Injuries from DUI Accidents
It is a crime to drive while intoxicated. Innocent people are injured or killed daily due to DUI related accidents, and an average of one drunk driving fatality occurs every 39 minutes. With convenient and inexpensive services like Uber and Lyft, there is no excuse not to call someone to drive you after you’ve had too much to drink.
The primary reason people make the decision to drink and drive is because their judgment has become significantly impaired. The intoxicated person’s last bad decision of the night is usually to drive home, i.e., this decision is usually preceded by other bad choices that were influenced by the alcohol. There’s a saying that goes “I didn’t order the second drink, the first drink did.”
In most Atlanta drunk driving car accident cases that go to a jury for a verdict, the jury will be asked to not only fully compensate the victim, but will also be asked to punish the drunk driver by imposing punitive damages against that driver. The reason punitive damages may be imposed in Georgia is not because the driver caused a collision on purpose, rather, it is because the driver got behind the wheel knowing that he or she was too impaired to drive and drove anyway. In legal terms, this driver was “consciously indifferent to the consequences of his actions”. In any drunk driving accident claim, accident victims can recover a host of damages caused by an intoxicated driver, including:
- Damage to personal property
- Medical Expenses for bodily Injury
- Pain and suffering
- Lost Income
- Punitive Damages
In some cases, a bar, restaurant, or some other supplier, can be held responsible for the harm caused when it can be proven that they provided alcoholic beverages to a person that was noticeably intoxicated, knowing that this person would soon be driving. This is called a Dram Shop action. It is very important to fully and immediately explore whether a Dram Shop action can be brought for two main reasons. First, often the drunk driver is woefully underinsured. For example, the McAleer Law Firm represented a family who lost their daughter due to a drunk driver and that driver had only $100,000 in insurance coverage. Despite this, the McAleer Law Firm was able to uncover additional ways to recover for their enormous loss. Second, time is of the essence when it comes to securing evidence, especially possible video footage from the bar or restaurant that may clearly show the drunk driver being served while in a state of noticeable intoxication. Video footage such as this is typically automatically deleted within a matter of days as a standard business practice. Also, witnesses, such as patrons or servers, may be difficult to track down months or years later – that’s’ why it’s best to interview all witnesses as soon as possible.
Insurers seek to settle DUI car crash injury cases quickly, before you may know the extent or permanency of your injuries or the kind of life adjustments you may need to make. They are only concerned about paying as little money as possible.
To know what kind of a settlement you truly need and deserve, someone on your side must calculate the present and future expenses involved in the type of injury you have. If you cannot work, you need to calculate the cost of lost wages, lost quality of life and other factors as well as medical treatment. We can review any settlement offer an insurance company is offering you in an initial consultation at no cost or obligation to you. We will help you understand what is an appropriate settlement and fight for you to receive one.
If you have suffered a serious injury or have lost a loved one in a DUI accident, The McAleer Law Firm can help you.