Helping Victims of Gwinnett County Drunk Driving Accidents Seek Monetary Recovery in their Personal Injury Cases
Drunk drivers pose a serious safety threat to all other motor vehicle drivers on the roadway. In fact, according to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 people die every day in collisions that involve an intoxicated motor vehicle driver. This translates into approximately one death every 53 minutes. Moreover, according to the CDC, drunk driving accidents cost a total of $44 billion dollars every year in the United States.
When motor vehicle drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they seriously increase their chances of causing a motor vehicle accident. This is because drugs and alcohol affect the body’s central nervous system and how it functions. Alcohol, for instance, slows down a person’s central nervous system, and consequently, his or her reaction time.
If you have suffered property damage and/or personal injuries because of a drunk driver, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. In addition to compensatory damages for your medical treatment and lost wages, you may be able to obtain compensation for your pain, inconvenience, suffering, and loss of enjoyment. Moreover, you may be eligible to recover punitive damages from the drunk driver.
The experienced Gwinnett County drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law can review the facts of your case with you and help you pursue the money damages you deserve.
The Legal Standard for Drunk Driving in Gwinnett County, Georgia
Under Georgia law, individuals who operate their vehicles while impaired by alcohol are subject to criminal penalties. A police officer can arrest someone for driving under the influence—or DUI—in two separate instances. First, the officer can arrest the driver if he or she determines that the driver is impaired to such an extent that the driver is “less safe.” This is true even if the driver refuses to take a chemical impairment test.
An officer can also arrest a driver for DUI if chemical testing shows the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be 0.08 percent or higher, within three hours of operating a motor vehicle. This is called DUI per se.
If you have suffered injuries in a Gwinnett County drunk driving accident, the skilled legal team at Brauns Law can help you prove your case in order to recover the damages you deserve.
The Scene of the Accident
If you are in a motor vehicle accident that you believe was caused by a drunk driver, there are certain actions you should take while you are still at the accident scene. The first thing you should do is to call the police and other emergency personnel to the scene if you are able.
When the police arrive on-scene, you should inform the officer about any evidence tending to show that the other driver had been drinking. That evidence may include slurred speech, alcohol odor, unsteady gait, or bloodshot eyes. While these observations cannot prove that the other driver was intoxicated, they may provide the officer with enough reasonable suspicion to begin a DUI investigation.
The officer may resort to chemical testing or field sobriety tests to make the final determination about whether the other driver was under the influence of alcohol.
As soon as possible after a drunk driving accident, call the experienced lawyers at Brauns Law. Our legal team can obtain the police report and other documentation to begin pursuing your case.
Pursuing a Claim or Lawsuit against the Drunk Driver
In drunk driving accident cases, a lawyer can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf against the drunk driver. In cases where alcohol was clearly involved, the other driver’s insurance company may not contest liability (that is, fault for the accident), in which case the claim is mostly about causation and the amount of monetary damages to which you are entitled. In these types of cases, the accident victim will still need to demonstrate that he or she sustained injuries and that these injuries directly resulted from the drunk driving accident.
The Gwinnett County drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law can assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit in the court system for monetary damages.
Types of Damages Available
Injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents can be extremely serious. This is especially true if the accident occurs at a high rate of speed. Injuries suffered in drunk driving accidents can involve anything from soft tissue injuries, sprains, and contusions, to traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and death.
If you can demonstrate that you sustained your injuries as a direct result of the drunk driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation for any or all of the following:
- Medical expenses, including expenses for treatment, procedures, and physical therapy
- Lost wages for time missed from work as a result of medical appointments and recuperation
- Pain and suffering related to injuries sustained in the accident
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life due to the injuries sustained
- Loss of earning capacity in cases where the accident victim sustained permanent injuries
- Loss of spousal or family companionship and support
- Wrongful death damages in cases where the decedent’s surviving family members file a claim
The experienced drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law understand the suffering, pain, and inconvenience associated with a drunk driving accident. Our legal team will fight for your right to monetary damages to compensate you for everything you went through.
Gwinnett County Drunk Driving Accident FAQ
Whenever drivers in Gwinnett County operate their motor vehicles while they are under the influence of an intoxicating substance, such as alcohol, they pose a significant risk for all other motor vehicle operators on the roadway. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and significantly impacts the brain’s ability to function correctly. Specifically, it can delay a person’s reflexes and ability to react quickly. It can also lead to blurred vision, especially at night. When motor vehicle operators are intoxicated, they significantly increase the chance that they will cause a serious accident in which other drivers and passengers may suffer significant injuries.
When a drunk driver causes an accident, the at-fault driver may incur criminal charges. If the driver is ultimately convicted, they may face incarceration, have to pay a fine, serve a period of probation, or some combination of the three. In addition, an injured car accident victim may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for monetary compensation and damages.
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries because of an accident that involved a drunk driver, you have legal options available to you. The experienced Gwinnett County drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you file your claim and, if necessary, litigate your case through the state court system to a conclusion.
How long can you wait before filing a lawsuit against a drunk driver?
The statute of limitations that applies to drunk driving car accident cases is the same that applies to all personal injury cases in Georgia. In almost all circumstances, you have exactly two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver for injuries you suffered in the motor vehicle accident. If you wait too long to file your lawsuit (beyond this two-year window of time), you can no longer file a claim for monetary compensation and damages stemming from that accident. If you do try to file a lawsuit, the defense attorney in the case will most likely file a motion to dismiss the suit, which the court would then grant.
Consequently, if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, you need our experienced legal counsel on your side as soon as possible. The skilled Gwinnett County drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will thoroughly review your case and file your lawsuit well before the statute of limitations expires. We will then work hard to help you recover the monetary compensation that you need to make you whole again.
What is the legal standard for drunk and intoxicated driving in Gwinnett County?
Just like other states throughout the country, the state of Georgia has various criminal laws on the books pertaining to drunk driving. A person may be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if they have a 0.08 percent (or greater) blood alcohol concentration. Blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) is typically measured using a Breathalyzer device or some other type of testing, such as urine testing. Lower BAC limits apply to special classifications of drivers. For example, the BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent, and there is a 0.02 percent BAC cut-off for minors (drivers who are under 21 years of age at the time of their arrest).
If a driver is found guilty of a DUI or some other drunk driving offense, they may be subject to criminal penalties. In addition, if the drunk driver causes an accident that leads to personal injuries, the driver may be sued in civil court.
The experienced Gwinnett County drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm regularly handle personal injury cases that involve intoxicated drivers. Our legal team can help you bring your claim, file your lawsuit, and pursue monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Who can be held responsible for my Gwinnett County drunk driving accident?
Some several individuals and entities may potentially be responsible for the injuries that you suffered in a drunk driving accident. The most obvious responsible individual for your accident is the intoxicated driver of the at-fault vehicle. Assuming you can satisfy all of the legal elements, you may file a claim or lawsuit directly against the intoxicated driver.
In addition to the intoxicated driver who operated the vehicle, you may file a claim or lawsuit against the drunk driver’s employer, if the motor vehicle operator was on the job and within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. In this instance, you would make your claim under an agency theory of recovery. This legal theory holds that employers are responsible for entrusting their vehicles to good drivers who will operate the vehicles safely and carefully at all times. Employers are also responsible for hiring, supervising, and retaining competent and careful employees at all times.
Finally, in some cases, you may have a legal claim against a restaurant or bar owner under the current dram shop laws. These laws state that bars and restaurants cannot serve a customer more alcohol if that individual already appears to be intoxicated. If the bar or restaurant does serve the customer more alcohol, and the customer then gets behind the wheel of a car and causes an accident, then the retail establishment can be subject to liability.
If you have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision that was caused by a drunk or drugged driver, you may have a cause of action against any of the individuals or entities named above. The experienced Gwinnett County drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will explain your legal rights to you and assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible individuals or entities in your case.
What do I need to prove to prevail in a Gwinnett County drunk driving accident case?
In personal injury cases that involve motor vehicle accidents, to pursue and recover monetary compensation, the accident victim must prove that the at-fault driver breached the duty of care (to drive as a reasonably safe driver would under similar circumstances). In cases where an intoxicated driver was arrested or cited for a DUI, the arrest alone may be sufficient proof of fault in your negligence case.
Additionally, when it comes to proving fault, specific documentation may become necessary. For example, the police report could be admissible for purposes of demonstrating who caused the accident and whether or not the at-fault driver was issued a citation by the police officer who responded to the scene. Police reports also typically contain a narrative description that recounts how the accident took place.
In addition to police reports, an eyewitness who saw the accident and the circumstances surrounding it may testify, for example, that the at-fault driver was weaving in and out of traffic or driving erratically just before causing the accident. Eyewitnesses may also testify about how the at-fault driver sounded after the accident (such as whether the driver was slurring their words, for example).
In addition to proving fault on the part of another driver, the accident victim must demonstrate that they suffered at least one physical injury in the accident. The accident victim must also establish that this bodily injury (or injuries) was the direct result of the subject accident. The accident victim’s attorney may introduce several vital pieces of evidence or introduce certain testimony at trial to establish the existence of this causal relationship between injury and accident. For example, the accident victim may submit photographs of the damage done to the involved vehicles (to prove that it was a significant accident), as well as photographs of the personal injuries that the accident victim suffered in the collision.
Finally, the victim of a drunk driving accident may introduce testimony from a medical expert to establish that specific injuries did directly result from the drunk driving accident. In addition to this medical testimony, the accident victim’s lawyer may introduce the medical records and bills from treatment into evidence at the personal injury trial.
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, and injuries resulted, then you may be in a position to file a claim or lawsuit directly against the drunk driver for monetary compensation. The experienced Gwinnett County drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you prove the elements of your legal claim to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries on your behalf.
Can I recover monetary compensation for injuries sustained in a traffic collision that was caused by a drugged driver?
Drugged driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of side effects from a prescription drug or some other controlled substance presents serious dangers to other motor vehicle operators on the road. Many drugs, even prescription drugs, often come with various side effects that can impact a driver’s reaction time, concentration, and ability to operate a motor vehicle safely on Gwinnett County roadways. Illegal drugs, such as hallucinogenics, also create serious problems when it comes to driving.
Police officers in Gwinnett county must try and identify the telltale signs of drunk or drugged driving on highways and other roadways. When drugged drivers get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they may cause an accident that can lead to other individuals suffering severe injuries.
If you or a person you love suffered injuries in a car accident that was brought about by a drugged driver, you have legal options available to you. The Gwinnett County drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you bring your claim or file your lawsuit against the driver who was at fault for your accident.
What types of monetary compensation can I recover from the intoxicated driver who caused my accident?
If you can prove that you suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be entitled to recover certain types of monetary compensation. It is no secret that drunk driving accident injuries, which may include a broken bone, soft tissue injury, spinal cord injury, traumatic head or brain injury, internal injury, or paralysis, can be excruciating and debilitating. These injuries often require significant medical treatment, and the accident victim may have to miss time from their job. In some instances, depending upon the severity of the injury or injuries, the accident victim can suffer permanent conditions for the remainder of their life.
In accident cases that were caused by a drunk driver, your lawyer may pursue monetary compensation for the injuries that you suffered. Specifically, you may recover economic damages for all of your out-of-pocket costs that were related to your accident. For example, you may file a claim to recover compensation for all of your medical bills and expenses, including expenses for medical visits, physical therapy visits, and procedures. You may also recover the wages that you missed as a result of not working following your accident.
In addition to pursuing economic damages following your drunk driving accident, you may also pursue a variety of non-economic damages. These damages compensate individuals for intangibles. For example, you may recover compensation for all of your inconvenience, pain, and suffering following your drunk driving accident. In addition, you may recover monetary compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or some other psychological condition or mental anguish. Finally, you may pursue compensation for loss of family or spousal support, as well as for a permanent disability.
In an instant, the choices of a drunk driver can cause injury and irrevocably alter a victim’s life. The Gwinnett County drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will do everything they possibly can to maximize the compensation that you can recover from your drunk driving accident case.
Talk to a Gwinnett County Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
Drunk driving accident cases are complicated, and the amount of pain, suffering, and medical treatment involved can overwhelm anyone. If you suffered injuries because of a drunk driver, you are not alone. The knowledgeable attorneys at Brauns Law can help you pursue legal damages and work towards a favorable resolution of your case.