Drunk drivers not only put themselves in harm’s way when they get behind the wheel in Calhoun, GA, but they also can be extremely dangerous to other people. Accidents are commonly caused by drunk drivers because alcohol and other drugs significantly impair the vital functions that you need to safely operate a vehicle, like good judgment, hand-eye coordination, and focus. Drunk drivers have slower reaction time and often take unnecessary risks. If you or a loved one has been affected by a drunk driver, a drunk driving accident lawyer in Calhoun may be able to help you put your life back together.
At John Foy & Associates, we know what you and your family are going through after a drunk driving crash because we have, unfortunately, seen similar accidents many times over the past 20 years that we have been helping car accident victims. Our team never works for insurance companies or drunk drivers. We pride ourselves on helping victims get back on their feet after these sometimes-devastating accidents. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What Is Considered Drunk Driving? Does the Driver Have to Be “Drunk” to Be Liable for My Injuries?
In Georgia, the legal limit is 0.08%. That means that your blood alcohol concentration cannot be at or above that limit. If it is, a driver is considered legally intoxicated, and they may be arrested for a DUI/OWI. The maximums are lower if the driver is under the age of 21.
But, the legal limit of 0.08% actually doesn’t have much effect on your car accident case in civil court. Any amount of alcohol in your system can reduce your focus and coordination enough to cause an accident. The “test” for legal responsibility in a car accident case is whether the other driver acted reasonably under the circumstances. In almost every case, it’s never reasonable to drive drunk. In addition, it also may not be reasonable to drive with any alcohol in your system if it renders you “impaired,” and unable to properly control your car.
While a drunk driving conviction for the other driver will likely help your personal injury case, it isn’t required. If the driver is impaired for any reason, that could lead to legal responsibility for your damages and injuries.
What Should I Do If I Was Injured By A Drunk Driver?
Drunk driving accidents should be investigated much like any other “normal” car accident. But, there are a few things that are unique about these crashes as well.
1. Call 911.
Because driving drunk is a crime, it’s especially important that you call the police after the accident. Dialing 911 in Calhoun and calling officers to the scene will not only result in an investigation into the cause of the crash, but it will also ensure that you (and anyone else who was injured) get medical help if you need it.
2. Report your suspicious about a drunk driver.
Be sure to tell the officers that visit with you that you think the other driver was drunk. Tell them why you believe that as well. Some of the most common indicators of a drunk driver include:
- Driving erratically
- Slowing down and speeding up frequently
- Delayed stopping times
- Drifting or floating across the middle line or off the side of the road
- Inconsistent following distances
Those who are drunk may also have red eyes, slurred speech, and balance problems after they get out of the vehicle as well. But, some head injuries can mimic symptoms of being drunk. Be sure to get this person medical attention so a medical professional can determine the true cause of their symptoms.
3. Gather information.
Calling in the police will also help you ensure that you get the other driver’s vital contact information, including:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
The investigating officer will also often talk to witnesses as well. But, it’s also a good idea to speak with these people yourself if you can. You should determine what they heard or saw regarding the crash.
If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident and the damage done to both vehicles. The police will also likely take pictures as well, but they may not be as thorough as you need. But, do not compromise your health or safety to get photos. Be sure to get medical attention immediately if you need it.
4. Call a drunk driving accident attorney.
Calling in a drunk driving accident attorney right away can significantly increase your chances of getting the money damages you need to fully recover after this type of crash. Your lawyer can also help you with the investigation process, including gathering medical records and other evidence of your injuries and damages.
What Kind of Money Damages Are Available After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Damages available in a drunk driving accident case are based on how your life is affected by the crash and what you lost as a result. Money damages are designed to try to put you back in a similar place you would have been if the accident never occurred.
Some of the most common damages available in this type of case include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage costs
Your family may also have a claim for the losses they have experienced because of your injury too. For example; if you are a parent, your children may have lost some of their connection to you because of the accident. If you were previously able to play basketball and do other activities with your kids but your crash makes that impossible now, your children may have a legal claim associated with that loss.
Every situation is unique. You will only understand and appreciate the full extent of your losses after you seek medical treatment and give your injuries time to heal. Because drunk driving accident attorneys see these types of accidents so often, they can usually help you think through just how much the crash has impacted your life. This process helps ensure that you get the full amount of money damages available to account for all of your losses and injuries caused by the crash.
Talk to a Calhoun Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Are you ready to take the next step in exploring your legal options? If so, John Foy & Associates is here for you. We will walk through the unique facts of your case and help you realistically evaluate what your next move should be. 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.