. You will need to get a personal injury attorney if you want the driver to be held liable for all of the financial damages you suffered.
The Civil Case
As the injured party, you are not limited to the minimal amount of restitution ordered in criminal court. You can and should hire an experienced attorney and bring a civil claim. Civil court is where matters involving money are addressed. In a civil suit, you are asking the court to hold the drunk driver financially responsible for all of your losses, including for your pain and suffering.
Monetary damages available in a civil lawsuit can include pain and suffering (non-economic damages), medical expenses, future medical expenses, wage losses, future wage losses, property damages, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages.
The civil case is where an experienced drunk driving accident attorney can recover significant financial compensation for you.
The Drunk Driver's Insurance Policy Limits
Like any personal injury case, it is important to determine whether the claim is collectible. A good personal injury lawyer will contact the drunk driver's insurance company and determine their policy limits. If the insurance company will not disclose its limits, a lawsuit may be required to learn that information.
The drunk driving accident attorney will also explore every other possible insurance company to see about potential coverage. When there is limited insurance coverage, the lawyer will also investigate the drunk driver to see if they have the ability to pay a judgment beyond the limits of their insurance policy. Other avenues of recovery that need to be investigated, include establishments that sell alcohol to people that are visibly intoxicated.
Holding The Bar or Tavern Liable
When "social hosts" such as bars, taverns, and restaurants serve alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated they can be held liable for the damages suffered in car accident cases. This type of personal injury case is often called a dram shop case.
This is important because, in serious injury and wrongful death cases, the drunk driver may not be able to cover all of the financial ruin they caused.
Our legal team will determine where the drunk driver was served alcohol then collect evidence and interview witnesses to determine if there is a viable dram shop case.
An Experienced Trial Lawyer For Your Drunk Driving Accident
Drunk driving accidents can be more complicated than a typical car accident case. You will want to get a drunk driving accident lawyer who understands how to prove cases involving driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). As a former Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney (prosecutor), Chad Stavley has handled hundreds of DUII cases including ones with car accidents.
He understands how to prove a drunk driving accident case because he has done it in court many times. He has proven cases involving alcohol impairment with and without breath or blood tests. He has also proven cases involving drug intoxication. He has done it with the higher criminal burden of proof, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, unlike the civil standard which is just more likely than not.
If you have a drunk driving claim, call Portland drunk driving accident lawyer Chad Stavley as soon as possible. Don't put your case in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer. You need an experienced attorney who knows how to maximize your financial recovery.
The first thing you will get from drunk driving accident lawyer Chad Stavley is a free consultation. Your consultation is free even if you want to discuss your options and don't think you want to hire a lawyer. We want to make sure you understand all your options and make a wise decision for you and your family. You can set up your free case evaluation by calling 503-546-8812, emailing email@example.com, or using the contact form on this webpage.
Former Criminal Prosecutor
If the criminal case is ongoing, Chad will be able to talk to you about the criminal courts and what you can expect to happen there. Before becoming a Portland car accident lawyer Chad was a prosecutor in Multnomah County.
Many personal injury lawyers advertise that they accept drunk driving accident cases. Portland drunk driving accident lawyer Chad Stavley has a history of getting results. You can review our results page for evidence of our ability to get results for our clients. Chad has recovered millions for deserving clients.
5 Star Reviews
We are proud of our online reviews. You can read our reviews and see what our former clients say about us. Our law firm is dedicated to helping victims seek compensation from the at-fault driver and bars that overserve them.
You Don't Owe Us Anything Until They Pay Us Everything
The Law Office of Chad Stavley operates on a contingency fee basis. This is true in all of our personal injury cases including the representation of victims of drunk drivers. We also front all the costs required to bring your legal claim. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, call to speak with an experienced attorney about your options.
Mr. Stavley represented a cyclist who was hit by a drunk driver. Mr. Stavley learned that the drunk driver had been drinking while visibly intoxicated at a local bar. Mr. Stavley recovered policy limits against the drunk driver and additional amounts from the bar.
Mr. Stavley represented a passenger in a drunk driver’s car. Mr. Stavley recovered policy limits against the drunk driver and additional money from the local bar where the driver was being served while visibly intoxicated.
Mr. Stavley represented an elderly Portland woman who was rear-ended by an uninsured drunk driver. Mr. Stavley recovered $100,000 in Underinsured Motorist (UIM) benefits and an additional $10,000 from the drunk driver as part of criminal restitution.
Will you take a wrongful death claim where the at-fault driver was driving drunk?
What damages are available in a wrongful death case involving a drunk driver?
Wrongful death cases are brought by the estate of the person who died. The estate can recover damages for pre-death pain and suffering, lost accumulation of wealth for the estate, medical expenses, burial/memorial expenses, and money to justly compensate the decedent's spouse, children, parents, stepparents, and stepchildren for their lost companionship and services. Oregon law also allows for punitive damages are also available in wrongful death claims related to DUI drivers.
Your office is in Portland and I am not located close to you. Should I contact you or a lawyer for drunk driving victims near me?
We take cases throughout Oregon and Washington and will meet you wherever is convenient for you.
If the person who was driving drunk has prior convictions for DUII does that increase the damages?
Their prior convictions can definitely be a factor in determining punitive damages.
If we don't have a favorable outcome, will I owe you anything?
Reviews from Clients
Chad took my case after I was in a severe car accident in which an impaired driver with no insurance was at fault. After a year of Chad working on my case, he was able to not only significantly reduce my medical bills, but as a result, was able to get some settlement money for me. He was always great about staying in contact and I never felt rushed. Chad took the time to explain the case clearly and was even complimented by the D.A. office handling the criminal side of the accident. After everything was settled, he waived his fees, leaving me with a bit more money than I had originally thought.
- Kyle Turner
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