Drunk driving accidents still happen all too often in Warm Springs. DUI drivers led to the deaths of more than 3700 people in a 10 year period on Georgia’s roads—roughly a third of all auto accident fatalities. If you have been in an accident with a drunk driver, you have a right to recover money for your injuries. A Warm Springs drunk driving accident attorney can help.
At John Foy & Associates, we know how a drunk driver’s careless behavior can change the course of a life. That’s why we’ve devoted our law practice to helping accident victims recover and stay on track financially. We never take the side the insurance companies—our entire goal is to get you the most money possible. Our drunk driving accident lawyers offer a free consultation to talk about your accident and injuries and discuss what to do. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is a “DUI” in Warm Springs?
Georgia law applies in the City of Warm Springs, and it defines “DUI” as driving while under the influence of any substance that impairs the driver. The substance may be alcohol, or it may be any drug or substance that affects the nervous system and causes you to be less in control of your body, your response time, or your vehicle. We often see DUI cases involving these substances:
- Prescription medicine
- Over the counter drugs that are known to cause drowsiness
- Marijuana, cocaine, crack and other illegal drugs
Law enforcement authorities usually use a chemical test to determine whether someone was “under the influence.” Breath or blood tests will show whether the person had a blood alcohol content higher than the legal limit of .08%. Some people will exceed the limit after having only a couple of drinks. Blood and urine tests will also show whether illegal drugs are present. But a chemical test is not essential to a DUI conviction—a person may be convicted even if the police never administered a test.
What should I do if I’m in an accident with a drunk driver in Warm Springs?
Any time you’re in an accident, your first priority is to make sure you get emergency medical attention if you need it. After that, there are a few things you can do to gather evidence and help build your case. We recommend that you do the following, if you can:
- Call the cops. Police officers will come to the scene, interview you and the other driver, and make a police report that will describe what happened. The report is a critical part of your claim.
- Tell the officer you believe the other driver is under the influence. Law enforcement officers are trained to spot the telltale signs of impairment, and they can administer Breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, potentially making a DUI arrest at the scene. When you tell the officer what you suspect and why, you increase the chance that the officer will notice the driver’s impairment too and take appropriate action.
- Make a video recording of your conversation with the other driver. Video can be powerful evidence if the other driver wobbles, has slurred speech or is otherwise visibly impaired. Use your cell phone to record your conversation.
- Watch the impaired driver. Impaired drivers don’t like to be caught, so they’ll often try to “hide the evidence” by pouring out drinks, stashing things in the bushes, or using eye drops to clear red, bloodshot eyes. If you see this sort of activity, quietly record it with your cell phone camera.
- Talk to witnesses. There may be bystanders who saw the accident happen, or there may be people who stopped to help after seeing the other driver’s erratic behavior. Talk to people at the scene and get their names and phone numbers.
Finally, it’s always best to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can. When you have a lawyer on your side, it’s less likely that an insurance company will try to take advantage of you. And your lawyer can begin building your case right away, helping you get money more quickly.
What kind of costs can I recover in a Warm Springs DUI accident case?
In Warm Springs and throughout Georgia, state law permits you to recover every single one of your costs related to an auto accident that wasn’t your fault. In a typical accident case, this includes:
- Your medical expenses, including doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs
- The pay you lost if you missed work because of the accident
- Your expenses for car repairs or replacing a totaled car
- Awards for pain and suffering, disabilities and other losses
When an accident involves a drunk driver, there is also another category of damages you might be eligible for. “Punitive damages” do more than just compensate you for your losses—they punish the drunk driver whose poor choices led to your injuries. Punitive damages send a message that drunk drivers will pay for their actions.
Punitive damage awards can be substantial, and DUI accidents are frequently worth $100,000 and up.
What if I was riding with the drunk driver?
Other drivers aren’t the only ones who get hurt when someone drives drunk. If you were a passenger in the drunk driver’s car, you also have a right to recover 100% of your costs and damages. However, the local courts may not be as sympathetic to you as to someone in another vehicle. For example, a judge may not want to give you as much money, and may be reluctant to award punitive damages. You need to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can.
Talk to a Warm Springs Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Drunk drivers can cause great damages, but you don’t have to suffer the financial consequences. At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping drunk driving accident victims for more than 20 years. We’d like to give you a free consultation to go over your case and help you evaluate your options for getting the money you’re entitled to. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.