When you get into an accident with a drunk driver, you may wonder who is liable and responsible for the accident. While it may seem obvious that the drunk driver is liable, another party may be to blame. If you’ve been injured and now want to file a claim, contact The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia, who represents personal injury clients throughout the state of Georgia as well as Florida.
The law firm has previously recovered $27 million in damages for a drunk driving case in which a bar continued to serve alcohol to a person who was clearly drunk. This person then went on to kill one member of a family and seriously injure two others. The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your drunk driving accident, so make sure you get in touch now for a free initial consultation.
Who Is Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?
In a drunk driving case, it needs to be determined who was at fault and negligent. This means that they had a duty of care to uphold, they breached that duty by acting carelessly or recklessly, and that led to you getting hurt.
In a drunk driving accident, the most obvious party who may be at fault is the drunk driver. They had a duty to drive safely in order to protect other people on the road. They did not uphold that duty because they got behind the wheel when they were drunk. If they hit you because they were drunk and you got injured, then that could amount to negligence.
However, it may not be the drunk driver’s fault, or it may not just be the drunk driver’s fault. For instance, let’s say a drunk driver was at a party before getting on the road. The host kept serving the driver alcohol knowing that they were going to drive home that night and they were clearly intoxicated. Then, the host may also be responsible. The same could apply if the driver was at a bar and the bartender kept serving them drinks even though they were intoxicated.
In another scenario, let’s say a drunk driver was at a party and, knowing they had to drive home later, only had one beer. But somebody slipped them a drug in their drink that made them much more intoxicated. When they got in their car, they didn’t know there were drugs in their system. In that case, the driver might not be to blame.
If there was a road hazard that the drunk driver was swerving to avoid, then a construction firm that left the road hazard on the street could be partially to blame. If you were also driving recklessly – perhaps you were texting while driving or speeding – then you could partially be at fault as well.
Who Will Determine Fault in a Drunk Driving Case?
A personal injury lawyer will be able to determine who was at fault in a drunk driving case. They will use the evidence you provide as well as other proof that they collect in order to bolster their argument. When they’re negotiating with the defendant for a settlement, they will present this evidence to compel them to settle for a suitable amount. And if you end up having to go to court, then the lawyer will show the evidence to the jury to convince them that the defendant was at fault.
Relevant evidence in a drunk driving case could include your medical records showing your injuries, police records, witness statements from people who saw the crash occur or who were around the defendant before the crash, and photographs of your injuries and the scene of the crash. Additionally, you may be able to locate video footage of the incident. If the drunk driver was tested for intoxication through a breathalyzer or other testing, your lawyer could obtain the results and possibly use them in your favor.
What to Do if a Drunk Driver Hits You
If a drunk driver crashes into you, the first thing you need to do is pull over to a safe spot. Then, call the police immediately since drunk driving is a crime. If the driver is belligerent or too intoxicated to talk, then you’ll need to go through the police to attain the driver’s insurance provider and policy number. You don’t want to risk your personal safety by engaging with the driver.
You should take photos of the damages to your car and other personal belongings, as well as photos of your visible injuries. Talk to anyone on the scene and record their statements as well. Note if there are any security or traffic cameras around that might have recorded what happened.
When you’ve collected all the evidence you need, go to the hospital right away to get treated for your injuries. Point out any pain you’re experiencing and get X-rays and take any other tests the doctor recommends. Stick to your doctor’s treatment plan. If you don’t, it may seem like you weren’t taking your injuries seriously or they aren’t that severe. The insurance company could use this against you.
If the other driver’s insurance company calls you to offer you a settlement, do not accept it. Instead, you need to reach out to a personal injury lawyer for representation.
What Kind of Compensation Could I Receive for My Drunk Driving Accident?
Your personal injury lawyer will go after damages for things like: Your medical bills, Your car repair bills, Loss of wages, Future medical care, Pain and suffering and Emotional distress.
Your lawyer will calculate your economic damages such as your medical bills, loss of wages, and future medical care, as well as your non-economic damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress. They will come up with a settlement number and then propose it the defendant. The defendant can accept it and offer you the settlement you request, negotiate for a lower settlement, or choose to go to court. Typically, in these types of cases, defendants settle so they don’t have to spend the time and money going to trial.
To determine whether or not you have a valid case, you need to get in touch with a lawyer ASAP.
Contact The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm
If you’re now facing injuries because a drunk driver crashed into you, then you need someone who is going to stand by your side and advocate for you. Make sure you get in touch with The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm today. Contact us online or call us at (404) 522-1500. We’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve so you can move forward with your life.