Drinking and driving is against the law in Texas, but the possibility of being charged with a crime doesn’t deter all motorists. Drunk motorists may not realize that they present a threat to others, but even buzzed driving increases the likelihood of an accident. If you’re injured in a collision caused by an impaired driver, you could face a long road to recovery. You do have rights, however, and a skilled drunk driving accident attorney can help enforce them.
You might assume that filing a claim in a DUI-related crash would be straightforward, but victims still experience significant challenges when seeking compensation. You’ll need a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side, and the Texas car accident lawyers at Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers are prepared to fight for you.
Generally, impairment is behind car accidents that are caused by drunk driving. Therefore, it’s important to understand how alcohol affects the human body. According to Alcohol.org, a leading resource on alcohol addiction, the physical manifestations at different blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are:
Considering these effects on the human body, it’s easy to see how drunk driving leads to auto collisions. Even at the lowest levels of impairment, you may not be able to safely operate a car. Speeding, erratic lane changes, and weaving result from poor judgment.
Wrong-way drunk driving crashes are a serious problem that can have horrific consequences. In many such incidents, the impaired driver enters a highway through an exit ramp and ends up traveling in the opposite direction of traffic. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 300-400 people are killed every year in wrong way accidents, mainly because the crashes are head-on and at high speeds.
It’s important to note that the drunk driver might not be completely at fault for the crash. If an establishment—or Dram Shop—over serves someone, they could be liable for any damages the drunk driver causes.
*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.
Every year, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) gathers data on drunk driving collisions in the state and publishes an annual summary on its findings. The statistics for 2017 are disturbing, as are the trends over previous years.
Though the other driver’s impairment may be the root cause of a drunk driving crash, your claim as a victim is based upon the legal concept of negligence. You may be entitled to recover compensation if you can prove the four essential elements of a negligence-based case, which include:
With drunk driving claims, it would seem that a chemical test or other evidence of impairment would automatically entitle you to compensation. Unfortunately, these matters are not that clear-cut. Your initial step would be filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Insurers are concerned with their own bottom line, so they don’t have your best interests in mind. Despite overwhelming proof that the car accident was caused by drunk driving, you may get pushback. The insurance company may dispute the severity of your injuries or put some of the blame on you.
Drunk driving accident lawyers are very familiar with these tactics, so they know how to respond to denials or low-ball offers on claims.
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Your monetary damages in a claim involving drunk driving are based upon your losses, measured by how your injuries affect your life. With the assistance of a drunk driving accident attorney, you may be able to recover such compensation as:
These are your ascertainable losses, typically provable by invoices or receipts. Examples include medical bills and lost wages.
Losses in this category are more subjective, since they’re based upon your personal experiences as an injured victim. Non-economic damages may be pain, suffering, emotional distress, losses affecting your relationships with loved ones, and more.