Drunk driving accidents can be absolutely devastating. These crashes are often severe because the impaired driver does not react to dangerous situations in the same way that a sober driver would. You need to speak with a Stone Mountain drunk driving accident lawyer to explore your legal options.
John Foy & Associates know the significant impact that a drunk driver can have on you and your family. If you or a loved one has experienced a crash with a drunk driver, you need a drunk driving victim accident attorney in Stone Mountain who recognizes what you are going through. Call us and get your free consultation today.
Are Drunk Driving Accidents Common in Stone Mountain?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 29 people killed every day in the United States because of a drunk driver. That is one person almost every 50 minutes. Drunk driving also costs drivers, other people involved in accidents, and property owners billions of dollars in damages every year.
It is no secret that people shouldn’t drive drunk, but impaired individuals get behind the wheel every day and often cause accidents when they do. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are so common. What’s even more unfortunate is the number of drunk driving victims who end up paying for the actions of a negligent driver.
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Damages You Can Be Compensated for After a Drunk Driving Accident in Stone Mountain
You can compensate for various damages you sustained at the drunk driver’s expense. Some of the most common that our Stone Mountain drunk driving victim accident lawyers pursue are:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
- Disfigurement and disability
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Medical expenses
Even if your damages aren’t listed above, our lawyers won’t have issues factoring them into your total settlement value as long as they occurred due to your accident. We will always fight hard to ensure that the insurance company doesn’t cheat you out of a fair settlement.
Punitive Damages for Stone Mountain Drunk Driving Victims
Punitive damages aren’t compensatory. Instead, they exist to punish the drunk driver for their actions and serve as an example not to repeat the same mistakes. Punitive damages often involve a financial award to the accident victim.
Most drunk driving accidents can qualify for punitive damages since the drunk driver’s actions to get behind the wheel while intoxicated count as egregiously negligent behavior. Still, this doesn’t guarantee that you will get an award. If an award is possible, a drunk driving victim accident lawyer in Stone Mountain will factor that into your settlement.
Seek Strong Legal Representation with a Stone Mountain Drunk Driving Victim Accident Attorney
Even though there’s no hard requirement that you retain a lawyer, doing so can only benefit you and increase your chances of recovering a fair settlement. Our drunk driving victim accident lawyers can help you win your case in several ways:
- Collecting and organizing evidence for your case.
- Consult with experts in various fields to support your case.
- Conducting witness interviews for their supporting testimony.
- Handling all communications with other parties.
- Determining all the negligent parties involved with your accident.
- Calculating your damages accurately.
- Representing your best interest during negotiations and not hesitating to go to trial if necessary.
Insurance companies are known to give drunk driving victims the short end of the stick. Before you accept any offer from them, it’s best to get professional legal representation first. We will look over the deal to ensure that you don’t accidentally accept a lowball offer. Don’t ever let the insurance company trick you into settling for less than what you truly deserve.
Proving Fault in Drunk Driving Accidents
Every driver on the road in Stone Mountain has a duty to other drivers, pedestrians, and even nearby property owners. That duty is to drive safely, which means they should act in the same way that a reasonable driver in the same conditions would act.
Under Georgia law, and in every other state in the U.S., it is never reasonable to get behind the wheel while you are impaired. That means that drunk drivers automatically violate their duty to everyone around them simply by operating their vehicle while intoxicated.
The violation of this duty is often referred to as “fault” or “negligence” in the legal context. In drunk driving cases, showing fault is straightforward because you merely have to prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident and that their impairment caused the crash.
When Should I Stay Off the Road If I Want to Avoid a Drunk Driver?
Impaired drivers are on the road at all times. Avoiding them is difficult. But, if you can limit driving during specific times, you may be able to reduce the likelihood that you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver. Consider the following:
- Fatal alcohol-related crashes are over three times more likely to occur at night.
- Drunk driving crashes are more likely to happen on the weekends, but 14% of fatal collisions occur during the week, according to a study done in 2016.
- Drunk driving crashes occur more frequently around holidays, such as Independence Day, Christmas, and Labor Day weekend.
Keep an eye out for impaired drivers by watching for signs of drifting, swerving, or failing to maintain a consistent speed. If possible, stay far away from drivers who seem like they might be impaired.
If you’re very concerned, you can call law enforcement and report their plate number and location. Getting an impaired driver off the road before they cause an accident could save someone’s life.
Is My Personal Injury Claim Tied to the Drunk Driver’s Criminal Case?
Drunk drivers face two significant consequences when they drive drunk and cause an accident: criminal and civil. Criminal penalties can involve fines, jail time, and long-term penalties like license suspension. In contrast, civil damages are about the victim. These two types of legal cases can affect one another. In fact, you can potentially win your claim against the drunk driver even if they are never convicted of DUI at all.
Sometimes the results of a criminal case will affect your civil lawsuit. For example, if a driver got convicted of drunk driving in criminal court, you could use that conviction against them in your lawsuit. The guilty verdict will help you prove that the other driver did violate their duty to drive carefully.
If the driver doesn’t get convicted, that doesn’t automatically mean your civil case is a lost cause. Because civil cases have a lower standard of proof, someone can be considered drunk for your personal injury case even when they didn’t get convicted in a criminal court. These differences can seem very technical, and sometimes you will need a lot of evidence to win your case.
The Statute of Limitations for Drunk Driving Cases in Georgia
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33 provides Stone Mountain residents a general statute of limitations of two years to file a claim for drunk driving accidents. Even though two years may seem like a lot of time, it isn’t. There may be other factors in your case that significantly reduce the amount of time you really have. So don’t wait to file your claim. Get started as soon as possible.
Talk to a Stone Mountain Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
You don’t have to deal with this potentially tragic situation alone. John Foy & Associates can help. Let us put our skills to work for you and your family. If we can’t recover compensation for your drunk driving accident, you owe us absolutely nothing for our services. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your free consultation today at no risk or obligation to you.