Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Over a decade, drunk drivers in Georgia were involved in accidents resulting in 3,699 fatalities. Whenever you drive in this state – or ride along as a passenger – it’s likely that there’s a drunk driver on the road with you. If you’re injured by an intoxicated driver in this state, discuss your injury, your rights, and your legal options at once with an experienced Atlanta DUI accident attorney at Spaulding Injury Law. In most cases, the injured victims of drunk drivers are entitled under Georgia law to complete compensation for their medical bills and other injury-related expenses.
When a motorist’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is 0.08 percent or higher, that driver is legally intoxicated in the state of Georgia. When impaired drivers cause accidents, they face serious criminal charges, but they can also be held accountable for civil damages. If you are injured by a drunk driver, an experienced Atlanta DUI accident lawyer at Spaulding Injury Law can handle the case on your behalf. Your personal injury attorney will either reach an acceptable agreement through out-of-court negotiations or take your case to a jury.
Can You Win Compensation With a Drunk Driver Injury Lawyer?
If the case goes to trial, a good motor vehicle accident lawyer will fight aggressively on your behalf for the compensation and justice you deserve. If the driver responsible for your injuries – the person you name as a defendant in your personal injury claim – is convicted of DUI, that conviction is powerful evidence supporting your claim, and in almost all such cases, the victim’s claim will prevail and the victim will be awarded the compensation that he or she deserves.
If the driver who injured you is not tested, charged, or convicted of DUI, our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law often rely on the nation’s top toxicology experts to establish and testify that an at-fault driver was impaired. Such evidence and testimony can make all of the difference, especially in those cases where a driver’s impairment was the result of a drug or chemical other than alcohol.
What About the Businesses That Sell and Serve Alcohol?
Businesses that sell and serve alcohol in Georgia can also sometimes be held accountable for negligence that leads to traffic injuries. Restaurants, bars, liquor stores, and other businesses that over-serve alcohol to patrons who then injure a third party can often be named as defendants or as co-defendants in these kinds of cases. Establishments that serve alcohol in this state are legally obligated to cut off customers who clearly appear to be drunk and impaired.
By conducting a thorough investigation and by building a convincing case built upon hard facts and witness testimony, an Atlanta DUI accident attorney can often help the injured victim of a drunk driver to recover financial damages for medical care, lost wages, and possibly much more. Get the legal help you need after being injured by a drunk driver in Georgia. Speak to a traffic collision attorney at Spaulding Injury Law by calling us at 770-744-0890. You may also contact the attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law by completing the contact form here on our website. We are ready and prepared to fight for the compensation – and for the justice – that the victims of drunk drivers need and deserve.
All Drunk Drivers Should be Held Liable
Drunk driving accidents are preventable incidents, as the driver had to make the decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. While you might think that to be found liable for an accident, a person must have the legal minimum of alcohol in their blood, this is not always the case.
When a person’s driving is impaired by anything, whether due to alcohol of any amount, drugs, or even fatigue, they are engaging in irresponsible activity while driving. When drivers are being irresponsible, they are violating their duty to other drivers on the road, and if a driver is actively breaking the law when they cause an accident, they will be automatically liable for the harm they cause.
If a driver is arrested and faces drunk driving charges, you might assume that the criminal case will also address your losses. This is rarely the case, however. A criminal case might order restitution from the driver, but it is usually not even close to the amount of your injury-related losses. Instead, you can hold them liable in a separate matter by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the driver in civil court.
An Atlanta drunk driving attorney can assess your best options for seeking compensation.
Assessing and Proving Your Drunk Driving Case
If a driver was stumbling at the scene of the accident or slurring their words, it might be obvious to you that they were drunk. However, your words and observations are not enough to prove your drunk driving accident claim and obtain compensation. Your attorney will identify the evidence needed to prove your case.
First, your lawyer will determine whether the driver was convicted of driving under the influence in a Georgia criminal court. If so, this conviction – whether they pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial – can serve as automatic evidence of liability. Your attorney will know how to obtain the records necessary to present to the insurance company and prove liability.
Even without a conviction, however, you can still prove a drunk driver should be responsible for your losses. Your drunk driving accident lawyer knows what evidence to gather, including witness statements or video footage showing the driver’s intoxicated behavior or dangerous driving.
After you prove liability, you then must prove your damages, which is the compensation you are requesting. Evidence can include medical bills, pay statements, notes, journals, medical records, and more. If you will have future losses, your lawyer can set up experts to analyze your situation and provide estimates on how much your future damages will be.
All of this evidence is needed, even if it seems obvious to you that the driver was intoxicated and to blame.
Do Not Accept an Insurance Settlement Without an Attorney
When it comes time to collect damages for your injuries, you will likely be doing so from the insurance company of the drunk driver that hit you or caused the accident. It is important to remember that insurance companies do not work for you, they work for profit. Like any other for-profit business, insurance companies seek to minimize their costs while maximizing their revenues. This means, in part, limiting the payments they make on claims as much as possible.
One tactic that insurance adjusters use is making a quick settlement offer, hoping you will accept it before speaking to an attorney. This is never wise. These offers are generally far lower than you deserve, and the insurer hopes that you will take less in order to get money faster. Doing so often means you are left covering many of your own expenses when they should be covered by the drunk driver.
When you accept an offer of settlement from the insurance company, you are not only taking whatever amount they offer, but you also agree that you cannot pursue anything further in relation to the injuries from your accident. This is why you should never accept any amount without consulting with a drunk driving accident lawyer.
Your lawyer can:
- Ensure you know the full value of your case
- Advise when a settlement offer is inadequate
- Negotiate with the insurance company for additional damages
- Pursue a lawsuit in civil court if necessary to get the full amount you deserve.
Insurance companies know that once you hire legal representation, you mean business, and you will not accept an offer that is too low. Reach out for legal help right away.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
Your first priority is to get the medical treatment you need following an accident. Some injuries are obvious, and you might need an ambulance ride. However, even if your injuries seem minor or you only feel sore or stiff, you should still see a medical professional right away. Doing so helps your prognosis and creates an immediate record of your injuries to present to the insurance company.
Once your health is stable, you should reach out to a drunk driving attorney. This is true even if you still have medical treatment to complete and time before your injuries heal (if they heal at all). Our legal team can evaluate your options and get to work on building your case.
Once you have our law firm on your side, you can have peace of mind that your legal rights are protected against the drunk driver and their insurance company. We are ready to help, so never wait to consult with a member of our team.
Schedule Your Risk-Free Consultation Today.
Working with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident will help to ensure that you have the advocacy needed to collect the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. One of the experienced drunk driving accident attorneys from Spaulding Injury Law is available for a risk-free consultation to discuss options in your case, so reach out and schedule a consultation now. Never delay in starting to protect your rights and hold drunk drivers accountable.