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.
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Dangers of Driving Drunk in Texas
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.
What happens if the person who hit me got a DWI?
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.
How common are drunk driving deaths in Texas?
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.
What should people do after being injured in drunk driving accidents?
If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, here are five important things you should do after being hurt:
Call the police: By contacting the police, you protect your rights by ensuring there will be official documentation of the accident. Be sure to let the police know that you think the driver is drunk. A police report and supporting documentation are crucial when making an insurance claim or filing a civil lawsuit for damages against the drunk driver.
Get contact information: If you can move your car to a safe place out of the roadway and you are physically able to, you should exchange contact information with the other driver or drivers involved and any witnesses.
Get medical treatment: Even if you did not experience a medical emergency, it’s still essential to see a doctor as soon as possible after a drunk driving accident. Doctors can diagnose medical conditions and/or injuries that may not have yet caused signs or symptoms. Additionally, a documented doctor’s visit is helpful in establishing your legal claim for damages.
Notify insurance company: Many car insurance policies require policyholders to timely notify them of an auto accident. So even if you weren’t at fault, you should contact your own insurance provider to notify them of the crash.
Hire an experienced lawyer: Drunk driving injury cases take time to investigate and prepare. For this reason, you must leave yourself enough time to file a lawsuit if necessary. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.