Drunk driving is a serious problem throughout the United States, and Acworth is, unfortunately, no exception. When drunk driving accidents occur, they affect more than just the intoxicated driver—they may involve passengers, other drivers, and their families. Because drunk driving often includes speeding or erratic driving, these accidents can be very severe. If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash with a drunk driver, you need an Acworth drunk driving accident lawyer.
Our legal team’s only goal is to help you get the money and treatment you need to recover after a DUI accident. You and your family will be feeling a lot of emotions after the accident, including anger, frustration, and confusion. We understand. Our lawyers know firsthand what you’re going through, and we have over 20 years of experience helping families in your position. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What counts as DUI in Acworth?
Georgia law prohibits more than just driving while you are under the influence of alcohol. Other substances can also affect how you drive, and many are illegal as well. These including things like:
- Prescription medications
- Mixing substances (such as prescription drugs and alcohol)
- Over-the-counter medications that may cause drowsiness
- Illicit drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine
Any substance that impairs someone’s ability to drive should not be used. But, the laws are less clear on some of these drugs. Nonetheless, evidence of the other driver taking any of these could be useful for your personal injury case.
What steps should I take after an accident with a drunk driver?
Calling the police to make a report is a good idea after any type of accident, but it’s especially important if you suspect that the other driver was drunk. Getting the police involved will not only help your personal injury case, but it will also get this person who is clearly a danger to themselves and others off the road.
The police will do a full investigation of the scene when they arrive. Their report will be very helpful in your personal injury case. The report will usually specifically note that the other driver was charged with drunk driving. It may also provide the officer’s opinion about how the accident happened. Having a statement from an officer that specifically says that the crash occurred because the other driver was intoxicated can be extremely beneficial for your personal injury case.
You should also be sure to get the other driver’s contact information and insurance information as well. The officer will often gather this information and put it in your report too.
Don’t let an intoxicated driver talk you out of calling the police. Sometimes drunk drivers “sober up” quickly after a crash and realize the consequences of their actions. They may beg you not to call the police to avoid fines and getting their license suspended. They may even promise to cover your costs if you don’t make the call—don’t fall for it! Getting another driver to pay for damages without getting the police involved is virtually impossible. Always default to getting a report from an officer.
You should also call a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after the accident. Your lawyer can start the investigation process on your behalf immediately. That way, you can focus on recovering from the crash.
What kind of damages are available in a drunk driving accident in Acworth?
You can get damages that are designed to compensate you for your losses after an accident. Damages like these include:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Lost wages from missing work while you recover
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Losses apply after a loved one’s passing
In some cases, you may also be able to get punitive damages. These damages focus on punishing the wrongdoer—the drunk driver—instead of compensating you for your losses. This money acts like a fine, but it’s provided directly to you as the victim instead of to the state or local government. These damages are supposed to deter the driver from engaging in this type of careless or reckless behavior in the future. They’re also in addition to any other fines that the drunk driver would have to pay in their criminal case.
Punitive damages are only available in personal injury cases. They are not an option in wrongful death cases. They are also discretionary, which means that a jury has the choice to award them or not. Punitive damages are often reserved for severe cases, such as where the injuries are tragic or when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was very high.
Who is liable in a drunk driving accident?
The drunk driver is usually the main focus in drunk driving accidents. But, other people can be responsible for your injuries and damage as well—especially if the driver was over-served. You will need to do some additional investigation to determine where the driver was coming from just before the accident to determine if legal liability might extend to other people.
Bars & Party Hosts
The most common additional parties usually involve bars, restaurants, and social hosts. Anyone who serves alcohol has an obligation not to over-serve people who are visibly drunk or intoxicated. They may also have a responsibility to stop them from getting behind the wheel in some situations as well. If someone is over-served and drives, the person or entity providing the alcohol to them may also be on the hook for paying your damages.
The Vehicle Owner
In some situations, a vehicle owner allows an intoxicated person to drive their car. If that is the case, then the vehicle owner may also have some liability. In legal speak this is known as “negligent entrustment.” In other words, the car owner was careless by knowingly letting a drunk person drive their vehicle, and can be held liable for that carelessness.
Your attorney will be able to do the investigation you need to help you figure out if any other party should be involved in your case.
Talk to an Acworth Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
What happened to you and your family is unfair and unwarranted. We’re here to help you. We can connect you with some of the most experienced drunk driving accident attorneys in the Acworth area—and give you a FREE consultation. Don’t wait to get started. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.