Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers for Drunk Driving Accident Victims

If you been injured by a Drunk Driver Call the Delaware car accident Injury Lawyers of Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500 For a Free Initial Consultation*

Picture of E. Martin Knepper, Esq., Delaware Car Accident Injury Lawyer who sues drunk drivers for victims.

Martin Knepper

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consult an experienced Delaware car accident injury lawyer, such as the Delaware personal injury attorneys for victims of drunk drivers at Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries including “pain and suffering” from the drunk driver and/or his or her insurer. Seeking compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver is not limited to drivers and passengers of other vehicles, but extends to injured pedestrians, and even close family members of those injured under certain circumstances. Remember that even if you were injured as a passenger in a car or truck that was driven by a drunk driver who was at fault for the accident, you can still bring a lawsuit for those injuries against that driver. This is because a driver owes a legal duty of reasonable care not only to other drivers and pedestrians, but also to passengers in his or her own vehicle.


“Driving Under the Influence,” DUI or DWI Is Not Limited to Just Alcohol

It is important to understand that the phrase “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) as used in Delaware does not refer to just drinking alcohol and driving. “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) can also mean that a driver was driving a vehicle while he or she was under the influence of an illegal drug, such as marijuana or cocaine. Taking or ingesting legal over-the-counter drugs or legal prescription drugs that significantly impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle can also lead to a finding that a person was “driving under the influence.” Such a driver can be legally liable for any injuries caused in a resulting car accident if they failed to follow instructions for taking the medication, or ignored warnings in connection with taking the medication (such as the danger of operating a vehicle). In this article we use the phrase “drunk driving” to mean the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of all types of intoxicants, not just alcohol. If you have any questions please feel free to call the attorneys at Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the drunk driver and/or his or her car insurance company.


Proving Liability for a Delaware Drunk Driving Accident

Generally, people who operate cars, automobiles, sports utility vehicles, vans and pick-up trucks must exercise reasonable care while driving, and a failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. In order to be successful in a lawsuit for personal injuries suffered in an automobile accident, the injured party, known as the plaintiff, is required to prove that the defendant was negligent in some way, that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff’s personal injuries and economic damages.

In most instances in Delaware, if a person drives a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such an act will be considered negligent (drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of over .08 are considered legally under the influence of alcohol) and sometimes it will be considered reckless. In other words, negligence can be presumed simply through the fact that the person drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Delaware in order to prove that an accident was caused by drunk driving, your attorney will need to establish that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was equal to or greater than the legal limit or that the intoxication had such an effect on his or her judgment that their ability to operate a vehicle was meaningfully impaired. A person who operates a vehicle while driving drunk may be required to pay for any damages, either to a person or property, caused by his or her negligence or recklessness. If you have any questions please feel free to call the Delaware personal injury lawyers and attorneys of Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries from the drunk driver and/or his or her insurer.


Damages “Pain & Suffering”

Under the law of personal injury and negligence, after any car accident in which a defendant is found liable, he or she will be required to pay damages to those injured as a result, usually through an insurer. Such damages will ordinarily include compensation for medical treatment, past and future lost income, permanent bodily injury, emotional distress damages (also known as “pain and suffering”). In automobile accident lawsuits, punitive damages are not generally available, but they are an option in an automobile accident lawsuit involving a drunk driver who causes the accident.

Punitive damages in a personal injury suit are meant to punish malicious or reckless behavior, and to deter such conduct in the future. In some states, in a lawsuit for injuries suffered in a drunk-driving accident, a claim for punitive damages may be successful based on the fact that the driver at fault was drunk or legally intoxicated. In Delaware a claim for punitive damages against a drunk driver is considered on a case by case basis. If you have any questions please feel free to call the Delaware personal injury lawyers and attorneys of Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries from the drunk driver and/or his or her insurer.


Proving “Under the Influence” of Alcohol or Drugs in Delaware

In establishing whether or not the drunk driver was “driving under the influence” so as to meaningfully impair his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle, your lawyer will look at a number of the following sources:

  • Police Reports: If the police came to the scene of your accident, they probably prepared a written accident report, and recorded the fact that the driver causing the accident was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Sometimes the police report will indicate that the police officer cited the other driver for violating a specific Delaware traffic statute, or arrested the other driver for “driving under the influence” (DUI).
  • Witnessess: Testimony and accounts from witnesses as to the way the driver was acting (tripping, falling down, leaning on the car, combative), the way the other driver was speaking, (mumbling, slurred speech, yelling) the appearance of the other driver (flushed, blood-shot eyes) and the odor of an alcoholic beverage are very helpful in establishing whether or not the other person was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Expert Opinion: Testimony and opinion by medical or law enforcement experts as to how the other driver performed on standard field sobriety tests, or portable breath testing machines or upon the Intoxilyzer DUI breath machine back at the police station as well as the results of any blood testing.

If you have any questions please feel free to call the attorneys at Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the drunk driver and/or his or her car insurance company.


In the United States alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents kill someone every 32 minutes, and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes. Last year alone, almost one million people were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes, nationwide. In Delaware in 2006, 59 of 144 (41%) vehicular crash fatalities were alcohol-related. In 2005 in Delaware, 61 of 147 (42%) fatal vehicular collisions involved alcohol. In Delaware in 2006 there was one (1) alcohol related fatality for every 158,730,158 vehicle miles traveled.  If you have any questions please feel free to call the attorneys at Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500, to discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the drunk driver and/or his or her car insurance company.

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Speaking Engagements


by Barbara H. Stratton, Employment Lawyer
● 3/3/17 - Delaware State Bar Association Retreat, Women & the Law Section, Topic: Pregnancy discrimination and the Delaware Pregnancy Discrimination Act

● 6/10/16 - Delaware Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention, "Rapid Fire Tips- Employment Law"

● 3/23/16 - Labor & Employment Law Update, Delaware State Bar Association, "Old and New Ethical Pitfalls in Communicating with Employee Witnesses"

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Review Date: 11/23/2016
"I was in for the fight of my life, against a large company. By myself, I didn’t have chance, but having a team with Knepper and Barbara Stratton I was able to persevere."
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Review Date: 4/3/2017
"Exceeded my expectations!"
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