The Ins & Outs of DUI Accident Lawsuits: What Drunk Driving Accident Victims Need to KnowJuly 24, 2017
Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is hurt in a drunk driving accident.1 While that can be scary to consider, the aftermath of these wrecks can be even more horrifying, especially when these crashes cause catastrophic or life-threatening injuries.
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How to Prove Driver Impairment
Right after an auto collision happens, it can difficult to know whether another driver may have been drunk or otherwise impaired. This is particularly true if you – and/or the other motorist – is seriously injured or incapacitated due to the crash.
Various evidence, however, can be helpful to uncovering whether driver impairment contributed to a car accident. This evidence can include (and is not exclusive to):
- Police reports – These reports can detail how the involved motorists looked and behaved after a crash. They can also reveal other important factors like whether:
- Field sobriety tests were administered (and, if so, the results of this testing);
- Any driver smelled like alcohol or displayed other potential signs of impairment;
- Alcohol containers were found at the crash scene;
- Any motorist refused chemical testing; and/or
- Any motorist admitted to being drunk or to drinking before the crash.
- Breathalyzer or blood test results – The results of these chemical tests can be crucial to establishing blood alcohol content (BAC) for the motorists involved.
- Witness statements – These statements can come from witnesses like other motorists who saw the wreck, passengers involved in the crash, and even those who may have seen a driver drinking alcohol (and/or using drugs) before the accident. In some cases, expert witness testimony can also be helpful in proving driver impairment.
Please be aware that, when drunk driving is suspected to cause wrecks, criminal DUI charges (at the very least) will usually be filed against the drunk motorist. These criminal cases operate and proceed independently of civil cases. They can, however, yield critical evidence – and verdicts – to support a civil claim for victims who are seeking financial recovery.
Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk (or drug-impaired) drivers will be at-fault for the car accidents they cause. That’s because all motorists have an absolute duty to refrain from actions that put others’ safety or lives at risk.
Impaired motorists, however, may not be the only parties who are liable for drunk driving accidents. Others who can responsible for these accidents may include (but are not strictly limited to):
- Other drivers (or travelers on the road) if their negligence also was a factor in causing a collision – For example, if another motorist or pedestrian violated traffic laws and that violation contributed to the crash, fault can be attributed to both the drunk driver and the other negligent motorist (or pedestrian).
- The owner of a vehicle driven by a drunk motorist (when the motorist does not own the vehicle) – Under the doctrine of negligent entrustment, vehicle owners who let known drunk drivers get behind the wheel can be liable for the wrecks caused by these impaired drivers.
- Various other parties – Depending on the details of a crash, other liable parties may include vehicle equipment manufacturers (when defective equipment contributes to wrecks), counties or municipalities (when dangerous road conditions are a factor), etc.
A Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can gather and analyze the evidence related to your crash and determine whether:
- Driver impairment was involved.
- Any parties in addition to the drunk driver are liable for your crash.
Compensation for the Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
The devastating outcomes of drunk driving accidents cannot be erased by any amount of money. This is particularly true when these wrecks cause permanent injuries or the tragic loss of a loved one. Despite this, financial recoveries from drunk driving accident cases can be central to helping victims pay for medical care and start to put their lives back together.
While the compensation from these claims will vary according to the specifics of a given crash and case, generally, these recoveries can include damages for:
- Emergency medical care
- Future medical treatments
- Property repairs
- Lost income
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (in rare cases).
The single best way to ensure you recover the damages you deserve for your drunk driving accident claim is to contact the Amaro Law Firm.
Get Effective Advocacy for Your Drunk Driving Accident Claims: Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston car accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to discuss your potential claim and help you position it for the best resolution possible.
Simply call (713) 352-7975, text (281) 612-8024, or contact our firm for a free case evaluation. If you cannot make it to our offices for this meeting, we can travel to your location or provide a virtual consultation.
Relentless and resourceful, our lawyers have the skills and insight you can count on for superior representation, personal service, and effective advocacy at every phase of your claim. Our goal is to help you secure the full amount of compensation you deserve so you can concentrate on healing and rebuilding your life.
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1: According to statistics published by MADD