Fatalities due to intoxicated driving have dramatically decreased over the last 30 years. However, alcohol-related traffic accidents continue to negatively impact countless lives.
If you have lost a loved one or sustained injuries in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to take legal action against the person responsible. A lawyer with experience handling drunk driving car accidents in The Woodlands could help you file a claim to receive sufficient compensation for your losses. Call our office today to discuss your case with a compassionate auto wreck attorney.
Consequences of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Driving while intoxicated is a grave offense punishable under criminal law, but these cases can be tried in civil court as well. Under the Texas Penal Code §49.01(2), a person is intoxicated if their ability to perform normal mental and physical functions is impaired, or if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
If an individual gets caught driving while under the influence of alcohol, they may face criminal charges. Additionally, a lawyer in the area could help an injured party file a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused their car accident.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
Proving negligence can be difficult without a skilled attorney. This is because a plaintiff seeking damages in a car accident claim must prove that the:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach directly caused the accident
- The plaintiff sustained damages in that accident
However, when a motorist violates a criminal statute such as the law against drunk driving, the injured party is only required to prove negligence per se. This type of negligence only pertains to causation and damages, meaning that the other two requirements for proving liability are automatically proven.
Punitive Damages in Cases of Gross Negligence
Compensatory damages are awarded to an injured party to recoup their losses. In addition to this, plaintiffs could receive punitive damages after an accident. This type of damages award is meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter them from engaging in such egregious conduct in the future.
Drunk driving is an act of gross negligence, and those who engage in this unsafe activity despite the risk of harm to others may be ordered to pay punitive damages.
Injured parties may seek these exemplary damages under § 41.003(a)(3) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. A local attorney with experience handling drunk driving car accident cases could help plaintiffs prove negligence and recover the damages they need.
Dram Shop Laws in The Woodlands
Those who have suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident may be able to seek damages from the establishment responsible for the motorist’s intoxication. These dram shop laws are codified under Texas Alcohol Beverage Code § 2.02(b).
According to this statute, an injured party may bring a dram shop liability claim against the establishment that provided the defendant with alcohol. If the plaintiff can prove that at the time the worker served the patron, it was evident that they were obviously drunk to the point of being a clear danger to others or themselves, they may have a valid dram shop liability claim. The injured party must also prove that the patron’s intoxication was the proximate cause of the damages incurred. Attempting to hold an establishment liable without the help of a drunk driving accident lawyer could hinder one’s chances of collecting damages.
Reach out to an Attorney for Help with Drunk Driving Car Accidents in The Woodlands
Drunk driving car accidents can be one of the deadliest types of motor vehicle collisions. If you or someone you love has suffered losses due to an impaired driver, it is crucial to retain adequate legal counsel. Schedule a free consultation today to speak with a lawyer about drunk driving car accidents in The Woodlands.