Drunk drivers put more than just their lives on the line when they drive in McDonough, Georgia. Their carelessness and recklessness can affect everyone on the road. Driving drunk is very selfish – and it’s illegal.
When drunk drivers cause serious accidents that lead to injuries and damages, they should be held accountable. While drunk drivers must face the criminal system in Georgia, they may face civil penalties from crash victims as well, and they should! A McDonough car accident lawyer can help victims with this process.
Drunk driving accidents are certainly not a new problem. John Foy & Associates has been helping victims of drunk driving crashes for over 20 years. We know just how much an accident like this can change your life – and we want to help. Let us put our experience, knowledge, and compassion to work on your behalf.
What Are Potential Damages and Injuries that Could Be Caused By Drunk Driving Accidents?
Drunk driving accidents can be very serious. They sometimes occur at higher speeds because the driver who was intoxicated did not react appropriately to a situation, such as by slowing down or swerving to avoid a collision in an emergency.
That means that injuries and damages could be much more extensive. It also means that your settlement could be much bigger than you expect, especially if you have an experienced lawyer.
The following six types of damages are fairly common after a drunk driving accident:
Damage to Personal Property
In many situations, your personal property, including your vehicle and items located within your car will be damaged. High-speed crashes often lead to enough damages to completely total a car.
Medical expenses add up quickly after drunk driving accidents, especially if you have to be taken by ambulance to a hospital or healthcare facility in McDonough. Serious injuries may require time in the hospital and long-term treatment.
You may also need medical treatment in the future as well. Both the medical bills that you know about and the expenses you’re expecting in the future will be addressed in a drunk driving lawsuit.
If you are stuck in the hospital after an accident, you may lose money from being unable to work. This lost income is a money damage that you can assert in your drunk driving accident case. It also includes situations where you need to take time away from work for follow-up appointments as well.
Loss of Earning Capacity
In severe cases, which often includes drunk driving accidents, you may not be able to work at the same job or in the same field in the future. In some situations, you may not be able to continue working at all. In those cases, you have lost your ability to earn a living – your “earning capacity.” This is a type of future damage that directly affects the income that you can make in the future.
Pain and Suffering
One of the most extensive damages that you may have relates to the physical and mental pain and suffering you experience because of the drunk driving accident. Although it’s hard to put a dollar figure on this type of loss, the law in Georgia and our Georgia courts try to do just that. In some cases, the amount of money that you can receive for this type of loss may be the vast majority of your total damages.
Keep in mind that this type of damage includes both past and future pain and suffering that you’ll have to endure if your medical condition is expected to continue to affect you going forward.
Some cases that involve drunk drivers will also include punitive damages. Instead of the other types of damages that are designed to compensate you for your losses, this kind of payment is focused on punishing the wrongdoer for their actions.
Punitive damages are rare in most car accident cases, but they are sometimes granted in drunk driving cases, particularly where the driver’s blood alcohol content is very high or where they have had prior DUI convictions.
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How Can You Prove a Driver Was Drunk at the Time of the Accident?
If you suspect that a driver was drunk after your accident, you need to let the police officer investigating the crash know as soon as possible. If the collision is serious, you may not be able to tell the officer right away. Thankfully, the officer will often investigate this possibility on your behalf even if you’re unable to tell them.
Signs that a driver is intoxicated or drunk include:
- Balance problems
- Slurred speech
- Lack of focus or concentration
- Smells like alcohol
- Glassy or red eyes
Drunk driving is illegal. When an adult over the age of 21 has a blood alcohol content of over 0.08, then they are considered legally intoxicated based on Georgia DUI law. But, a driver doesn’t have to be over that limit to be legally responsible for the crash in your civil case. A drunk driving conviction will certainly help your case, but it isn’t required.
Any time that a driver is careless behind the wheel, they may be responsible for the damages and injuries they cause due to an accident. It’s reckless and irresponsible to drive while drunk, and if a driver’s impairment results in a crash, then that will usually trigger legal liability.
Drinking slows reaction time, decreases focus, and reduces coordination. You need all of those things to effectively operate a vehicle. That means that when someone is drinking and driving, the alcohol will often play a role in why the accident happened.
You should also keep in mind that driving while impaired doesn’t just mean alcohol either. It includes drugs, regardless of whether they are prescription or not, and even lack of sleep.
Talk to a McDonough Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. Let the team at John Foy & Associates help you get back on your feet after a drunk driving accident. We can explore your options with you and provide realistic opinions about your situation. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.