Drunk driving is not only illegal, it also leaves victims. And the victims of drunk drivers can end up suffering from severe injuries, dealing with potentially permanent health conditions, or even losing their lives. But victims and their families have rights. If someone drives drunk and harms another person or their property in Buford, that driver and their insurance typically have to pay for all the damages and injuries they caused. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you have legal options to consider. You need to speak with a Buford drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
John Foy & Associates can lay out your legal opportunities for you and help you consider the pros and cons of bringing a legal claim against a drunk driver. Our team has seen the aftermath of hundreds of intoxicated driver cases, and they can be absolutely terrible. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to helping the victims—never the insurance companies or the at-fault driver. Let us give you a FREE consultation and get you the answers you need. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How does the fact that the driver was drunk affect my personal injury claim?
On one level, DUI accident cases are treated like any other car accident claim. You must prove the same essential facts in every personal injury case. These are:
- Duty (the other driver should have been careful)
- Violation of that duty (they were negligent or reckless)
- Causation (their negligence caused the accident)
- Damages (you suffered injuries or other losses because of that accident)
In car accidents, duty is easy to prove in court. As a rule, every driver has a legal obligation to operate their vehicle in a way that will not harm or endanger others. Cases that involve drunk drivers are no different.
The difference between a drunk driving accident and the average car accident is focused on the second fact: breach of the duty. Showing a violation of the duty usually involves proving that the other driver was not paying attention, did not follow traffic signals, or were generally not following the rules of the road. But it’s much easier to prove in a case involving a drunk driver. After all, getting behind a wheel while intoxicated is, in and an of itself, careless. And while it certainly helps to also show that the driver was also speeding or running red lights, it’s not necessary—simply driving while intoxicated is usually enough to breach the duty of care that you must prove in a personal injury case in Buford.
How do I prove that a driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident?
In most situations, if a police officer suspects that a driver is drunk in a crash, the officer will have the driver’s breath or blood tested. Even car accident victims who may be unconscious or injured will often have their blood tested for alcohol or drugs at the hospital. Police are careful to obtain this information because they want to be able to charge the driver for drunk driving if it is appropriate. That means that it is especially important to call the police after an accident involving a drunk driver—even if the driver begs you not to make the call.
Sometimes, of course, the driver does not get tested for alcohol. You may still be able to show that he or she was drunk at the time of the accident through other evidence. Think of their behavior both before and after the incident. For example, if you saw the driver swerving recklessly just before running into you, that may be evidence that the driver was intoxicated. If the driver pulled out in front of you while coming from a bar parking lot, for instance, that may indicate they were drunk. You could also point to the driver’s previous DUI charges as an indication that the driver was drunk again at the time of the crash. Stumbling and slurred speech after the accident may also go to show that the driver is drunk.
It’s easier to prove that a driver was drunk when you have a blood test or a breath test, but it’s not impossible to go forward with your case without that information.
How does having an attorney help with a drunk driving accident claim?
Your attorney will help you gather evidence and present your case in the most thorough way possible, whether that is to an insurance company or in court. It’s challenging to gather evidence to support your claim, especially when you’re trying to recover from severe injuries. If you have an experienced lawyer, he or she can do most of the work for you. At John Foy & Associates, we have our own professional investigators who can go to the crime scene, pull documents, track down witnesses and make sure you have all the evidence you need.
A lawyer can also help you negotiate with the insurance company. Insurance companies deal with these types of accidents every day—victims don’t. Unfortunately, many insurance claims adjusters will use their knowledge and experience against you in a negotiation. You may not really know just how valuable your claim is, but you can bet that the insurance company has a good idea. By having an attorney “run the numbers” and negotiate on your behalf, you can ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the claim process. You are also much more likely to get the money you deserve to compensate for your losses.
Talk to a Buford Drunk Driving Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we never work for insurance companies. We only work for victims and their families. Our mission is to fight for those who may not be able to assert their rights alone—we are your voice when you need it most. If you or a loved one was a victim of a drunk driving accident, you need to speak with an experienced lawyer. We understand what you are working through, and we want to make your life easier. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.