Driving after drinking can keep a driver from following road safety laws, focusing on the road, appropriately managing their speed, or being able to quickly respond to changes in traffic conditions. Any of these behaviors could lead a driver to cause a car crash that could seriously injure or kill another person. Even one drink can impact a person, and as such, a driver is considered drunk if he or she has a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher.
Ramsey Law Group believes there are always safer alternatives to drunk driving and encourages anyone who has been drinking to get a ride from a sober driver. If someone does cause an accident if they chose to drive while drunk, they should be held liable for any personal injury they cause.
Drunk drivers are much more likely to cause injury or death than sober drivers. These accidents can cause severe and lasting injuries that may require medical attention for the victim’s lifetime. If it is proven that the driver in an accident was drunk, depending on the details of the case, the injured party has the legal right to sue for compensation for medical bills, ongoing and future treatments, lost income, and pain and suffering. If the drunk driving accident was fatal, family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver.
Police reports, including the results of field sobriety tests, as well as medical records if the driver was taken to the hospital, can be used to determine drunk driving. Eyewitness testimony and hospital reports as to the severity of the victim’s injuries will also provide evidence to build the case.
Ramsey Law Group has helped numerous victims and their families hold drunk drivers accountable and collected compensation for the accidents. We also lobby hard to make sure the driver is not allowed a license in the future if they have been caught drunk driving several times. Our Houston dram shop lawyers take pride in not only helping our clients while they focus on healing, but also in doing our part to keep our roads safer.
According to the CDC, nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the country were caused by alcohol-related accidents. With drinking and driving being so common, it is important to know your options if you are struck by a drunk driver. If the driver who hit you is cited and arrested for drunk driving after your accident, the case will likely be divided into distinct claims – civil and criminal. The criminal case will leave the government to decide whether to prosecute the driver.
While a criminal case can punish the driver, those injured or killed by the driver’s behavior are usually not compensated in criminal proceedings unless the judge orders restitution as part of the sentence. Even if restitution is ordered, the amount is typically small; therefore, you must file a civil case against the driver to get fully compensated. If you were hit and injured by a person who got a DWI, you should contact a personal injury lawyer with experience handling cases with corresponding criminal proceedings to help you with a civil case for damages.
Approximately one-third of all Americans will be involved in a crash related to alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Close to half of Texas residents (48%) report drinking one to four alcoholic beverages a week. In Texas, a person is hurt or killed in a vehicular crash involving alcohol about every 20 minutes. Furthermore, the percentage of adults who report driving after drinking too much nationally is 1.9% on average but in Texas, it is 2.1%. In the most recent year of reporting, Texas maintained its number one position for the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the United States for another year. According to NHTSA, in 2017, 1,468 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Texas. The 2017 figure was slightly higher than the previous year (1,438). Harris County has the highest number of DUI fatalities of any county in Texas.
If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, here are five important things you should do after being hurt: