Houston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Driving after drinking too much alcohol is one of the most dangerous things that a person can do. Getting behind the wheel while significantly intoxicated will almost inevitably lead to an accident at some point.
t The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, our experienced car accident lawyers stand ready to help you pursue compensation and seek justice after being harmed in a DUI crash. Contact us now for a free consultation about your legal rights and options.
In Texas, drunk driving is a serious problem. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that in a single year in our state, there were a total of 910 fatal DUI crashes, 1,594 suspected DUI crashes, 3,914 non-incapacitating injury DUI crashes, and 3,530 possible injury DUI crashes.
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and causes injuries to someone else, the drunk driver needs to be held liable and the victim deserves to be compensated.
How Our Attorney Can Help You After a Drunk Driving Accident in Texas
Following a drunk driving accident, hiring an attorney with experience bringing claims against drunk drivers can be critical for pursuing the damages you deserve. Some ways that an accident attorney can help you after a drunk driving accident include:
- Investigating your case and gathering evidence. In order to recover compensation from a drunk driver or their insurer, you must be able to prove that the accident would not have occurred but for the drunk driver’s careless actions. Our lawyer can assist you in gathering the evidence that you need to establish this, including police reports and proof of a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) above the legal limit or to a limit that is impairing.
- Proving damages. In addition to proving the fault of the drunk driver, you must also prove that you have suffered damages, both economic and noneconomic, as a result of the accident. Our law firm can manage this on your behalf.
- Negotiating a settlement. Even if you are a victim of a drunk driving crash and you have proof that the accident was not your fault, an insurance adjuster will still be more interested in saving the insurance company money than in fairly compensating you for your losses. Our lawyer can aggressively negotiate a settlement offer to improve the chances of you recovering what you deserve.
A car accident lawyer can also guide you through understanding your rights and options, how to file a claim, and what your rights are at the negotiation table. Further, a good lawyer will also be available to answer any questions that you have throughout the process.
Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident
In order to recover compensation after suffering injuries in a drunk driving accident, you must first identify the legally responsible party.
The most obvious liable party is the drunk driver. Even the driver did not have a BAC above the legal limit of 0.08 percent in Texas, they can still be held liable for the accident if they failed to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. For example, if the driver was speeding, swerving, driving aggressively, or doing anything else unsafe or illegal that led to the crash, they could be held liable. Proving intoxication is not necessarily required. You must only prove the other driver’s negligence.
In addition to holding the drunk driver liable for your injuries, it may also be able to bring a liability claim against a third party under Texas dram shop laws. As found in Texas Alcohol Beverage Code, a party who sells or furnishes alcohol may be liable for injuries that result from the actions of the party to whom alcohol was served if, at the time the alcohol was served, the seller knew that:
- The individual to whom alcohol was being provided was intoxicated to the point that they presented a clear danger to themselves or others (by means of visible drunkenness).
- The alcohol was given to a minor under the age of 18.
- The serving of alcohol and subsequent intoxication was the proximate cause of the accident that led to injuries.
Difference Between Criminal and Civil Cases in a Drunk Driving Accident
Civil (money damages) and criminal (penalties) are completely separate matters when it comes to drunk driving accidents.
While drunk driving is against the law and a person may have charges pressed against them by the state as a result of their criminal act if they drive drunk, the outcome of a criminal case will not provide money damages for the victim. Instead, the outcome may carry penalties such as the revocation of a driver’s license, the installation of an interlock ignition device, fines and fees, and perhaps jail time.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver’s actions, you must pursue a civil case in order to recover monetary compensation for your injuries and losses. The outcome of a civil case will have no criminal consequences. Even if the at-fault driver is acquitted on criminal DUI charges – or never charged at all – you may still be able to pursue a civil case for compensation. Similarly, a conviction for DUI does not guarantee that you will recover money damages.
Compensation for Victims of Drunk Drivers
Like those who are harmed in other accidents caused by negligence, victims of drunk drivers have the right to seek compensation for the full extent of losses they have suffered, both economic and noneconomic in nature. This means that our lawyer can help you to seek damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- And more
These damages are not capped in Texas. Consult with our lawyer to learn more about how much your claim may be worth.
Call a Texas Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been harmed by the actions of a drunk driver in Texas, you should not have to live with the losses that you have suffered. When you call The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, our Houston drunk driving accident lawyer can review your situation and advise you about your best legal options.
We offer initial consultations free of charge. Please call us or send us a message today to start the process of pursuing the money you deserve.