If you’ve been injured by a drunk or impaired, driver, they usually are the cause of your accident and should be held accountable for your injuries. These cases can be legally complex, and you must consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer, as your case will legally differ from other common auto collision cases.
Drunk driving poses a serious public service concern throughout San Antonio. It’s also true that the Texas civil justice system will always attempt to provide you with justice, as a drunk driving victim, but also has the mandate to reduce drunk driving by holding these drivers accountable.
If you’ve been hit and injured by an impaired driver, then you usually can file a lawsuit against them. Evidence of the driver’s intoxication (by alcohol or drugs) and other traffic violations they committed will be used to establish their negligence. Once your San Antonio auto accident lawyer proves negligence and then establishes your physical, emotional, and financial damages, you may certainly be entitled to compensation.
If you or anyone in your family was hit by a drunk driver, all the circumstances of the accident must be thoroughly examined, and then your legal options can be fully explained to you.
In most drunk driving car accident lawsuits, you, and your personal injury lawyer, will pursue compensation through an insurance claim. This legal path alone, however, doesn’t always guarantee a fair settlement in a drunk driving case or cover all the compensation you need to recover. In most of these cases, you (or your family’s injuries) could be severe, and it’s usually recommended that you file a lawsuit against the drunk driver and the business that served them. With the help of proper and just litigation, you will be able to recover and get the level of compensation you need. So, it’s vital to note, that normally your claim against a drunk driver is more complex but will result in more than the usual amounts received in a common auto accident.
How Do I Know When I Should Sue a Drunk Driver?
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, your first step is to pursue an insurance claim. Texas drivers are required to carry personal injury coverage of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident and property coverage of at least $25,000. Most policies also should have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage unless it has been refused in writing.
Commonly PIP coverage will pay for a few of your medical bills, lost wages, and some other expenses. After that, the drunk driver’s policy should contribute, but if the other driver has the minimum policy limits it might not be enough to cover all the costs you incur in the accident. This frequently occurs in a drunk driving case.
At this point, filing a lawsuit with the help of your competent auto accident lawyer is the right thing to do when insurance isn’t enough to pay for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s also imperative that you file if either of the insurance companies is falsely denying your claim, or especially the at-fault drunk driver was uninsured!
Your experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer will go over all the details of your case and will be able to professionally advise you when, and why you should file a lawsuit. Medical bills, lost wages, medical recovery costs and more, will start to mount up quickly, so consulting with your personal injury lawyer immediately is mandatory to you, and your family’s financial future.
How Do Drunk Driving Charges (DUI) Affect My Claim in Texas?
Any personal injury claim against a drunk driver usually is a civil matter that is separate from a possible criminal DUI case. At any rate, you don’t have to wait for the outcome of the DUI case, but your auto accident attorney will be keeping track of all that is occurring. You can, and should, pursue personal injury compensation from the drunk driver even while they may be dealing with the drunk driving charge.
It’s also exceptionally important to note that there is an additional element to drunk driving lawsuits that you need to be aware of. In Texas, under specific circumstances, a business can also be held responsible for injuries or death due to the drunk driver that the business served the alcohol.
These circumstances commonly involve:
- When a business serves alcohol to a visibly and notably intoxicated person who is an obvious danger to themselves or others.
- The second is when a restaurant, bar or business serves or provides alcohol to a minor.
These considerations are reasons that your case might be more complicated than the standard car accident case. If your San Antonio car accident lawyer advises that you have the right to sue the business that served the drunk driver, this gives you the potential to end up with a far greater amount of compensation.
What Should I Know About a Wrongful Death Claim Involving Drunk Driving?
In a worst-case scenario, if you or a family member are killed by a drunk driver, you or a surviving duly appointed person could file a civil suit for wrongful death on behalf of you or your loved one’s estate.
A wrongful death claim is a legal means by which family members can ensure that the survivors of the deceased obtain financial stability, for years to come.
Wrongful death lawsuits are based on standard personal injury negligence lawsuits and commonly adhere to the same legal path. Both economic and non-economic damages are made available, and in most states, punitive damages are legally allowed as well. Punitive damages are completely arbitrary amounts awarded with the sole intent of punishing the drunk driver, providing adequately and fairly for the deceased’s family, and helping to deter future drunk driving accidents and fatalities.
Your San Antonio personal injury lawyer is invaluable to you, and your family, in these cases. Your lawyer will strive to make a noticeably clear case as to how much it will cost to protect, sustain, and properly support your heirs for years to come.
I Have Been Injured By An Intoxicated Driver, What Should I Do First?
As you see, these cases can be legally complex and involve thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. You need to consult with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer with years of experience, knowledge, and success in getting their clients the compensation they deserve and are entitled to. The Law Office of S. Matthew Morris will manage your case with the professional attitude, personal attention, and discretion you deserve. Consult with them first, and ensure you, and your family, are properly compensated.