Auto Accident Attorneys in Lawrenceville Helping Victims of Drunk Drivers Recover
Even though most drivers have learned the dangers associated with driving while intoxicated, too many of them nevertheless choose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking too much. Drunk and drugged driving is not only dangerous for the driver and their passengers, but it also creates a serious hazard for everyone else who is on or near the road at that time. Moreover, drunk driving accidents can occur just about anywhere, including busy highways like I-85.
Alcohol slows down the central nervous system’s functioning and can alter a driver’s depth perception, slow down a driver’s reaction time, and cause a driver’s vision to become blurry. All of these effects can lead to a serious motor vehicle collision in which other individuals sustain severe and sometimes permanent injuries.
Drunk driving can result in both criminal and civil liability. If a drunk or drugged driver receives a DUI conviction, they may have to pay fines, attend a driver improvement class, complete community service, or have their license administratively suspended for a period of time. Depending upon the egregiousness of the driver’s conduct and criminal history, they may have to serve time in jail.
In addition to these potential criminal penalties, an accident victim may sue a drunk driver in civil court if that driver caused a motor vehicle collision in which the victim sustained injuries. If the case settles or goes to trial and the verdict favors the plaintiff, the at-fault driver’s insurance company must pay the settlement. As a result, the insurance company will almost always increase the at-fault driver’s insurance premium.
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision caused by an intoxicated driver, you should seek experienced legal help as soon as possible. The knowledgeable Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can review your case and any pertinent documentation, including witness statements and the police report, to determine if you have a viable Lawrenceville drunk driving case.
If so, we can help you pursue and recover the monetary compensation you deserve for the injuries sustained in your drunk driving auto accident. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can assist you throughout every aspect of your Lawrenceville drunk driving case.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and DUI
When it comes to intoxicated driving, Georgia uses the same BAC cutoffs that apply throughout most of the country. Specifically, if a driver is administered a breathalyzer or blood test at some point shortly after an accident, and their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, then the driver can be arrested (and ultimately convicted) of driving under the influence. This type of DUI is often referred to as DUI per se, as no other evidence other than the driver’s BAC is needed to obtain a conviction.
Police may arrest a driver with a lower BAC if it is apparent that the driver is intoxicated to the extent that it makes it less safe for him or her to drive. However, there are lower limits for certain classes of individuals. Commercial vehicle drivers, for example, have a BAC cutoff of 0.04 percent. Minors (drivers who are under 21 years of age) have a 0.02 percent cutoff.
In addition to possible criminal and administrative penalties, such as a driver’s license revocation, a drunk driver who causes an accident and injures someone else can become the subject of a suit in civil court. The knowledgeable Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm understand that victims of drunk driving accidents may sustain severe injuries through no fault of their own. If you have suffered an injury from an accident that was caused by an intoxicated driver, our legal team is here to help you pursue monetary compensation for your injuries.
Potential Injuries Resulting from Drunk Driving Accident Cases
The injuries of victims of drunk driving accidents may keep them incapacitated for many months (or even years). Drunk drivers tend to lose control over their vehicles and drive at high rates of speed. Therefore, resulting accidents are more likely to lead to severe and potentially fatal consequences for everyone involved. Some of the most common injuries resulting from a drunk driving accident include broken bones, internal injuries, traumatic head or brain injuries, soft tissue contusions, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
When a drunk driving accident victim receives one or more of these injuries in an accident, the accident victim may have to follow up with health care providers, attend physical and occupational therapy, or undergo painful and debilitating medical procedures. The road to recovery may be long and hard, and the accident victim may lose work for a significant period of time, losing considerable wages. The accident victim may even have to switch jobs or careers, and possibly accept a lower rate of pay, due to injuries that they sustained in the drunk driving accident.
The experienced Lawrenceville drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will work hard to help you recover monetary compensation for all of the injuries you suffered in your accident.
Deadline for Filing a Claim or Lawsuit in a Lawrenceville Drunk Driving Accident Case
As with other types of civil cases in Georgia, there are deadlines for filing a lawsuit in Lawrenceville drunk driving cases. Like all other personal injury cases, accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation and civil damages.
Except for some specific circumstances (such as the accident victim being a minor at the time of the accident), this two-year filing deadline is a hard-and-fast rule. Drunk driving accident victims who do not file their lawsuits within the two-year time period will forever waive their claim for monetary compensation and damages.
Given that two years is a relatively short period of time, hire experienced legal counsel to take your drunk driving accident case as soon as possible. The skilled Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm understand the importance of filing a timely lawsuit in a Lawrenceville drunk driving case. We will make sure that your lawsuit is filed on time and well within the two-year limitations period.
Potential Defendants in a Lawrenceville Drunk Driving Accident Case
An accident victim may file a claim or lawsuit directly against the intoxicated motorist who caused the accident. In Georgia, claims made directly against at-fault motor vehicle drivers are allowed because Georgia is a fault-based state. In fault-based states, the at-fault driver’s insurance company steps in to provide the necessary insurance coverage in the event of a collision or other accident.
In addition to the drunk driver, the drunk driver’s employer may share some or all of the liability for the accident, under the legal theory of agency. An employer might be vicariously liable for the accident if the accident happened while the intoxicated driver was on the job and operating within the scope of their employment at the time the accident occurred (such as driving a delivery truck). The accident victim may also have a legal claim against the driver’s employer for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of the at-fault employee driver.
Finally, depending upon the actual circumstances, the restaurant owner or bar owner may be a defendant in a drunk driving accident case if the at-fault driver was already visibly intoxicated when served alcohol. Under dram shop laws, bars and restaurants cannot continue serving alcoholic beverages to visibly intoxicated individuals. If they do, and a car accident occurs soon after as a result of the driver’s intoxication, then the bar or restaurant may be partially at fault and can be named any lawsuit filed.
There are many other individuals and entities besides the drunk driver who may be fully or partially responsible for a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver. The experienced Lawrenceville drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can identify and name all potentially responsible parties in the claim or lawsuit filed on your behalf.
Pursuing Monetary Recovery in a Lawrenceville Drunk Driving Accident Case
The first step towards monetary compensation and damages in a drunk driving accident case is filing a claim. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company receives the filed claim. After you have completed all of your medical treatment, your lawyer will make a settlement demand to that insurance company. Along with making a monetary demand for settlement, your lawyer will forward copies of all of your medical bills, medical records, lost wage documents, and photographs depicting related property damage and personal injuries.
Once the insurance company adjuster reviews all of the material, they may make a settlement offer. However, it will likely take several rounds of negotiations between the insurance company and your lawyer to get to an offer that might be worth accepting, as insurance companies almost always start with lowball offers. If both sides reach an impasse, your lawyer may have to file a lawsuit on your behalf. However, just because there is a filed lawsuit does not necessarily mean that your case will proceed to trial. The filing gets the ball rolling on the litigation process and moves the case forward.
The experienced team of Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you pursue the monetary compensation you need by initiating settlement negotiations with the insurance company and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver and others who may have contributed to your accident. If it becomes necessary to litigate your case in the court system, our legal team welcomes the opportunity to advocate for your legal interests in court.
Potential Damages Available in Lawrenceville Drunk Driving Accident Cases
To recover monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained in a drunk driving accident case, you will need to satisfy the necessary elements of proof and meet your legal burden. In many drunk driving accident cases, especially when there is a police report or criminal record that already places the drunk driver at fault, established liability for the accident already exists. In those cases, you will only need to prove the legal elements of causation and damages (that you were injured and the accident caused your injuries).
If you satisfy these legal elements, you may have entitlement to monetary compensation in your case. Potential damages may include compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Mental distress and anguish
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of use of a body part
The experienced drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will work to help you recover the monetary compensation that you need to make you whole.
Lawrenceville Drunk Driving Accident FAQ
What is the statute of limitations for Lawrenceville drunk driving motor vehicle collision cases?
As in other motor vehicle accident cases in which an accident victim suffers a personal injury, victims of drunk driving motor vehicle accidents have two years from the date of their accident in which to file a lawsuit for their personal injuries. If the accident victim does not file a lawsuit within that two-year timeframe, they will no longer be eligible to recover monetary compensation for the damages and injuries suffered in the accident.
The experienced team of Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will file your lawsuit with ample time to spare. After the filing, we can continue negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to fully and fairly settle your Lawrenceville drunk driving case.
In the event the insurance company refuses to offer the compensation that you need, our legal team welcomes the opportunity to litigate your case through the court system and, if necessary, take your case all the way to trial and advocate for your legal interests there.
When is a Lawrenceville motor vehicle operator driving under the influence?
When an intoxicated motor vehicle operator causes their vehicle to collide with another vehicle or a pedestrian, the driver is held responsible for an accident victim’s injuries and damages. Moreover, the law holds the grossly negligent driver criminally responsible. When a court convicts an individual of a drunk driving charge, that individual can face monetary penalties, jail time, probation, and community service.
A drunk driver can be criminally convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. If a police officer pulls over a suspected drunk driver to administer a breathalyzer test, and the driver has a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit, the police officer can arrest the driver immediately.
Moreover, drivers who are under 21 years of age are held to a higher standard when it comes to intoxicated driving. Specifically, when it comes to minors, the State of Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy. The minor can be arrested for drunk driving if the police find any amount of alcohol on their breath after testing.
Drunk drivers pose a serious hazard to everyone else who is on the road at that time. If you or a person you love has sustained an injury in a motor vehicle collision caused by a drunk driver, you may have legal rights that you can exercise. The Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you seek monetary compensation and recovery for all of the injuries that you sustained in your accident.
What kinds of evidence can help in cases arising from a Lawrenceville drunk driving accident?
Several different types of evidence may be useful in Lawrenceville drunk driving cases. Your attorney can submit evidence to the at-fault driver’s insurance company during the discovery phase of litigation. Moreover, if the case goes to trial, your lawyer may introduce some or all of this evidence at the jury trial proceeding.
Types of evidence that are often helpful in drunk driving accident cases include:
- Police reports – In addition to containing basic information regarding the names and identities of the drivers who were involved in the collision, along with insurance information, police reports often include a narrative description of the accident and how it occurred. Moreover, if the police officer has determined that one or more of the drivers was intoxicated and that a particular driver was at fault, those facts are typically listed in the police report as well. When there is a dispute about responsibility for the accident, the police report can become a crucial piece of evidence in the case.
- Eyewitness testimony – Individuals who witnessed a drunk driving motor vehicle accident can be very important to the personal injury case. An eyewitness who saw what occurred may attest that the driver appeared to be visibly intoxicated just before or at the time of the accident, and may testify to these observations at a jury trial.
- Photographs – Photographs of the accident scene, property damage, and any individuals who were in the accident may become essential pieces of evidence in a Lawrenceville drunk driving case. Moreover, pictures of the accident victim’s injuries that were taken shortly after the accident can be useful when it comes to proving damages in a Lawrenceville drunk driving case.
- Medical records and bills – Medical records and bills are often necessary to establish the nature and extent of the accident victim’s injuries, as well as the causal relationship between the injuries and the accident itself. The bills are proof of the cost of the medical treatment that resulted from the drunk driving accident. Medical records and bills are often exchanged between the parties to a lawsuit during the discovery phase of the litigation. They may also come into evidence at a jury trial and can be extremely helpful when it comes to proving damages in the plaintiff’s case.
The experienced Lawrenceville drunk driving accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are ready to assist you with pursuing your claim or filing your lawsuit for damages arising from a drunk driving accident. Our legal team is committed to helping you pursue the highest possible monetary compensation in your Lawrenceville drunk driving case.
What if my accident was caused by an individual who was high on drugs at the time of the collision?
Drug intoxication, just like alcohol intoxication, is a common cause of motor vehicle collisions. In some cases, the driver of a motor vehicle is suffering from the side effects of a prescription drug. Like alcohol, drugs (and sometimes drug side effects) can alter a driver’s depth perception and reaction time while operating a motor vehicle. Some illegal drugs are also hallucinogens, and if a driver is under the influence of one of those drugs, their vision may become very unreliable in terms of what they believe they see or don’t see.
Trained police officers recognize the signs and symptoms of both drunk and drugged driving. If the police officer knows or suspects that the motor vehicle driver who caused your collision was under the influence of drugs, they will likely note that fact in the police report. Again, the police report can become a crucial piece of evidence in a Lawrenceville drunk driving case, especially where liability or fault is in dispute.
How do drunk driving accidents differ from other motor vehicle collisions?
Motor vehicle collisions that are caused by a drunk driver differ from other motor vehicle accidents, both in their size and scope. Specifically, drunk driving accidents often occur at a high rate of speed, resulting in a more severe impact than in other types of accidents. The force of the impact dramatically increases the likeliness of significant and possibly deadly injuries. In addition, drunk driving accidents can lead to head-on collisions. When a driver’s vision is blurry or in an altered state, the driver is more likely to cross the center line, allowing the vehicle they are driving to merge into the path of oncoming traffic.
A person who sustains an injury in a drunk driving motor vehicle collision may suffer a soft tissue injury, broken bone, traumatic head or brain injury, paralysis, spinal cord injury, internal injury, or death. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle collision that was caused by a drunk driver, the knowledgeable Lawrenceville drunk driving accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are ready to pursue much-needed monetary compensation on your behalf.
Whom can I sue for physical injuries and damages arising out of a Lawrenceville drunk driving accident case?
Drunk driving accident injuries can be severe and may leave you incapacitated for an extended period of time. Some accident victims suffer permanent injuries and damages in drunk driving accidents from which they may never fully recover. Even those accident victims who recover may have to spend a great deal of their time in medical and physical therapy offices or have to undergo medical procedures that are incredibly costly.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Lawrenceville drunk driving collision, first and foremost, you may file a claim for damages against the intoxicated driver who caused your accident. Since the state of Georgia has a fault-based recovery system, you can go directly after the drunk driver when bringing your legal claim or file your lawsuit. In cases where the intoxicated driver was on the job at the time of the collision, you may even file a claim or lawsuit against the driver’s employer for the compensation that you deserve.
Also, under Georgia’s dram shop law, restaurants and bars are supposed to monitor the types and numbers of alcoholic drinks that they serve to patrons. You may file a legal claim or cause of action against a business owner, such as one who owns a bar or restaurant, if you can demonstrate that the business knowingly sold an alcoholic beverage (or several rounds of alcoholic beverages) to a person who was already visibly intoxicated. If that driver later collided their vehicle into yours, the business as well as the driver may bear legal liability.
Finally, you may file a claim or lawsuit against a party host who continued to serve a visibly intoxicated person with alcoholic beverages, most especially if the host continues to serve these beverages to an individual under the age of 21 at the time of the incident.
What are the potential damages I can recover for injuries sustained in a Lawrenceville drunk driving accident?
If you sustained an injury as a direct and proximate result of an accident caused by a drunk or a drugged driver, you could pursue monetary compensation in your Lawrenceville drunk driving accident case.
There are several different types of monetary compensation for which you may be eligible under the circumstances. For example, you can pursue economic damages that cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with the injuries you sustained. Economic damages also include the costs of your medical treatment, medical procedures, and medical bills, along with lost earnings.
Furthermore, you may file a claim for non-economic damages arising from your drunk driving car accident. Non-economic damages include monetary compensation for all of the inconvenience that you had to endure, as well as the pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish that went along with the accident.
In Lawrenceville drunk driving cases, you may even file a claim for punitive damages. Punitive damage awards are available where the defendant acts in a particularly egregious, reckless, or selfish manner, as in a drunk driving accident. The purpose of a punitive damage award is to discourage other individuals from making similar mistakes and to punish the individual wrongdoer.
An experienced Lawrenceville drunk driving accident lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you pursue the monetary recovery that you need by way of a settlement, litigation, trial, or some form of alternative dispute resolution in your case.
Speak With Our Lawrenceville Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Today
Drunk driving accidents can lead to severe injuries, medical complications, painful treatment, and lifelong injuries. If you or someone you care about suffers from an injury resulting from a serious accident caused by an intoxicated driver, the skilled legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm is here to help. Our legal team will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If necessary, we will litigate your case to a conclusion by advocating for your legal rights, including your right to be fairly compensated for your injuries.
The long road to recovery while medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses pile up can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face all of it alone. For a free case evaluation and consultation with an experienced Lawrenceville drunk driving accident lawyer, please call us at (404) 418-8244, or contact us online for more information about how we can assist you with your Lawrenceville drunk driving accident case.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043