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Fort Worth Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer

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Drunk drivers are often responsible for catastrophic accidents on the roads and highways of the city. They place everyone around them at risk of injury whenever they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the consequences of a drunk driving accident can often be fatal. However, even non-fatal injuries can also result in a permanent disability.

If you were hurt in a crash, a drunk driving accident lawyer might be able to help. You deserve an advocate to help you hold the negligent driver accountable. Our team at Patterson Law Group is ready to fight for you. Let a car accident lawyer in Fort Worth from our firm help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Drunk Driving Statistics and Texas Statutes

Last year,1,029 people were killed and 2,522 seriously injured because an impaired driver decided to get behind the wheel. In addition, over last year’s spring break, Texas had 872 DUI-related crashes, resulting in 30 fatalities. “These are disturbing numbers, especially as all of these crashes are preventable,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. 

According to The Texas Department of Transportation, you are legally intoxicated in Texas when your blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%. The first offense is a possible $2.000 fine and 180 days in jail–and the numbers go up from there—the third offense levies a potential $3,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

Call us today for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident.

Steps to take after a drunk driving accident

How Alcohol Impacts Your Ability to Drive

Forth Worth Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading causes of road accidents and fatalities worldwide. It is a dangerous activity that endangers drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other road users. 

Understanding the effects of alcohol on various faculties needed for safe driving is essential to grasp the full extent of its dangers. Here, you will find how alcohol impairs your ability to judge, react, and see clearly while driving and why it’s critical to never get behind the wheel after drinking.

Impaired Judgment and Coordination

When alcohol is consumed, one of the first things affected is judgment and coordination. Alcohol can significantly distort perception and the ability to make sound decisions. 

For instance, distances, speeds, or even a vehicle’s functionality may be misjudged. Fine motor skills, which are crucial for tasks such as steering, braking, and accelerating, deteriorate rapidly under the influence of alcohol, making it extremely dangerous to drive.

Slowed Reaction Time

Another severe effect of alcohol on the ability to drive is the slowdown in reaction time. In emergencies, every fraction of a second counts. 

However, alcohol causes the brain to process information more slowly and diminishes reflexes. This means they are less likely to respond promptly to sudden changes in road conditions, traffic signals, or unexpected obstacles, increasing the risk of accidents.

Reduced Visual Acuity

Alcohol also negatively impacts visual acuity, which is seeing clearly and focusing on objects. After consuming alcohol, blurred vision or a decrease in peripheral vision might be experienced. 

This can make it difficult to see pedestrians, other vehicles, or road signs, making driving extremely hazardous. In night-time conditions, where visibility is already compromised, the effects of alcohol are even more pronounced.

Increased Drowsiness

Consuming alcohol can induce drowsiness or even lead to passing out. Drowsiness is a dangerous state to be in while driving as it can cause loss of control of the vehicle. 

The sedative effects of alcohol lower alertness and can lull into a false sense of security, where the impending risk of falling asleep at the wheel might be underestimated.

Consuming alcohol has multiple detrimental effects on the ability to drive safely. For these reasons, it’s crucial to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol.

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Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident

The steps you take following a collision with a drunk driver are important because they can protect your personal injury case.

  • Call the police. You must call the police following an accident that involves bodily injuries, death, or significant property damage. Ask for a copy of the police report.
  • Seek out medical care. Your health should be your top priority after an accident with an impaired driver. If your injuries are severe, call 911 for emergency medical care. Even if your injuries seem relatively minor, it is crucial to be checked out by a doctor right away.
  • Take photographs. Any evidence you can collect at the crash scene could be helpful. This includes photos of the scene, your injuries, or damage to your vehicle.
  • Obtain witness information. The word of an independent witness carries a lot of weight during a personal injury case. However, witnesses can be hard to identify once they leave the scene. Therefore, it helps to obtain their contact information immediately after the accident.
  • Talk to a drunk driver lawyer. Few steps are more crucial than this—a lawyer can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve following a serious accident.

What are Common Injuries in a Drunk Driving Accident?

Drunk driver injuries can cause significant physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Some of the most common physical injuries in these cases include:

Remember, you have the right to pursue financial compensation. If your lawyer can establish that the drunk driver was at fault, your case could result in the monetary award you deserve. Reach out to a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer to learn more.

Signs a Driver Is Impaired

Forth Worth Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer There are usually clear indicators that the other motorist is intoxicated.

  • Traveling well above or below the speed limit
  • Driving on the right side of the road
  • Weaving between lanes without signaling
  • Drifting off the road
  • Ignoring traffic signals or stop signs
  • Sudden braking
  • Unexpected or sudden turns
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Avoiding collisions at the last moment

These factors could indicate a careless driver alone. However, multiple factors may mean a driver is intoxicated. 

While you can take steps to avert a collision, sometimes that’s impossible. In the aftermath, as soon as possible, contact us any time to speak with a drunk driving accident attorney to discuss your legal options. 

How Can a Lawyer Help After a Drunk Driving Accident?

Pursuing justice after a drunk driving accident can be complex. Civil lawsuits are never simple. In addition, it’s important to remember that in Texas, victims have two (2) years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. 

Having skilled representation means maximizing your chances of recovery. Their efforts typically begin with a thorough investigation of the fact patterns of the collision. 

This might include reviewing police reports and possible arrest records of the defendant. However, a thorough investigation goes beyond gathering documentation. It also includes tracking down video footage or speaking to witnesses.

You could secure a monetary settlement with their carrier if the other driver was insured. Negotiations can be tense and complicated, but your attorney will handle them on your behalf. If your case doesn’t settle, your attorney will file a lawsuit.

What Compensation Is Available in My Case?

As noted, you could be entitled to compensation following an accident with a drunken driver. It will vary depending on the extent of your injuries. In addition to medical bills, you could recover damages based on how these injuries have impacted the quality of your life.

Financial compensation falls into two different categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages pay for your out-of-pocket losses and return you to your financial position before the crash. 

Non-economic damages compensate you for more subjective losses, such as loss of enjoyment of your life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. 

Here is a list of common economic and non-economic damages:

  • Lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from working, you could be entitled to damages for your lost wages. Missing weeks or months of work causes sudden and unexpected hardship. Thankfully, replacing those lost wages is possible.
  • Medical costs. Your medical care following an accident with a drunk driver could cost thousands of dollars. However, if you pursue legal action, you could recover damages to recoup those costs. This may include surgery, hospitalization, ambulance transportation, and other forms of treatment, including rehabilitation.
  • Diminished future earning power. Even if you eventually return to work, you could be limited in what you can do. If you are living with permanent disabilities that impact your salary, you may receive compensation based on what you would’ve earned had you not been injured.
  • Property damage. In addition to your physical injuries, you could also face damage to your personal property. For example, when drunk drivers collide with your vehicle, the damage to your car or truck can be significant. A civil lawsuit could help you recover damages for repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Pain and suffering. Physical pain can also play a significant role in your personal injury case. It can be challenging to value pain and suffering, but your attorney will work hard to establish what your claim is worth to a jury. Often, this amount is impacted by the extent of your medical bills.

Contact us at the Patterson Law Group for a free consultation

You may drive defensively and cautiously, but you can often not protect yourself from drunk drivers. By aggressively pursuing a personal injury case against the intoxicated driver, we can help you recover the compensation you need to heal and rebuild your life. 

Our team at Patterson Law Group is ready to serve as your advocate. Reach out to our firm right away for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fort Worth Drunk Driving Accidents

What should I do immediately after being involved in a drunk driving accident in Fort Worth?

Immediately after being involved in a drunk driving accident in Fort Worth, ensure the safety of everyone involved by checking for injuries and calling 911 for emergency assistance. Remain at the scene and avoid making any statements that admit fault. 

Exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact details, and insurance information. Gather evidence by taking photos of the scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information as well. 

After ensuring everyone’s safety, contact a lawyer specializing in drunk driving accidents to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.

How can I prove that the other driver was intoxicated during the accident?

To prove that the other driver was intoxicated during the accident, gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. This includes noting any signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, or erratic behavior. 

Request the responding police officers to conduct a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test on the suspected drunk driver. Obtain a copy of the police report, which should document their observations and the results of any tests conducted. 

Additionally, acquiring witness statements that describe the driver’s behavior can help your case.

Are there specific laws in Fort Worth related to drunk driving accidents?

To address the specific laws related to drunk driving accidents in Fort Worth, it’s important to understand both state and local regulations. In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws are stringent and apply across all cities, including Fort Worth. 

State law defines intoxication as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Penalties for DWI can include fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and whether it is a repeat violation. 

What are the potential penalties for a driver found guilty of a DUI in Fort Worth?

The potential penalties for a driver found guilty of a DUI in Fort Worth can be severe and vary based on the circumstances of the offense. For a first-time offense, penalties may include fines up to $2,000, a jail sentence ranging from three to 180 days, and a license suspension for up to one year. 

Repeat offenders face harsher consequences, including higher fines, longer jail sentences, and extended license suspensions. Additionally, drivers may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles and complete mandatory DWI education or intervention programs. 

Certain aggravating factors, such as having a child passenger or causing an accident with serious injuries, can lead to more severe penalties. 

Can I file a lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused the accident?

Yes, you can file a lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused the accident to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. This type of lawsuit is usually filed as a personal injury claim and can cover various types of compensation, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. 

Gathering evidence supporting the driver’s intoxication and liability for the accident is vital to strengthening your case. This includes police reports, witness statements, and any test results indicating the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

What types of compensation can I seek if a drunk driver injures me?

You can seek various types of compensation if a drunk driver injures you. These compensations can be categorized into economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages include medical expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitation, and future medical care. You can also seek compensation for lost wages if the injury caused you to miss work or diminished your earning capacity. 

Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life due to the accident. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior and deter future incidents. 

What role does insurance play in drunk driving accident claims?

Insurance plays a significant role in drunk driving accident claims by providing a means for victims to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. Typically, the drunk driver’s auto insurance policy is the primary source of compensation. 

This can cover medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other associated costs. However, if the driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the full extent of the damages, victims may turn to their insurance policies for additional coverage through uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. 

Multiple insurance policies may sometimes be involved, including health insurance or umbrella policies. Navigating these insurance claims can be complex, so consulting with a legal professional specializing in drunk driving accidents is critical to ensure that all potential sources of compensation are explored and maximized.

Can bars or restaurants be held liable for serving alcohol to the drunk driver who caused the accident?

Yes, bars or restaurants can be held liable for serving alcohol to the drunk driver who caused the accident under specific circumstances. In Texas, the Dram Shop Act allows individuals to pursue legal action against establishments that served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or to a minor who subsequently caused harm due to their intoxication. 

To prove liability, you must demonstrate that the establishment continued to serve the individual alcohol even when it was apparent that they were intoxicated, and this over-serving directly contributed to the accident. 

Gathering receipts, surveillance footage, and witness testimonies can be crucial in building your case. Consulting with a lawyer experienced in Dram Shop claims is essential to navigate the legal complexities and hold the offending establishment accountable.

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