We all know that drinking and driving are a deadly combination, but every single day there are drivers who make the disastrous decision to do just that— and they endanger everyone with whom they share the road. While every car accident is scary and fraught with emotion, a car accident that’s caused by a drunk driver is even more traumatic. After all, that driver exhibited an utter disregard for your safety when he or she got behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. If a drunk driver injured you, coming to terms with the other driver’s wanton negligence can pose a significant emotional hurdle.
There is not a driver out there who doesn’t understand that manning a vehicle while impaired by alcohol is both illegal and highly dangerous. Nevertheless, many drivers continue in this practice— often to disastrous effects. Such drivers not only endanger themselves but also they also cause risk to everyone else on the road. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports some sobering statistics related to drunk drivers:
Almost one-third of U.S. traffic deaths in 2015 were alcohol-related
In 2015, 16 percent of all accidents that caused children’s traffic deaths (children 14 years old and younger) involved a driver who was under the influence
Of all the self-reported cases of driving under the influence in the U.S., only about 1 percent result in DUI charges
This tells us that drunk drivers are out there, and that they’re exceedingly dangerous. If you or someone you love has been injured (or worse) by a drunk driver, you need experienced legal counsel. At Brauns Law in Gwinnett County, Georgia, our skilled car accident lawyers understand how devastating these cases can be, and we have the experience and compassion necessary to navigate your claim toward its most just resolution.
Driving Under the Influence: Blood Alcohol Content
Blood alcohol content (BAC) usually determines whether a driver is actually impaired—and also the degree to which the driver is impaired. When a driver is involved in a serious car accident, however, that driver won’t necessarily be tested for BAC—especially if he or she is injured. If you’ve been in a car accident that you suspect was caused by an impaired driver, let the officers on the scene know.
The Demonstration of Intoxication
If another driver’s impairment caused you to be injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages. While it will be necessary to prove that the driver was under the influence, a BAC test isn’t the only means of doing so. In fact, there are a variety of mechanisms for demonstrating that a motorist was too drunk to drive safely:
Eyewitness testimony from bystanders at the scene
Evidentiary pictures and videos taken at the scene
Police documents and reports associated with the accident
Under the Influence
Alcohol impairs our physiologic responses, which are essential to driving safely. In fact, there are many studies that succinctly highlight this fact. The dangerous effects that alcohol has on drivers are quite specific:
- Diminished peripheral vision (which is critical to safe driving)
- Decreased capacity to recover from the glare common to nighttime driving
- Poor tracking capabilities for anything that’s visually complex (such as the traffic on the road)
- Poor performance when one’s attention is needed by competing factors (as driving often demands)
If a drunk driver’s negligence has caused you to be injured in an accident, you may be able to recover on a variety of common damages:
Your medical expenses, including your emergency transportation, emergency medical care, surgeries, doctor’s care, specialist’s care, physical therapy, ongoing medical care, prescription medications, adaptive medical equipment, home adaptions, and home health care
Your lost wages and diminished capacity to earn
Any treatment for your psychological or emotional damages
Your pain and suffering
Loss of consortium (or spousal relationship)
The damages associated with drunk-driving accidents can be immense, and your skilled personal injury lawyer will ensure that your claim adequately reflects the totality of your damages.
Steer Clear of Drunk Drivers
When motorists drink before getting behind the wheel, they significantly reduce their ability to drive safely. Learn to recognize the telltale signs of such drivers, and steer clear of them when you take to the road. There are a variety of signs that a motorist may be under the influence of alcohol:
- Driving with excessive speed
- Changing speeds erratically or driving slowly in the fast lane
- Driving erratically in general
- Stopping unexpectedly or randomly
- Stopping far short of stoplights or stop signs, overshooting stoplights or stop signs, or running stoplights or stop signs completely
- Failing to turn on one’s headlights at night or failing to turn down one’s high beams for approaching traffic
- Signaling deceptively or failing to signal
If you see a driver exhibiting some of these tipoff signs, alert the authorities. You may help stop an accident from occurring.
Your Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, seek immediate medical attention and then consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer. These claims are complicated, but your rights are too important to leave to chance. Your attorney will carefully compile the physical evidence linked to the crash along with all eyewitness testimony and relevant documents in strong defense of your claim. The specifics of every drunk-driving case are unique, and the details of your claim will determine whether you’ll reach a settlement or proceed to court. Allow your experienced personal injury lawyer to guide your claim toward its most positive resolution.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Drunk Driver, Seek Skilled Legal Counsel at Brauns Law Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you know how difficult that is. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law, Personal Injury Firm, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, have the skill, commitment, and compassion to aggressively advocate for your rights and your rightful compensation. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (404) 418-8244 for a free consultation today.