Drunk driving is on the decline, but drunk drivers are still involved in one out of three car accident deaths nationwide. Over a 10-year period, 3700 people died at the hands of a drunk driver in Georgia. Drunk driving accidents in Albany destroy lives and leave victims struggling to pay medical bills.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you have rights. You can recover the cost of your treatment and other expenses. You need to speak to a good Albany drunk driving accident lawyer.
John Foy & Associates can help you. We have two decades of experience getting money for DUI accident victims. Our goal is simple: we want to win you as much money as possible, so you can pay for your treatment and keep your family finances afloat while you recover.
Our experienced lawyers will talk with you for free and help you understand your options. Call us at 229-232-8678 and get your free consultation today.
What Counts As DUI in Albany?
In the City of Albany and Dougherty County, you can be charged with DUI anytime you are driving under the influence of a substance that affects your ability to operate a vehicle safely. The substance might be alcohol, but it might also be a drug that affects your judgment or nervous system. Usually, the driver was under the influence of one of these substances:
- Prescription drugs
- Over the counter drugs that are known to cause drowsiness
- Illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and crack
Law enforcement offers use a chemical test to confirm whether a person is under the influence. Blood and breath tests can show whether a person’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08%. Officers can detect the presence of other drugs through blood or urine tests. However, some drivers are convicted of DUI even though no chemical test was ever performed.
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How Can I protect Myself If I’m Hit By a Drunk Driver in Albany?
The first and most important thing you should do is to take care of your immediate medical needs, and get help for anyone who needs emergency treatment. If your injuries are not that severe and you are able, there are a few things you can do to create a record of what happened and protect yourself legally. We recommend you take these steps:
- Call the police. Always call the police when you have been in an accident. The police will come to the scene, examine the damage, and talk to you, the other driver, and any witnesses. The officer will then prepare a report that will serve as important evidence in your case.
- Tell the officer you believe the other driver is under the influence. If you think the other driver is impaired, tell the officer. This will increase the chance that the officer will evaluate the other driver for signs of intoxication and administer field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests. The officer may arrest the other driver on a DUI charge right away.
- Make a video recording of conversations. A cell phone recording of your interactions with the other driver can be powerful evidence for a jury. A video of the other driver’s wobbly stance, slurred speech or overly aggressive behavior will speak far louder than words.
- Also record suspicious behavior. It’s common for impaired drivers to try to cover up evidence of their substance use. They may throw things away, pour out cups and cans, or use eye drops to mask bloodshot eyes. Don’t confront the driver, but do get some video of their behavior.
- Talk to witnesses. People who have stopped to help may have seen the accident or the events immediately preceding it. They may have also witnessed the other driver’s intoxicated conduct. Speak with people at the scene and get their contact information.
In addition, it’s very important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The other driver’s insurance company may offer you money, but you need to understand that the money they offer will be far less than your claim is worth. Talking to a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you will get a full financial recovery for your injuries.
How Much Money Will I Get in a DUI Accident Claim?
The amount of money you recover will depend on the circumstances of your accident and the extent of your injuries. However, under Georgia law, accident victims are entitled to 100% of the costs of their accident. This can include:
- Medical expenses
- Pay you lost due to missed work days
- Car repair costs, or the cost of replacing your car
- Large sums of money for pain, suffering, permanent disability or other severe losses
While any accident victim can recover these costs, victims of DUI accidents may be entitled to additional money known as “punitive damages.” While other damage awards are designed to compensate you for your losses, punitive damages punish the person who harmed you. In DUI cases, punitive damages send a clear message that Georgia will not tolerate drunk drivers on its roads.
Because of the possibility of punitive damages, your DUI accident claim may be worth much more than you’d expect. Many drunk driving claims are worth over $100,000.
What If I Was a Passenger in the Drunk Driver’s Car?
You have the right to recover all your costs and damages, no matter whose car you were in. The accident wasn’t your fault—it was caused by the person who chose to drive while impaired. However, local courts don’t always see it that way.
For example, if you knew the driver was drunk, a judge may try to award you less money, or may not let you recover punitive damages. For this reason, it especially important for a drunk driver’s passengers to get legal help as soon as possible after the accident.
Talk to an Albany Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
In our 20 plus years of representing accident victims, we’ve helped hundreds of people get the recovery they deserve after being hit by a drunk driver. At John Foy & Associates, our experienced lawyers would like to help you too. We offer a free consultation, and we’ll never charge you anything unless we are able to win money for you.
Call us at 229-232-8678 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.