Drunk driving causes serious injuries—and it can kill. In fact, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that since 2008, an average of roughly 25% of all vehicle fatalities in the state involve an impaired driver. Unfortunately, that does not stop some impaired individuals in Canton from getting behind the wheel. But the victims have rights. If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a drunk driver, you need to speak with a Canton drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
John Foy & Associates has helped many victims of drunk driving accidents prove their claim, and recover the damages they deserve under the law. That may include your medical costs, lost work time, and the pain and suffering you have endured—as well as all long-term costs. Let us help you. The team at John Foy & Associates has over 20 years of experience, and we can put that knowledge and skill to work for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get a free consultation today.
Where and when do drunk driving accidents commonly occur?
Drunk driving collisions can occur anywhere and at any time. That makes it challenging to avoid drunk drivers. However, drunk driving accidents are more common in certain areas or at specific times.
Impaired driving accidents in Canton often involve:
- Drivers exiting commercial establishments like bars and restaurants
- Individuals leaving causal get-togethers at someone’s home or business
- Individuals who attend events or festivals where drinking is common
Driving while drunk also significantly increases at particular times of the year and over many holidays.
The most common time for an accident with an impaired driver to occur is between midnight and 3 a.m. Fatal crashes are up to four times more likely at night than during the day as well. And the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that nearly one-third of drunk driving accidents will take place on a weekend.
Your rights are the same no matter when or how you were injured by a drunk driver. In almost all cases, the drunk driver is at fault and the others involved are victims—with a right to recover money.
If the drunk driver is being charged with a crime, how does that affect my lawsuit against the drunk driver?
Driving while intoxicated is a crime that is punished severely in Canton. Local courts and the legislature have very little sympathy for those who drive impaired, and the penalties are steep.
In addition to criminal charges, the impaired driver is usually found legally responsible to the victims. This process is separate from the criminal case, and you can bring forward your claim even if the driver has not been convicted yet. For example, an impaired driver may have to pay you for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
These damages are in addition to any criminal penalties they have to pay.
If the driver is convicted of driving while drunk, that can help your personal injury case as well. Basically, the prosecutor has already proven that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident—so your lawyer doesn’t have to. You can use the criminal conviction in your civil lawsuit to demonstrate that the driver was acting negligently when the accident happened. In most cases, proving that the driver was behind the wheel drunk is enough to prove that they (and their insurance company) are liable.
I’ve heard that I could have a right to more damages in a drunk driving accident than I would in other types of accidents. Is that true?
Possibly. There are several kinds of money damages available in a personal injury case. The most common type is based on your losses. Those include things such as your pain and suffering, medical costs or lost wages.
The second type of money award is far less commonplace and may even be considered rare—except in drunk driving cases. These are called “punitive” damages. They are paid to you with the goal of punishing a wrongdoer. These damages awards are also used with the hope of deterring other similar actions from both the wrongdoer and others in the City of Canton and surrounding community in the future. Because drunk driving is a serious problem throughout the state, punitive damages are available in most impaired driving accidents that cause personal injuries.
How do I prove that drunk driving occurred?
Because drunk driving is also a criminal offense, the police will actually do the bulk of the heavy lifting regarding gathering evidence. In many situations, victims of drunk driving accidents will wait until the driver has been charged and convicted of drunk before filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer can tell you whether this is a good strategy in your case.
You can also bring a civil suit even when the driver wasn’t convicted—or even charged. Your Canton personal injury attorney will help you gather evidence and information to present your case.
Either way, your lawyer will need to prove certain facts in order to win your case. The most important one is that the drunk driver’s actions—their choice to drive under the influence—are what caused the accident. It’s rare, but some drunk drivers may try to claim they’re actually not at fault, even though they were intoxicated. This is why it’s so important to have a good lawyer on your side.
Talk to a Canton Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
If you or a loved one have suffered because of a drunk driver, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. John Foy & Associates can help you assert your legal rights and prove your case. We have over 20 years of experience, and we focus exclusively on helping the victims—never those who commit the crime. Let us give you a FREE consultation on your case. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.