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Drunk Driving Accident Results in Fractured Skulls

Four-year-old Lila Bruno and 10-year-old Christopher Ramirez were playing on a front lawn in San Jose, California, when a drunk driver drove his van into another car and caused a chain reaction that sent several cars into the children and other people standing nearby.

Both Bruno and Ramirez suffered fractured skulls; Ramirez also suffered severe cuts and abrasions over his body.

Bruno underwent brain surgery. Both Bruno and Ramirez are expected to recover.

The driver of the van was charged with felony drunk driving after police determined his blood alcohol level was 0.23, or nearly three times the legal limit. He faces up to 14 years in prison.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 11,773 people were killed in 2008 in crashes involving a driver with an illegal blood alcohol content (0.08 or more). Of that number, 216 children ages 14 and younger were killed in drunk driver crashes, with half the children riding in the car of the impaired person. Another 34 children were killed by drunk drivers while walking, playing or riding their bikes.

While the numbers are striking, they have actually decreased every year since 1980, when more than 30,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents. Increased police awareness and efforts, including sobriety checkpoints, have netted roughly 1.5 million DUI arrests each year. Despite the success, more than 1 million people are injured every year in alcohol-related crashes, and the injuries remain devastating. Fractured skulls, brain injuries and amputations are among the serious injuries that can result from alcohol-related accidents. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $50 billion.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, please consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can help you explore all of your legal rights.