Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs poses a hazard to you and everyone else on the road. Drinking impairs a driver’s cognitive abilities and slows their reaction time, often causing accidents, so if you’ve been drinking, have a designated driver take you home or call a cab. If you drink and drive and cause an accident, you are responsible for any injuries or fatalities that occur.
The Barber Law Firm represents many clients who’ve sustained injuries due to a drunk driving accident. Our drunk driving accident attorneys can offer expert representation and legal counsel for you or your loved one who wish to seek compensation for any injuries, hospital bills, lost wages, long-term medical treatment, or funeral expenses. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll a drunk driving accident can have on your life and we want to help you through the difficult recovery process.
Filing a Drunk Driver Accident Claim
A drunk driving accident claim covers drivers, passengers in the drunk driver’s car, passengers in the other party’s car, and pedestrians. In order to win a drunk driving lawsuit, it must be proven that the driver had been drinking, that the alcohol impaired his or her ability to operate a vehicle and led to the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The blood alcohol limit in most states is .08 to .10, but in most cases, if the driver had been drinking at all—whether legally intoxicated or not—they will be considered negligent.
The attorneys at Barber Law will review and examine documents to determine whether you have a viable case. If we do take the case, we will use the following as resources:
- Police Reports: If the police came to the scene of your accident, they probably made a written accident report, and may have observed and recorded the fact that the other driver was intoxicated. Sometimes a police report plainly states an officer’s opinion that someone violated a specific traffic law (or drunk driving law) and that the violation caused the accident. In accidents involving drunk driving, the police report may even state that the officer made an arrest and/or issued a citation. Other times, the police report merely mentions negligent behavior, without plainly stating that the violation caused the accident.
- Witnesses: Testimony and accounts from witnesses as to the number or amount of drinks, drugs, or medication consumed by the driver; the way the driver was acting (stumbling); and the way the driver was speaking (slurred speech)
- Expert Opinion: Testimony and opinion by medical or law enforcement experts as to the number or amount of drinks, drugs, or medication consumed by the driver; the effect of such consumption on an a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle; and blood-alcohol or chemical evidence (such as field sobriety tests or blood tests in a hospital).
Depending on the severity of the injuries, the drunk driver’s past driving record, and their cooperation with authorities, the guilty party may face fines, probation, or jail time. They will also be responsible for paying for any damages (usually through an insurance company).
Third Party Liability
In some instances, the provider of the alcohol, such as bars or restaurants, may be held responsible for the injuries from a drunk driving accident. For example, if an establishment served a minor alcohol, that may make them liable for a drunk driving accident. The lawyers will need to prove that the driver was, in fact, given alcohol by the third party, that the third party knew of the driver’s intoxication or the fact that they were clearly underage, and that the driver’s intoxication caused the wreck and subsequent injuries. These cases are far more complicated and require the finesse of an experienced law firm who can determine exactly who is to be held responsible.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
Immediately after a drunk driving accident, you should do all of the following:
- Call the police. They will take witnesses’ statements as well as document the accident in a police report.
- Seek medical treatment. Take photographs of any injuries or damage and keep copies of hospital records and doctor’s notes.
- Seek legal counsel. Consult a legal professional to discuss your rights.
If you wish to discuss your accident with a car accident lawyer in Dallas, TX, call the Barber Law Firm for a FREE case evaluation. Be sure to act quickly as there is a certain time limit to file a claim on a drunk driving accident. For most cases we work on a contingent basis, meaning we only get paid if you do, so rest assured we will work hard for you.
To learn more about your rights following a drunk driving accident, call the drunk driving accident attorneys at The Barber Law Firm at 972-525-2550, or fill out our online form today.