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 Fort Worth car accident lawyer 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.
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 have an obligation to 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 scene of the crash 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 as soon after the accident as possible.
- 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:
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Severe burns
- Paralysis and spinal damage
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 Fort Worth personal injury lawyer to learn more.
Signs a driver is impaired
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
Alone, these factors could indicate a careless driver. 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. So, it’s never too soon to contact a drunk driving injury lawyer at Patterson Law Group.
There are many ways skilled representation can help maximize 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.
If the other driver was insured, you could secure a monetary settlement with their carrier. 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 on your behalf.
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 the financial position you were in 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 the wages you lost. Missing weeks or months of work cause 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 place a value on pain and suffering, but your attorney will work hard to establish to a jury what your claim is worth. 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 often, you cannot protect yourself from drunk drivers. By aggressively pursuing a personal injury case against the intoxicated driver, we can help you could 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.