Drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. It’s an unfortunate reality, but you have to prepare for any type of car accident. If you’re hit and injured by a drunk driver, you have a variety of legal options.
Knowing how to take care of a drunk driving accident immediately is the best way to minimize cost and stress. Then it’s imperative that you find the right attorney to
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
What to Do After Drunk Driving Accident
The first thing you want to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver is to determine if you or anyone else needs medical attention. Then, call 911 immediately. The police can show up, and they can create a police report that contains evidence.
If you’re able to drive your vehicle, try to get it to a safe place and wait for the police. Leaving a vehicle near traffic could cause more accidents. If the drunk driver flees the scene, try to get as much evidence as possible.
This includes photos of the car’s license plate or videos of the driver, anything that shows signs of intoxication works well too. When the officers arrive, work with them to explain what happened. They should give you a card or report with contact information. This will make it easier to receive the police report.
What Is Considered Drunk Driving in Texas?
You might be wondering if you can classify your case as a drunk driving accident. Texas Penal Code Section 49.04 states that a person will be found guilty of drunk driving if they’re intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public space. Intoxicated is defined as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol.
In order to make the legal proceedings as smooth as possible, the right type of evidence is crucial. The most important examples of evidence in a drunk driving accident include a blood alcohol test, a field sobriety test, and eye witness testimonies. If the BAC is above 0.08, that person is considered intoxicated.
Even if the person’s blood-alcohol test isn’t above 0.08, they can still be responsible if their driving was impaired. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you or the police speak to any witnesses about what they saw. The police might take a bit to arrive, and if you’re able to speak to people, it’s a good idea to get their contact information.
A field sobriety test is also an option as evidence to determine the impaired driver’s intoxication. This evidence will come in handy for your lawyer to use, and it can ensure that you receive a significant settlement.
Although the pain of drunk driving can’t be erased, you can make your life easier by getting a good drunk driving accident lawyer. The right lawyer will help you receive the settlement you deserve, so you can focus less on how much money you’re spending and focus more on healing. Since no two car accidents are the same, there is not an average amount of money you should expect to receive from a settlement.
There are a variety of factors to consider if you’re determining the ‘average’ amount you might get. Those factors include:
- The length of your recovery
- How much your current and future medical expenses cost
- The extent of your injuries
- Any emotional trauma caused by the accident
- How long you’re unable to work
During a drunk driver lawsuit, the right attorney understands these factors and will help decide what the settlement should be. The settlement won’t only cover the medical expenses. Still, it can also cover your lost wages, counseling services, and provide payments for any physical impairments that restrict the quality of life.
Additionally, Texas provides those who have been injured by a drunk driver to recover punitive damages against the driver at fault. This is to further punish the driver for their poor decisions. This can also be used as a warning to ensure that others understand the consequences of drinking and driving.
Dram Shop Liability
Not only can you have a lawsuit against the drunk driver and their insurance company, but you can also seek a legal claim against the business that sold alcohol to the driver. This includes bars, liquor stores, and restaurants. This is the dram shop liability.
A Texas business is responsible for injuries or wrongful death caused by an inebriated driver if they served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person who presents a clear danger or if they served alcohol to a minor and it caused a drunk driving accident.
The dram shop liability can be brought in addition to any legal claims against the driver. The business that sold the alcohol can be held financially responsible for any resulting physical injuries, property damage, or wrongful death caused by the drunk driver.
Hit By Drunk Driver Legal Options
Getting hit or injured by a drunk driver is devastating. The last thing you want to deal with is the confusing and complicated legal proceedings that follow after. If you’re the victim of a drunk driving accident, the first thing you want to do is address any medical injuries.
Once you called the police and gathered all the evidence possible, contact a drunk driving accident lawyer to get the help you need. You’ll receive financial compensation and ease of mind that someone with experience can handle the complex legal aspect of your case.
Looking for experienced attorneys to help you with your legal problems? Be sure to contact us to get started!