A motorist who is driving while intoxicated could change your life in a split second. If you’re injured by an intoxicated driver anywhere in or near the San Antonio area, schedule a consultation immediately to discuss your rights with a San Antonio personal injury attorney.
DWI laws are controversial. Many want harsher laws and aggressive enforcement. Others insist the penalties should be reduced and the laws reformed. But everyone agrees that in the most egregious cases, the injured victims of intoxicated drivers pay the heaviest penalties.
What are your rights if you are injured in a crash with a driver who was intoxicated? Can you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses? What steps should you take? When should you contact a San Antonio car accident lawyer?
If you’ll continue reading, you will find the answers you may need, and you will also learn more about Texas law and your rights as an injured victim of negligence in this state.
What’s the Real Cost of DWI – For the Victims?
In 2021, over a thousand people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, and over 2,500 serious injuries were reported. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that from 2010 to 2018, Texas was the state with the highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
What’s the actual cost of intoxicated driving? In the U.S., intoxicated drivers cause accidents that kill approximately ten thousand innocent people and injure about a quarter-million of us each year. The financial losses caused by alcohol-related accidents exceed $50 billion a year.
For many people, one drink is enough to impair their driving skills and reaction times. Texas courts, prosecutors, and police agencies work aggressively to hold impaired drivers accountable, and in all fifty states, the courts impose jail terms, fines, license suspensions, and other penalties on convicted DWI offenders.
What Can Happen to the Injured Victims of Impaired Drivers?
Due to intoxicated drivers, thousands of innocent injury victims in the United States and throughout the State of Texas are permanently disabled, cannot work, and must rely on others for help with the simplest everyday chores.
If you survive a traffic accident with an impaired motorist, you may sustain a brain or spinal cord injury, multiple broken bones, fractures, sprains, disfigurement, or an injury that requires an amputation. You could be disabled, temporarily or permanently.
When impaired drivers change lives, the most seriously injured victims – brain injury patients, amputees, and those who’ve been permanently disabled – may also struggle with genuine psychological difficulties: anxiety, fear, and depression.
Texas law entitles the injured victims of negligence to compensation for their current and projected future medical expenses, current and projected future lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and related losses and damages.
How Can the Victim of an Impaired Driver Recover Compensation?
However, “entitled” does not mean that money magically appears in a victim’s mailbox or bank account. If an impaired driver injures you, and if you’re entitled to compensation, you may have to prove it, and that will require the advice and services of a San Antonio car accident lawyer.
If you proceed with a personal injury claim, your attorney will carefully examine the evidence – including the written police accident report and your medical records and test results – question any witnesses, and initiate private, out-of-court negotiations to recover your compensation.
How Soon Should You Contact a Lawyer?
You must take action at once. Evidence should be compiled and scrutinized before it disappears or deteriorates. Witnesses must be interviewed before their memories fade. The deadline for taking legal action is two years. After two years, a court probably will not hear your case.
If you’ve missed the deadline, it is possible that your case may qualify under one of the narrow exceptions, so go ahead and speak to an attorney. But if you were injured recently, act now. You should contact an attorney at once after you’ve been examined and/or treated by a medical provider.
Will Your Personal Injury Claim Prevail?
No attorney can guarantee the outcome of a personal injury case, but if a driver injures you and then fails a breathalyzer exam or receives a conviction for DWI, the odds are quite good that your claim will succeed and that the matter will be resolved with a quick, out-of-court settlement. You probably won’t even have to appear in court.
However, if your claim is denied by the other driver’s insurance company, if there’s a dispute over which driver is liable for the accident, or if no acceptable settlement offer is forthcoming in the private negotiations, a San Antonio personal injury attorney will take your case to trial, explain to a jury what happened, and ask that jury to order the payment of your compensation.
At a trial, your lawyer may have to prove that you were injured in that specific collision and not at some other time and place in some other way. That is one reason why, if you are not treated at the scene or taken to the hospital, you must have an immediate medical exam after an accident.
You and your attorney will not have to prove the other driver was intoxicated, but you will have to prove that he or she was negligent. Your attorney will also have to explain the extent of your injuries and other damages so that jurors can determine the amount of your compensation.
Moving Constructively Into the Future
It’s difficult to live with a long-term injury or a permanent disability. It may also be difficult for your loved ones. However, if your personal injury claim prevails, your medical bills and lost wages will be covered, and you will be compensated for your pain and personal suffering.
Do not hesitate to fight for your rights, for your family, and for the compensation you deserve. A settlement or jury verdict in your favor will help you proceed positively and constructively into the future. If you are injured in or near the San Antonio area in a traffic accident with an impaired driver, contact a Texas personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.
Your first meeting with an injury lawyer is offered with no cost or obligation, and you pay no lawyer’s fee until and unless your lawyer recovers compensation on your behalf. If you and your attorney can prove your injury claim, you’ll be compensated, and the law will be on your side.