If you were injured by a drunk driver in Sandy Springs, you are not alone. Intoxicated drivers get behind the wheel every day, causing accidents and injuries that may require months or years of expensive treatment. If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a drunk driver, you have rights.
A Sandy Springs drunk driving accident attorney can help you recover your accident-related expenses. At John Foy & Associates, we have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for 20-plus years. We can consult with you for free to explain your rights and discuss your options.
How Is DUI Defined in Georgia?
Although we use the term “DUI” to mean driving while drunk, it really means driving while under the influence of any substance, not just alcohol. If the substance can affect your judgment, your self-control or your driving, it can be the basis for a DUI.
Common substances involved in DUI cases include:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Prescription medications
- Over the counter drugs that lead to drowsiness
- Illegal substances such as marijuana, crack, and cocaine
In most cases, a chemical test will determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement officers may administer a test at the accident scene or after a person is taken into custody.
For alcohol, they use breath and blood tests to see if a person’s blood alcohol content is above the .08% legal limit. For other substances, they might use blood or urine tests. But some people are convicted of DUI when there was never any test administered at all.
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What to Do If a Drunk Driver Hits You in Sandy Springs
Across Georgia, one in three car accident deaths involves a drunk driver. That amounted to 3,700 fatalities over a 10-year period. If you are hit by a drunk driver, how you react may affect your case.
First, make sure there’s emergency medical help for yourself and anyone else who was injured in the crash. If you are up and walking around, there are other things you can do that will help you make a strong claim against the drunk driver, including:
Calling the Police
In addition to administering chemical tests that may show that the other driver was impaired, the police will interview the drivers and any witnesses and prepare an accident report. The accident report is a critical piece of evidence in any claim.
Telling the Officer You Think the Other Driver Is Impaired
Let the police officer know why you think the other driver is under the influence. Law enforcement authorities are trained to detect intoxication, either through:
- Field sobriety tests
- Breathalyzer tests
You can alert police to the need to investigate further, and ideally the other driver will be arrested and charged. This will help your case but lawsuits are civil matters and you can still hold the at-fault driver accountable without a criminal conviction.
Videotaping Conversations With the Other Driver
If the other driver seems obviously impaired, take a video of your conversation with your cell phone. A video showing slurred speech, a wobbly stance or needless aggression can be much more persuasive to a judge or jury than your verbal testimony.
Getting Witness Contact Information
Talk to people at the scene and find out if anyone saw the accident or the impaired driver’s behavior. Write down their names and contact information so you can follow up later.
Seeking Legal Counsel
As soon as you can, make an appointment with an experienced Sandy Springs drunk driving victim accident attorney. The other driver’s insurance company will probably offer you far less than your claim is really worth, and a lawyer can help you get the full amount you deserve.
Sandy Springs Drunk Driving Victim Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Can You Sue a Drunk Driver After an Accident?
If a drunk driver caused the accident that injured you, you have a right to sue for damages. Sandy Springs follows Georgia law, which gives you a right to recover 100% of your losses from an auto accident. This usually means you can recover the following:
- Your medical and prescription drug bills
- Lost wages if you missed work because of the accident
- Auto repairs or replacement for a totalled car
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for disabilities
- Wrongful death damages
Filing a personal injury lawsuit also allows you to hold the drunk driver responsible for their actions.
How Much Money Can I Get in a DUI Accident Claim in Sandy Springs?
The exact dollar amount you can recover for your DUI accident claim depends on the losses you suffered. The average settlement for a drunk driving accident ranges between $80,000 to $125,000.
If the at-fault driver is proven to have been impaired at the time of your crash, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These damages are part of a drunk driver’s punishment for choosing to drive while impaired. Punitive damages are not related to your losses, instead they serve as a warning that in Georgia, drunk drivers pay a hefty price.
Because of punitive damages, drunk driving cases are often worth far more than the cost of your injuries. Many DUI cases are worth more than $100,000. Our Sandy Springs drunk driving victim accident attorneys can estimate the value of your accident claim.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving victim accidents lawyer serving Sandy Springs, call 404-400-4000
What If You Were the Drunk Driver’s Passenger?
You have a right to recover all your costs and damages, no matter whose car you were riding in. However, sometimes the local courts try to treat a drunk driver’s passengers differently than they treat other accident victims.
For example, if you got into the car knowing that your driver was drunk, a judge may not want to award you as much money. For this reason, it is especially important to get in touch with an experienced drunk driving lawyer right away. Our drunk driving victim accident lawyers in Sandy Springs can evaluate your claim and recommend an approach.
Worried You Can’t Afford to Hire a Lawyer?
We understand the devastation caused by drunk drivers and will not burden you with legal fees. We work on a contingency, so there are no out-of-pocket expenses to worry about. Our services are compensated by a percentage of your eventual payout. You pay nothing until our Sandy Springs drunk driving victim accident lawyers win your case.
The Statute of Limitations in Georgia
A drunk driving accident can cause lifelong damage. Unfortunately, your time to act is limited. If you let the statute of limitations expire, you will be unable to pursue legal action.
Under Ga. Code § 40-6-3, you have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. Don’t wait too long to get started on your case. Building a strong case takes time.
Connect With a Sandy Springs Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving accidents can have tragic consequences, but they don’t have to destroy you financially. Sit down with the drunk driving victim accident lawyer in Sandy Springs from John Foy & Associates to go over your case. Call us 24/7 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.
We will explain your rights and how you can get a full financial recovery. Our law firm only represents accident victims, never insurance companies. We will do everything we can to get you the most money possible for your injuries, so you can get your life back on track.