Drunk Driver Accidents

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Our Clients

Note: Like every person, each case is unique. Prior case results should not create expectations of an outcome in any individual case.
exposure of Interstate 5 and seattle downtown skyline,Washington State,USA.

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Seattle

When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they endanger us all. Drunk drivers are impaired drivers.  This includes those who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  They can have delayed reaction times, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, which then turns the vehicles they are operating into uncontrolled deadly weapons.  We have had cases where drunk drivers including truck drivers, have run down and killed or paralyzed pedestrians, or hit oncoming vehicles usually resulting in death.  Many of our civil cases involve drunk drivers who are criminally prosecuted at the same time for vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter.  Sometimes there are other causes of an accident involving a drunk driver like an already dangerous roadway.

tunnel car motion blur night traffic fast

What Are the Types of Drunk Driving Accidents?

Drunk drivers do not discriminate in the types of vehicles they operate.  This includes trucks, cars, EVs, bikes, boats, and aircraft.

If you were hit by a drunk driver, your injuries could include:

A police car stopping a vehicle at night.

Who May Be Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents in Washington?

  • The Drunk Driver

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration above .08 is illegal in the state of Washington.  It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana if there are more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood.  Even if a driver is impaired and liable there may be other entities who are also responsible for an accident.  This could include over-service at a retail establishment, negligent hiring or supervision, or negligent highway design.

  • Retail Establishments

One of the ways in which the law tries to prevent drunk drivers from being on our roads is to hold retail establishments, restaurants, and bars liable for selling or serving alcohol to people who appear to be intoxicated. Store clerks, bartenders, and servers are prohibited by statute and administrative regulation from selling or serving alcohol to any minor and any person who is apparently under the influence. RCW 66.44.200(1) the overservice statute says “no person shall sell any liquor to any person apparently under the influence of liquor.”  Businesses that violate the law by serving drunk drivers will be civilly liable to third–party victims for damages caused by their patron. When stores, restaurants, or bars sell or serve alcohol to a person who exhibits signs of being intoxicated or to minors, they can be held liable for the damages caused when that person causes a collision as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Businesses or others who sell cannabis may also be held responsible if they sell marijuana to anyone under the age of 21 or to a person who is apparently under the influence.

Police officer giving a sobriety test to a young man who he suspects is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police cruiser is out of focus in the foreground.

I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver, What Should I Do?

Drunk drivers often do not have adequate insurance or any insurance at all.  If you are facing enormous medical bills, catastrophe, or death of a loved one it is important to obtain a legal opinion early on regarding whether anyone else like a business, is responsible.  Especially in dram shop cases, it is critical to quickly go to the establishment involved if the police have not already done so, to obtain surveillance video and interview servers and patrons who may have been witnesses.  Timing can be everything in a drunk driving case.  If the drunk driver is in jail or being criminally prosecuted, your attorneys will need to track the criminal case with the prosecutor.  If a dangerous highway is involved, investigators will need to go to the scene before it is altered. All vehicles involved should be preserved and not destroyed. Do not allow your own insurance to destroy your vehicle.  Finally and most importantly, don’t ever settle with the drunk driver without getting the approval of your attorney.  If you settle with the drunk driver for their inadequate insurance limits, you may destroy the possibility of suing other responsible entities due to RCW 4.22.070 – Washington’s joint and several statute.

Settlements Won by the Stritmatter Firm for Drunk Driving Accidents


If you’d like to get a better idea of what you’re entitled to, give our drunk driving accident lawyers a call at 206-448-1777 for a free consultation.

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Seattle Office
Phone | 206.448.1777
Hoquiam Office
Phone | 360.533.2710