Drunk driving is a big problem in East Point and throughout Georgia. A third of all car accident deaths involve driving under the influence. Statewide, drunk drivers killed 3700 people over a 10-year span. Drunk driving causes tragic consequences. But if you or one of your family members has been injured by a drunk driver, you don’t have to bear the costs alone. You have a right to recover money to pay for your medical bills and lost time from work, plus additional large financial awards. You need to speak with an East Point drunk driving accident lawyer.
John Foy & Associates has the experience to help you. Our firm has been working for the rights of DUI victims for more than 20 years. Our sole mission is to help accident and injury victims, so we never take the side of the drunk drivers or their insurance companies. We want to get you the most money possible so you can move on with your life after the accident. Let our lawyers give you a free consultation to answer your questions and help you decide what to do. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is considered a “DUI” in East Point?
The City of East Point follows Georgia’s definition of DUI. In Georgia DUI is driving while impaired by a substance—and that includes drugs as well as alcohol. Any substance can be involved in a DUI if it can affect your nervous system and your ability to drive safely and control your vehicle. Common substances that lead to DUI cases include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Prescription drugs
- Over the counter drugs that cause drowsiness
- Illegal, or “street” drugs, such as marijuana, heroin and crack
Immediately after the accident, the police may administer tests to determine whether a driver was under the influence. Police test for alcohol by administering blood or breath tests, and a driver may be charged with DUI if he or she has a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. To test for other drugs, police may use blood or urine tests. But a test is NOT a requirement for a DUI conviction.
What should I do if I’m in an accident involving a drunk driver in East Point?
Always call for an ambulance if you or anyone else seems to need immediate medical attention. If your injuries are not that serious, here are some basic guidelines that will help you manage your interactions with the drunk driver and start building a legal case.
- Always call the police. Not surprisingly, the drunk driver may try to talk you out of it. Don’t listen. The police will come to the scene and prepare an accident report. The report is an important part of your claim.
- Tell the police you believe the other driver is under the influence. Calmly explain what you observed and why you think the other driver is intoxicated. Officers know the signs to look for, but when you voice your suspicions, you increase the chance that the officer will administer tests and/or arrest the driver at the scene.
- Make a video recording of your conversation with the other driver. Use your cell phone camera. The video will be clear evidence of telltale behavior like slurred speech, poor balance and inappropriate aggression. This is much more persuasive to a jury than courtroom testimony after the fact.
- Keep an eye on the other driver. Drunk drivers often act suspiciously, tossing evidence into the bushes or using eye drops to cover up bloodshot eyes. You don’t need to say anything. Just use your video camera to record what you see.
- Talk to witnesses. People at the scene may have witnessed the accident, or they may have seen the other driver’s drunken behavior before or after the accident. Find out what they saw and get their contact information.
Finally, it is extremely important to schedule a consultation with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. DUI claims can be complicated, and any insurance company offer will probably be far less than your claim is worth.
How much money can I recover in a drunk driving accident?
Accident victims in Georgia are allowed to recover the full amount of their costs and damages from the driver who was at fault. The exact amount you receive will depend on your situation and your injuries, but many accident victims recover money for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages for work time missed because of the accident
- Car repairs or the cost of replacing a totaled car
- Large financial awards for pain and suffering or disabilities
These “damages” can be recovered by any accident victim, depending on the severity of the injuries. But if your accident was caused by someone driving under the influence, you may be able to recover additional money as “punitive damages.” Punitive damages punish the drunk driver and send a strong message that people who choose to drive under the influence will be held accountable for all the results of their decision.
Punitive damages make drunk driving claims worth more than many other accident claims. DUI accident claims are frequently worth more than $100,000.
What if I was riding in the drunk driver’s car?
If you were injured, you have the same rights as anyone else involved in the accident. You didn’t drive drunk, and you didn’t cause the accident. However, sometimes the local courts view claims by the drunk driver’s passengers differently than other claims. This is especially true if you knew the driver was drunk. A judge may not want to award you as much money, or may not want to award punitive damages. If you were a passenger in a drunk driver’s car, it is important to get advice from a lawyer right away.
Talk to an East Point Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
A drunk driver’s careless behavior can have life-altering results. But you don’t have to pay for another driver’s poor choices. We will give you a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case and help you get started on a claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.