Drunk Driving Accident Victims – Drinking and Driving Attorney
Legal Representation for Injured Victims of Drunk Drivers
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Every year, drunk driving puts nearly 112 million people at risk because of poor decisions and dangerous habits. Choosing to drive while intoxicated can lead to extremely severe accidents that ruin the lives of drunk driving accident victims.
Drunk driving accidents can be life-altering events for innocent individuals who, through no fault of their own, are injured or killed by an impaired driver. There is no question that drunk driving offenders should be held legally accountable for their actions and the damages they cause.
Whether or not the courts find a drunk driver criminally liable, The Carlson Law Firm helps drunk driving accident victims and their families find justice and accountability through civil claims for compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, our Drunk Driving Accident Victims Attorneys can help to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. If death occurs because of a drunk driving car accident, family members may file a claim on behalf of their loved one.
Common Injuries Caused By Drinking and Driving Crashes
The consequences of being in a traffic accident with a drunk driver can be catastrophic. Many victims suffer from severe bodily injuries, broken bones, burns, disfigurement and paralysis. Victims who are severely injured in an accident go through severe pain and suffering, and their injuries often require extended hospital stays, expensive medical treatment and significant lost time from work.
Ever-increasing hospital bills and inability to work may cause significant financial strain for the victim and his or her family. In some cases, those injured in an accident with a drunk driver are unable ever to recover the quality of life that they once enjoyed.
Types of Damages For Victims of Drunk Driving
Drunk driving victims may be entitled to damages for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses (past, ongoing and future)
- Lost wages and/or future employment capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
Investigating Drunk Driving Accidents
There are a number of steps that should be taken immediately after a crash involving a drunk driver. It’s essential that an investigator is dispatched to the scene as soon as possible. Timing is of the essence in these cases so don’t hesitate to contact our firm as quickly as possible. We will:
- Take pictures of the incident scene
- Have persons involved in the collision provide recorded statements
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Examine the automobile or truck
- Establish the extent of injuries that have gotten suffered
While the insurance company usually completes these within the first week of the accident, often it is completed within the first 24 hours of the crash. Different insurance companies have different tactics. Adjusters will use any means necessary to drive down the value of your claim.
DWI and the Law
Driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI), is a federal offense. If an individual is driving impaired, they can be arrested and charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol content (BAC), is at or above the legal level of .08.
There is no amount of money or a price tag that can cover the cost of pain and suffering caused by a serious injury or losing a loved one to a drunk driver. However, every little bit helps.
Drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable, and it takes a seriously negligent driver to drive under the influence of alcohol. In the event of a drunk driving accident, our team of drunk driving attorneys is here to help victims receive the justice they deserve.
When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Texas?
- Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
- Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. In Texas, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
- Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when there is any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
A DWI Arrest Is Not Necessary
Proving that the defendant was negligent is a critical part of any personal injury case. When it can be shown that the defendant broke a law that was designed to protect people from harm, and someone suffered harm because of that violation, this is often enough to establish the defendant’s negligence. In the case of a drunk driving accident, producing evidence of the defendant’s DUI conviction can help prove negligence. However, even if the defendant is not convicted or even arrested, a personal injury attorney can still use the fact of a defendant’s drunk driving as evidence of negligence. The standards of proof required in civil and criminal courts are very different, so even if a drunk driver is not held criminally liable, that does not mean he or she cannot be held civilly responsible to pay compensation to the accident victim.
Punitive Damages in DWI Cases
In many drunk-driving car accidents, punitive damages can be sought for the dangerous conduct on the part of the defendant driver. While Texas has established specific rules for dealing with punitive damages, they can still be appropriately sought in some accidents involving the DWI accident.
It is important to note, that punitive damages are in addition to actual damages and are assessed as a civil punishment for negligent acts.
Dram Shop Law: Establishments May be Liable for Over Serving
Texas liquor laws make it illegal to sell alcohol to a person under 21, to a person who is already under the influence of alcohol, to an alcoholic, or for consumption in a vehicle. A business which violates these laws may be liable to a person who is later injured by a drunk driver. Proving so-called “dram shop liability” is often challenging, but the attorneys have The Carlson Law Firm have 40 years of experience successfully proving fault in Dram Shop cases for drunk driving accident victims.
Protecting Your Legal Rights – Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Various Carlson Law Firm locations are extremely active in their local communities in the fight to put an end to drinking and driving. Our mission is to make sure the drunk driver is not let off the hook.
When you are seriously injured in an accident, you have a lot to worry about. Aside from recovering physically, which could require a lengthy hospital stay and follow-up treatment, you may face substantial medical bills not covered by your insurance — as well as missed time at work that could put a financial strain on you and your family.
Law enforcement does not take driving under the influence of alcohol lightly. The laws concerning drunk driving are on your side, and with our assistance, you can receive a substantial amount of compensation. The legal representative you choose to fight for your case can either make or break your case.
At The Carlson Law Firm, our Texas car accident lawyers have the tools and resources to help you through this situation while pursuing a maximum settlement from a drunk driving accident. The laws concerning drunk driving can appear complicated and difficult to understand. With our assistance, you can obtain damages for a loss of income, permanent disabilities, therapy and more. We can help you through this tough situation, so call now for assistance!