Drunk driving accidents happen all too often in Dunwoody. Nationwide, fewer people are driving under the influence, but DUI accidents have still killed 3700 people in Georgia over a 10 year period. A startling one in three fatal car accidents involves DUI. When someone drives drunk, they’re breaking the law, but you don’t have to bear the financial cost. You can recover money to pay your medical bills, make up for lost time from work, and more. You need to talk to a Dunwoody drunk driving accident lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we know how to hold drunk drivers accountable for their poor choices. We’ve been doing it for 20 years, always taking the side of victims. We never represent drunk drivers or insurance companies. Our goal is simple: to get you the largest financial recovery possible, so you can get your life back on track after the accident. Let our experienced lawyers give you a free consultation to discuss your case and explain your rights. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What counts as a DUI in Dunwoody?
The City of Dunwoody looks to Georgia state law to define “DUI.” Although DUI and drunk driving are often used interchangeably, DUI can include driving under the influence of drugs or ANY other substance, not just alcohol. The most common substances involved in DUI cases are:
- Alcohol, including all types of beer, wine and liquor
- Prescription drugs
- Over the counter drugs that cause drowsiness
- All types of illegal drugs, including marijuana
Most of the time, the police will give a chemical test to a driver suspected of driving under the influence. This might be a breath or blood test for alcohol, or a blood or urine test to detect other drugs. If a driver has a blood alcohol content of .08% or more, then the driver is legally “under the influence.” Some drivers reach the legal limit after just two drinks. A driver can be convicted of DUI even though the police never administered any type of chemical test at all.
What should I do if I’m hit by a drunk driver in Dunwoody?
Always get emergency medical attention if you need it. If your injuries do not seem that serious, however, we do recommend that you do a few things at the scene to protect your rights and help you make a strong claim later. Steps to take include:
- Get the police involved. The other driver may try to talk you out of calling the cops, but you shouldn’t listen. The police will talk to you and the other driver and prepare an accident report. The report is extremely important to your claim.
- Tell the officer you believe the other driver is under the influence. Explain what you saw or heard that led you to this conclusion. The officer may also notice telltale signs. By voicing your suspicions, you make it more likely that the officer will investigate and make a DUI arrest on the spot.
- Take video of your conversation with the other driver. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol usually betray it in their behavior. By recording your conversation, you may get valuable evidence of things like slurred speech, poor balance or bloodshot eyes. This evidence can go a long way toward persuading a jury or insurance company.
- Watch the impaired driver. A driver who’s under the influence may do things to avoid getting caught. This might include pouring out drinks, throwing things in the bushes, eating gum or mints, or using eye drops to cover up bloodshot eyes. Don’t try to stop this behavior, just record it with your cell phone video camera.
- Talk to witnesses. Bystanders or people who stopped to help may have seen the accident happen, or may have seen the other driver’s behavior immediately before or after the accident. Find out what they saw and get their contact information.
Finally, get in touch with a good personal injury lawyer right away. DUI cases can be complicated, and it helps to have a lawyer pursuing your case as soon as possible.
How much money can I recover in a DUI accident claim?
Georgia is generous to accident victims—you have a right to recover ALL your costs and damages that result from the accident. In addition, DUI victims may be eligible for substantially more. The ordinary costs and damages you might recover include:
- Medical expenses, including the costs of prescription medication and physical therapy
- Lost wages to make up for time you missed from work because of the accident
- The cost of repairing or replacing your car
- Additional large financial awards for serious losses like pain and suffering or a disability
Victims of drunk driving accidents are also entitled to a special category of damages known as “punitive damages.” While other types of damages depend on the types of losses you have suffered, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the person who caused your injuries. Georgia law allows punitive damages in drunk driving cases to send a strong message that driving under the influence will not be tolerated.
Punitive damages can greatly increase the amount of money you are entitled to recover. DUI accident claims are often worth at least $100,000, and sometimes millions.
What if I was in the drunk driver’s car?
Your rights are the same, no matter whose car you were in. But as a practical matter, the local courts sometimes look at your claim differently if you were a passenger in the drunk driver’s car. For example, if you knew someone was drunk but got in the car anyway, the judge may not think you are entitled to punitive damages. If you were a passenger, it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Talk to a Dunwoody Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
A drunk driving accident can affect you for the rest of your life, but you don’t have to pay for a drunk driver’s bad decisions. We can give you a free consultation—with no obligation—to talk about your case and help you get started with your claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.