Nobody should drink and drive, but the reality is that many people do it on a daily basis. Because of these decisions, negligent drivers often cause devastating accidents that injure people.
Have you been injured in a drunk driving accident? You need to seek compensation from the person who hit you. The first step is contacting a Dallas drunk driving accident lawyer to help you file your claim, and the team at John Foy & Associates is here to help.
Drunk Driving Is a Big Issue in Georgia
According to statistics published by the Georgia Govern’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 353 drunk driving-related fatalities in 2019. That is a lot of lives lost due to the frivolous behavior of irresponsible drinkers. If more people were aware of the issues involved with drunk driving, there may be a chance to decrease these fatality numbers.
It may seem impossible not to know the consequences of drunk driving, yet many people assume that simply being a “good driver” is enough to make drunk driving okay. What they do not realize is that alcohol is a substance that dramatically impacts the effectiveness of the brain’s processes. It impairs thinking and limits muscle coordination.
Because these faculties are critical to operating a vehicle, even a seemingly small amount of alcohol can increase the risk of accidents.
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Georgia Drunk Driving Laws
In Georgia, the law states that anyone who is controlling a vehicle is not allowed to be under the influence of any mind-altering substance, including alcohol, certain drugs, toxins, etc. If someone reaches a blood alcohol concentration of .08, there is significantly more risk. That is why driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state.
This number is even lower in some states, like Utah, where the limit is .05. When a driver is operating a larger vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license, the BAC limit is 0.04. For people lower than age 21, a BAC of 0.02 or more will lead to a DUI.
Recovering Compensatory Damages from Drunk Drivers
When someone is caught driving drunk, the police will likely issue a DUI charge. But what does this mean for the drivers they hit?
Technically, someone can hit you in a drunk driving accident and get away with paying you nothing for your damages. But this is only likely to happen if you refuse to file a legal claim against them to get the money.
To recover compensatory damages from the offender, speak to a drunk driving accident lawyer in Dallas to start the process of filing a claim. Through a legal claim, you can recover compensation for the damages you incurred in an accident caused by a drunk driver. What you can recover includes the cost of treating injuries and property damage, among other damages.
Who Is at the Highest Risk?
Motorcycle riders and pedestrians are at the greatest risk of being killed by drunk drivers. This is because drunk drivers are significantly less aware than sober drivers. While they are on the road, there is an increased likelihood that a drunk driver will not notice a motorcyclist or pedestrian who is using the road in their vicinity.
Their lack of cognition may cause them to impact these people, resulting in catastrophic or potentially fatal injuries.
Bars and Restaurants Can Be Liable
If you were hurt in a drunk driving accident, the driver may have made an error that injured you, but that does not mean they are the only liable party. In Georgia, there are dram shop laws that allow victims to claim compensation from businesses that sold alcohol to individuals who later caused drunk driving accidents. There are certain criteria that must be met before you can be awarded compensation in a dram shop claim.
These criteria include:
- The establishment knowingly allowed a minor to purchase alcohol.
- The establishment knowingly gave alcohol to an already intoxicated person.
- The establishment was aware that the drunk person would later be driving.
Only accident victims are eligible to file dram shop claims. Therefore, the drunk driver is not allowed to put the blame on an establishment to escape their burden. It is important to note that the average commercial insurance policy does not cover dram shop claims.
So, you will need a Dallas drunk driving accident attorney who understands how to litigate in favor of you getting compensation directly from the establishment.
Time Limits on Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Drunk driving accident claims are a type of personal injury claim. Based on Georgia law, anyone seeking to file a personal injury claim has two years from the date of the accident to file. Though, this period may be extended if the drunk driver is being criminally processed.
Depending on how long their trial takes, your statute of limitations can be paused for as many as six years. Once the offender’s trial is completed, the statute of limitations will go back into effect.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents
After a drunk driving accident injures you, you likely have many costs to deal with. These costs are physical, emotional, and financial. Through a drunk driving accident claim, you can recover damages that represent the totality of your losses.
Some examples of damages you can claim include:
- Punitive damages – Damages awarded as a deterrent when incredibly reckless or malicious behavior is involved in an accident
- Economic damages – Damages that are linked to the loss of money due to an accident or injury
- Non-economic damages – Damages that are tied to the loss of intangible things, such as quality of life, happiness, or pain and suffering
Do Not Let Them Get Away with Driving Drunk
Holding drunk drivers accountable for their actions is a big part of why you should file a claim. To get the best result, choose a lawyer who cares about seeking justice on behalf of their clients. If you work with John Foy & Associates, you can rest assured that you will get a drunk driving accident attorney in Dallas just like that – one with substantial experience working on drunk driving accident claims.
To get in touch with a Dallas drunk driving accident lawyer today, use the contact form on this page and schedule a free case evaluation.