Although there are fewer drunk driving accidents today than there were several years ago, accidents involving DUI still happen all too often in Marietta. A third of the auto accident deaths in Georgia happen because someone was driving while on alcohol or drugs. In 10 years, Georgia has seen 3700 people die because of drunk driving accidents. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you have a right to recover your medical expenses, plus other losses such as the cost of repairing or replacing your car. To get the best financial recovery possible, talk to a Marietta drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as you can after the accident.
The lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help. Our firm has been aiding DUI accident victims for over 20 years. Our entire practice is focused on meeting the needs of accident victims, and we never take the side of insurance companies. We want to get you as much money as possible, so you can start putting your life back on track. Our experienced lawyers will meet with you for free to discuss your case. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What counts as a DUI accident in Marietta?
The City of Marietta follows Georgia’s state laws for DUI, which define DUI not only as “drunk driving,” but driving while impaired by any substance. This can include drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two. If a substance has an effect on your response time, your ability to control yourself, or your central nervous system, it can also impact your ability to drive safely. We often see these substances involved in DUI cases:
- Prescribed drugs
- Over the counter medicines that make drivers drowsy
- Drugs that are against the law, such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana
The police usually administer a chemical test to determine whether a driver is under the influence. When a driver has been drinking, blood or breath tests can show whether the driver’s blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit of .08%—about the equivalent of two drinks for many drivers. Urine and blood tests can also be used to determine whether the driver had drugs in his or her system. But drivers are sometimes convicted of DUI in criminal court when no chemical test was given.
What do I do if I’m in an accident with a drunk driver in Marietta?
Get medical attention for yourself and anyone else that was hurt. In addition, we recommend that you do as much as you can to protect your legal rights and make a record of the accident. There are several ways to do this:
- Always call the police. Even if the accident seems minor, get law enforcement involved. Stay at the accident scene until officers arrive and then tell them what happened. The police will prepare an unbiased accident report that will be a necessary piece of evidence in your claim.
- Let the officer know that you believe the other driver is under the influence. Don’t second guess yourself; just tell the police what you suspect and why, and they will take things from there. Officers know how to spot an intoxicated person, and they can administer breath tests and field sobriety tests. The results of these tests could be an arrest and they can be important evidence in your claim.
- Make a video recording of the other driver. If you think the other driver is under the influence, use your cell phone to make a video recording of his or her conversation with you. A video can graphically show the other driver’s condition, and it can be quite powerful when played for a jury.
- Be watchful, and keep that camera handy. Impaired drivers often try to destroy evidence of their drinking or drug use, throwing things away or emptying containers. Watch for this type of behavior. You don’t have to do or say anything, but try to video record it as it’s happening.
- Talk to witnesses. Accidents are often seen by other motorists who then stop to see if they can help. Or bystanders may have watched the other driver’s erratic moves. Talk to anyone who’s at the scene and get their contact information.
Most importantly, make an appointment with a lawyer soon after the accident. DUI cases can involve complicated evidence, and it is unlikely the insurance company will offer you what your case is worth.
How much money can I get in a drunk driving accident claim in Marietta?
You can recover all of your costs and damages in a DUI accident in Marietta. These include:
- Health care expenses
- The pay you lost by being out of work because of your accident
- The cost of fixing your car or buying another one
- Larger amounts of money to compensate you for disabilities, pain and suffering, and additional losses
You can be compensated for these sorts of injuries and damages in any car accident case. But if your accident was caused by someone who was driving under the influence, a court may also award you additional money as “punitive damages.” Punitive damages are designed to punish the person who caused the accident. This sends a strong message to the public that drunk drivers will be held accountable for the consequences of driving under the influence.
Because of the possibility of punitive damages, your drunk driving case may be worth a lot more than you’d expect. We often see DUI accident cases that win more than $100,000.
Can I recover money if I was a passenger in the drunk driver’s car?
Yes, your rights are the same whether you were riding in the drunk driver’s vehicle or in a car that the drunk driver hit. In either case, it was the driver’s poor choices that caused your injuries. But even though you have the same rights as other victims, the local courts may not always see it that way. For example, if you got in the car knowing that the driver was under the influence, a court may give you a smaller financial award, or may decide you aren’t entitled to punitive damages. For this reason, it’s best to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Talk to a Marietta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Drunk driving is against the law, and there’s no reason you should have to pay for the consequences of someone else’s mistake. Let John Foy & Associates give you a free consultation to go over your case and discuss your options for getting the money you’re legally entitled to. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.