Impaired drivers put everyone on Atlanta’s roads at risk. A drunk driving accident can change your life within seconds, and you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
Our drunk driving accident attorneys in Atlanta have been helping injury victims for over 20 years. We know how painful and overwhelming being hit by a drunk driver can be, and we are dedicated to protecting your rights.
Our firm doesn’t charge a fee unless we win you money, so there is no risk. To schedule a free consultation and get your questions answered today with no upfront cost, call (404) 341-6555 or contact us online.
What Drunk Driving Means in Georgia
Drunk driving refers to driving under the influence of alcohol. According to Georgia Code section 40-6-391, no one should operate a motor vehicle if they:
- Are under the influence of alcohol to the point where it’s less safe for them to drive
- Are under the influence of a combination of two or more forms of alcohol, drugs, or toxic vapors to the point where it affects their ability to drive
- Have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher within three hours of driving
- Are less than 21 years old and have a BAC of 0.02% or higher within three hours of driving
Driving under the influence (DUI) can refer to being impaired by drugs or other substances that prevent you from driving safely. This can also include prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs that cause drowsiness or other symptoms that make the user unfit to drive.
Why Drunk Drivers in Atlanta Are So Dangerous
Often, people who drink are more impaired than they realize. Even if someone feels fit to drive safely, they might have blood alcohol levels high enough to cause severe impairment.
Alcohol can affect a driver’s:
- Visual functions
- Mood, leading to road rage
- Steering ability
- Ability to multitask
- Speed control
- Ability to drive in a straight line
All drivers in Atlanta have a duty to drive safely so that others don’t become harmed. If someone decides to drink and drive, they have been incredibly negligent, which means they are responsible for any resulting accidents.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Atlanta, the drunk driver should be held responsible. You can file an insurance claim or take them to civil court to recover money to pay for the following accident-related expenses.
Economic damages are the quantifiable losses that you endured because of your accident. In other words, these expenses have a fixed dollar value that is indisputable. You can prove how much they cost you by producing an invoice or receipt.
Examples of economic damages include the cost of:
- Doctor bills
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages if you must miss work
- Vehicle replacement or repair
Losses that do not have a fixed price are known as non-economic damages. These are harder to prove because there is no receipt or invoice to verify what they are worth. However, a lawyer can help you come up with a reasonable estimate.
Non-economic damages can include things like:
- Emotional trauma: After a drunk driving accident, you may experience anxiety that impacts your ability to drive again or resume a normal life.
- Pain and suffering: Your car accident injuries can result in severe pain, discomfort, or disfigurement.
- Wrongful death: If a family member dies in the accident, you deserve compensation for your loss.
- Loss of enjoyment: Long-term injury or disfigurement can rob you of your ability to enjoy life the way you used to.
The courts consider drunk driving accidents to be particularly egregious because of the extreme lack of care shown by the driver. Therefore, the judge in your case may punish the at-fault party by ordering them to pay compensation over and above your actual losses in the form of punitive damages.
Our Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers can help you build a case to seek maximum compensation after your accident. To discuss your options during a free consultation, call (404) 341-6555 today.
Common Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving can lead to a dangerous collision that results in painful and life-altering injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Damaged organs
- Nerve damage resulting in paralysis
- Loss of limbs
- Scarring and disfigurement
Even minor injuries can develop into significant conditions after a drunk driving accident. No matter how you were injured, you may have a legal case. Your lawyer can determine the full extent of your damages so you know what compensation you are entitled to receive.
Who Else Can Be Held Liable for My Accident?
The liability of a drunk driver is rarely in question after a crash because they are breaking the law simply by being behind the wheel. However, drunk drivers are not automatically at fault in all car accidents in Georgia.
Others who share the responsibility could be named in your lawsuit as well. For example, you may be able to sue:
- The owner of a business that sold alcohol to the driver: Under Georgia’s dram shop law, a bar or store owner can be held liable for selling alcohol to an intoxicated person who later causes a crash.
- The person who served alcohol to the driver: Bartenders and waitstaff are supposed to refuse service to customers who are already visibly drunk. If they neglect this duty, they could be partially responsible if an accident occurs as a result.
- The host of a party who served alcohol: If a person knowingly furnished alcohol to someone under age 21 who later caused your accident, they could also be found liable by the courts.
Your Atlanta drunk driving accident attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding your case to determine all liable parties.
What to Do After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver in Atlanta
If you were hurt in a drunk driving accident in Atlanta, your well-being is the number one priority. Get immediate medical attention for any severe or life-threatening injuries. Call 911 or have someone else call for an ambulance, so you get the treatment you need.
If you are well enough to remain at the scene, here are some actions you can take to begin building your case.
Call the Police
You should report any accident in Georgia with injuries or more than $500 in property damage to the police. Call the police right away to report the accident so that authorities know it happened.
Officers should arrive at the scene and create an accident report of the crash. This will be crucial evidence to support your case.
Use your phone or a camera to take pictures of:
- Your injuries
- Your vehicle’s damage
- The entire accident scene
If the drunk driver acts aggressively or exhibits impaired behavior, you might try to take a video of their actions. But only do this if you feel it’s safe.
If the other driver is safe to approach, exchange the following information with them:
- First and last name
- Contact information
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance information
You might also take a picture of the driver’s vehicle and license plate. This will help you identify them if they attempt to drive off, which is more likely with impaired drivers.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone else saw your accident happen or noticed the other driver’s actions, ask for their contact information. They might be beneficial in corroborating your account of the accident.
Go to a Doctor
If you did not get medical attention at the time of the accident, see a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene. If you wait too long, the other driver’s insurance company might doubt your injuries or try to say you were not hurt as badly during the crash as you claim.
Seeing a doctor will also give you a good idea of how seriously you were hurt, which will help you know what your future medical costs will look like. It will also help your drunk driving accident lawyer in Atlanta to prove the severity of your injuries when filing a claim.
Time Is Limited on Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim
The statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Georgia is two years from the date of the injury. This means you only have two years to file your claim, and there are many steps to take in the process.
It’s best to reach out to a lawyer right away, so they can help you stay on track and build the most robust case possible.
Get a Free Consultation With an Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
Don’t get stuck paying for the costs of an accident caused by a drunk driver. Your Atlanta drunk driving accident attorney can help you gather evidence, build an insurance claim, and hold the driver accountable. You might even be able to take the driver to court for their mistakes, and we can help you every step of the way.
Call (404) 341-6555 or contact us online today to learn more and schedule a free consultation. We have more than 20 years of experience helping accident victims like yourself, and we are dedicated to getting you the recovery you need and deserve.