Austin DWI Accident Attorney
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Car Accidents | ATX Legal
Have you or someone you know been a victim of a drunk driving accident in Texas? Our team at ATX Legal is here to assist. We represent victims of negligent and irresponsible behavior, taking a stand for those who have suffered due to others’ actions.
We aim to give victims a voice and a platform to those affected by drunk driving crashes, ensuring their rights are protected. Fill out a contact form for a free consultation for you or your loved ones’ drunk driving accident case. Fill out a contact form for a free consultation with a Texas drunk driving accident lawyer.
What Can You Recover in a Texas Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
As a victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to recover various types of damages. These typically include medical costs incurred due to the accident, loss of income during recovery, compensation for pain and suffering endured, and coverage for property damage. In some cases you can also recover punitive damages. Our legal team will work diligently to assess and calculate these potential recoveries accurately, ensuring you get the compensation you rightly deserve.
Understanding the Difference Between a Criminal Case and a Civil Case
It’s essential to understand that a criminal case and a civil case differ in their objectives and outcomes. A prosecutor files criminal charges to punish the drunk driver for breaking the law. Driving when impaired with a blood alcohol concentration over .08 has legal consequences. Intoxicated drivers face misdemeanors or even felonies in some cases. In contrast, a civil case aims to enable victims to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. Although ATX Legal will represent people charged with DWI in a criminal case, the vast majority of these do not result in injuries to anyone.
Drunk driving accident cases when there is a significant car crash are rare, but when they happen, it is important for the victim to obtain a DUI accident attorney. This page is focused on drunk driving accident victims. ATX Legal can guide you through both the civil and criminal processes, ensuring you understand your rights and options at every step.
How a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A personal injury lawyer can navigate you through the intricate legal process, gather crucial evidence, and negotiate settlements on your behalf. Our main objective is to fight relentlessly to ensure you get the fair compensation you deserve. We’re committed to standing up for you and representing your best interests throughout the legal proceedings.
What Is the Average Settlement for a DUI Accident Case?
The potential settlement amount for a DUI accident case can vary greatly. It largely depends on the severity of the injuries sustained, extent of property damage, lost wages, the level of the at-fault party’s negligence, and other contributing factors. If the intoxicated driver is not covered by an insurance company, you may need to rely on your own uninsured motorist coverage. It’s essential to consult with a drunk driving accident lawyer to understand the potential value of your specific personal injury lawsuit.
The DWI Accident Statute of Limitations in Texas
In Texas, victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. While two years may seem ample, it’s essential to consult a drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. Gathering evidence and building a strong case takes time, and it’s important to start this process early to protect your rights.
Hold Irresponsible Drunk Drivers Accountable for Their Actions
At ATX Legal, we’re here to help victims hold these negligent drivers accountable in the case of serious drunk driving accidents. By pursuing a legal claim, you can play a crucial part in discouraging such irresponsible behavior and making our roads safer for everyone. Our experience with criminal cases helps us better understand drunk driving accidents from all perspectives. The insight of representing Drunk drivers helps us to uncover all evidence when investigating the DUI accident.
What to Do if Injured by a Drunk Driver
If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, it’s crucial to take immediate action.
1. Report the Accident to the Police
Immediately after the car wreck, it’s essential to report the incident to local law enforcement. A police report serves as official documentation of the event and can be crucial in building your case. The police will record necessary details, statements from witnesses, and potentially establish evidence of the driver’s intoxication at the scene.
Sometimes, police officers will show up immediately; other times you have to wait. If possible, it’s best to get them to document the car accident while you and the drunk driver are still present.
2. Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible
Regardless of whether you feel injured or not, seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent to the accident victim and could manifest symptoms days or even weeks later. Early medical evaluation helps identify such injuries and provides medical records that can prove essential when proving the severity of your injuries in your claim.
3. Document Any Evidence of the Driver’s Intoxication and Other Evidence from the Car Accident
While the police will usually gather most of the necessary evidence in order to support criminal charges, you can also play a part in this process. Document any signs of the other driver’s intoxication – slurred speech, unsteady gait, smell of alcohol, or unresponsiveness. Take photographs of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and any visible injuries. These documents can be significant in proving your drunk driving case.
4. Get in Touch With an Experienced DUI Accident Lawyer
As soon as you’re able, contact an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer. A legal professional will guide you through the complex legal maze, help you understand your rights, and work passionately on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve. They will also navigate the negotiation process with insurance companies to ensure your claim is properly valued.
These steps can significantly impact your ability to successfully pursue a legal claim.
Legal Options for Drunk Driving Victims
Victims have the right to file a claim against the drunk driver or any other parties that may be liable. This may include the bar that served the drunk driver, a company if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle, or even the host of a party where alcohol was served. We’ll help you identify all potential defendants to maximize your possible recovery.
Special Consideration in DWI Accident Claims: Punitive Damages
In certain instances, victims of drunk driving accidents may be entitled to punitive damages. These are over and above any compensation you receive for your actual losses. Punitive damages are intended to punish the offender for particularly egregious behavior and to deter similar behavior in the future.
In the state of Texas, punitive damages are subject to caps as per the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Generally, the amount of punitive damages awarded cannot exceed two times the amount of economic damages, plus an amount equal to any non-economic damages found by the jury up to $750,000. Thus, while punitive damages can significantly add to the total amount of compensation received, it is important to note that there are statutory limits in place to prevent excesses.
Drunk Driving Accident FAQs
Our FAQ section includes answers to common queries such as whether a drunk driver is always at fault, the frequency of DUI arrests, and what to do if the responsible driver is uninsured.
Q: Is a Drunk Driver Always at Fault for a DUI Accident?
A: While it is usually the case that intoxicated driving means fault in personal injury cases, it’s not an absolute rule. Fault is determined by the specific circumstances of the accident. If the drunk driver behaved negligently—meaning they breached a duty of care leading to the accident—they would be at fault. However, other factors such as the actions of the other driver or defective vehicle parts can also contribute to determining fault. Legal representation is essential when mapping out fault in any motor vehicle accident.
Q: How Often Are People Arrested for DWI?
A: Every night in our home city of Austin, Texas, dozens of drunk drivers are arrested. On busy weekend nights, the number goes up, of course. Fortunately, only a small percentage of those end in a drunk driving accident, but when they do, the results can be devastating. A huge percentage of fatal car accidents are DUI accidents.
Q: What happens if the drunk driver who hit my car is not insured?
A: If the drunk driver is not covered by an insurance company, you may have to rely on your own insurance for compensation. This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage comes into play. It is designed to cover your losses when the at-fault driver is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance. If your insurer refuses to pay a fair amount, you may need to obtain legal representation from DUI accident lawyers to file a lawsuit against them AND the drunk driver responsible.
Is It Worth Seeking Personal Injury Attorneys After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Given the complex legal and insurance issues involved in a DUI accident, you should seek out experienced drunk driving accident lawyers. Personal injury attorneys can vastly improve your chances of securing maximum compensation. DUI accident attorneys can protect your rights, advocate for you against the insurance company, and guide you through the legal process, providing peace of mind during a challenging time.
At the ATX Legal, we can provide you with a free consultation and give you an idea about the strength of your claim. Personal injury attorney Rob Chesnutt will discuss the details of your drunk driving personal injury case for up to 30 minutes or more by phone. Of course, there’s never any fee unless we recover for your medical bills and other damages.