It’s hard to go a week without hearing about the dangers of drinking and driving. From billboards to news articles to police announcements, the risks of DUI are broadcast is just about every medium—but some people can’t seem to get the message. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents remain common in Johns Creek. They can cause you serious injury or even take the life of a loved one. If you are dealing with the damage caused by a drunk driver, don’t face it alone. Talk to a Johns Creek drunk driving accident lawyer.
John Foy & Associates will help you. We have a 20+ year history of successfully taking on drunk drivers and their insurance companies. Our law firm works exclusively for the victims of accidents and injuries, and we have the resources to make a difference in your case. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What are my rights in a drunk driving accident in Johns Creek?
If you were not the intoxicated driver, you are most likely not at fault for the accident. That means you have the same rights as any other car accident victim. And, you have some additional rights because you are essentially the victim of a crime as well.
The most important rights you have involve recovering money for the losses you suffered. The law calls these losses “damages.” In the City of Johns Creek, like all of Georgia, you can recover money for three kinds of damages in a drunk driving accident:
- “Special damages” or your actual costs. Injuries are expensive. You may have medical bills, medication costs, and weeks (or more) of missed work time because of your injury. With your accident claim, you can recover all of your costs—no matter how much they add up to.
- “General damages” or your personal losses. Accidents also have costs that are hard to quantify. What if you can no longer walk without limping? What if you suffered months of severe pain? Or, in the most tragic case, what if you lost someone you love? Your claim will include additional money to reflect these losses, not with the intention of ever truly making up for them, but as a way to help you put your life back together.
- “Punitive damages.” Unlike most other car accidents, in a DUI accident you’re the victim of a crime. This means that the court can award you extra money, paid by the drunk driver, as a way to punish them and help the victim.
These are your rights. Be careful, though—an insurance company will almost never include all of these damages in their first offer. The best thing you can possibly do to protect yourself is to have a good drunk driving accident lawyer.
What if the person was on drugs?
It’s just as illegal to drive on drugs as it is to drive drunk. While we often call DUIs “drunk driving,” the local courts interpret it much more broadly. State law makes it illegal to drive under the influence of any substance. That includes:
- Hard drugs like meth or cocaine
- Prescription medication (like pain meds)
- Over the counter medication (like drowsy formula cold medicine)
Your rights are the same no matter what substance the driver was on.
I was in the drunk driver’s car. Do I still have a claim?
Yes, you absolutely have a claim. The passengers in the drunk driver’s car are victims just as much as the people in other cars in the accident.
However, you should be aware of two things:
- The drunk driver’s insurance company will likely try to blame you. They will say you knew the driver was intoxicated and should have stopped them or shouldn’t have ridden with them. Under the law, this doesn’t change that you’re the victim. But they will try to use it against you.
- The amount of money you get may be different. It’s possible that the court won’t award you punitive damages, particularly if you knew the driver was drunk. In an extreme case you could also get less money for your other damages, although this is less likely.
What if my teenager was harmed in a DUI accident?
Teenagers are among the most common victims in DUI cases. Just because your teen was involved in the accident does NOT mean they share fault or blame.
Here’s what you need to know:
- If your teen was not the intoxicated driver, you (and they) have the same rights described above
- You still have those rights even if your teen was also drinking underage
- Likewise, you have those same rights even if your teen and their friends were using marijuana or another drug
Obviously, underage drinking brings legal issues of its own. But it does not change liability. We believe that the first priority in any DUI crash is getting help for all of the victims and making sure their rights are protected. The police may or may not choose to press charges for underage drinking, but the insurance company will almost definitely use it against you. We won’t let them.
Talk to a Johns Creek Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Any drunk driving accident is a tragedy, and one that never had to happen. Stand up for your rights. At John Foy & Associates, we give you access to some of the top drunk driving accident attorneys in the state—and we get results. Let us give you a FREE consultation with our top attorneys. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.