House Bill 2058 has been introduced for consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature. The bill entitled the Officer Brian Gregg Act allows paramedics to assist the police by drawing blood in a DUI case according to Rep. Frank Farry. Officer Brian Gregg was killed in 2005 when a driver he had taken to the hospital for a blood draw shot him and two other people. If passed, the bill will "authorize paramedics to use their scope of practice when the local emergency medical services agency enters into an agreement with the police department to conduct blood draws if and when a paramedic is available."
Proponents of the bill believe it will be a key piece of legislation to fight DUI in Pennsylvania. Some paramedics have been reluctant to support the bill.
DUI Accidents and Personal Injury Law
Drunk driving is illegal in Pennsylvania and all other states in the country. If a driver is convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania, (s)he faces stiff penalties including fines, license suspension, probation, and prison. If the driver causes an accident while drinking and driving, he can also face additional criminal charges. However, the driver may also face a civil lawsuit if anyone is injured in an alcohol related accident.
When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in injuries, the injured victims have the right under Pennsylvania's personal injury laws to file a claim for damages. Even if the driver is not convicted of the DUI charge, any injured victims of the DUI accident still have the same rights under our personal injury laws to receive compensation for injuries.
Compensation available in a DUI accident typically includes:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Past, present, and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Funeral, burial, and or cremation expenses, if applicable
- Permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish
- Long-term personal care and/or medical care
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
The types and amounts of compensation an injury victim may receive in a DUI accident will depend on the severity of the injuries and the facts of the case. Because the damages in a DUI accident case can be substantial, insurance companies for the drunk driver will sometimes fight injury claims.
A personal injury attorney with experience handling DUI accident cases understands how to value a DUI accident claim to maximize the amount of recovery. This is important in cases where the victim will require long-term or permanent personal and/or medical care because that care can cost millions of dollars over the life of the person.