Drunk driving is a problem all over the country, including in McDonough. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s impaired driving factsheet, there were 10,497 deaths from alcohol-impaired driving accidents in 2016. That’s 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States, which is a staggering percentage. If you or a loved one was injured in this type of accident, you’re not just another number—because our McDonough drunk driving accident lawyers are here to help you.
Getting injured by a drunk driver can change your life. You might have suffered severe injuries that affect your ability to work. Maybe you know have mental health issues from trauma because of the crash and your injuries. You might have even lost a loved one to a drunk driver.
No matter how you were affected by someone’s poor decision to drink and driver, our lawyers want to help. We have more than 20 years of experience helping drunk driving victims and their families seek financial recovery for the accident damages. We approach each case with compassion and a listening ear to your needs—and there is no fee unless we win you money. Call (404) 341-6555 or contact us online to get a FREE consultation today.
The Definition of Drunk Driving in McDonough
What exactly does “drunk driving” entail in McDonough? Legally, drunk driving and driving under the influence, or DUI, are actually different:
- Drunk driving refers to driving while impaired by alcohol.
- DUI refers to driving under the influence of any substance that can impair your ability to drive.
DUI can include drunk driving, but it can also include illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs that are not safe to take and driver, and even over-the-counter drugs that can make you sleepy or unsafe to drive.
The legal limit for drunk driving is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%. If a police officer suspects someone has been drinking and driving, they will test their BAC to see if they have been drinking.
Even below the legal limit, some people are unsafe to drive. Any amount of drinking and driving may put others on the road at risk.
Drunk Drivers Are Usually at Fault
Although there are exceptions, drunk drivers are nearly always at fault when they’re involved in accidents. Drinking significantly impairs a driver’s reaction time and ability to think clearly. They are more likely than sober drivers to make careless mistakes than lead to collisions.
In personal injury claims, insurance companies or courts typically assign fault to the drunk driver because they know drinking and driving is incredibly negligent and dangerous. There are situations where the sober driver may be assigned a percentage of the fault, but that’s rare. If you are assigned less than 50% fault in an accident, you are still can still seek compensation for your damages.
Negligence in Drunk Driving Accidents
In any auto accident in Georgia, the most important factor is negligence. Being negligent means failing to act in a way that an ordinarily prudent person in the same or similar circumstance would act. When someone is negligent in an accident, they are responsible for the damages.
Since everyone should know that driving while intoxicated is careless and puts everyone else on the road at risk, drunk driving is already a clear sign of negligence. Your claim will just need to show that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol. Then, you’ll need to demonstrate your damages from the accident.
Damages You Can Claim in a McDonough Drunk Driving Accident
When you file your personal injury claim, you’ll send it to the drunk driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will be paying for any damages for which you get compensated. Before that, though, you’ll want to know the full value of your damages.
After a drunk driving accident you didn’t cause, the damages you are entitled to recover include:
- Medical bills, including past, current, and future expenses resulting from your injuries
- Prescription medication costs
- Travel to and from medical appointments
- Lost wages from work time you’ve had to miss because of the accident
- Property damage to your vehicle and
- Pain and suffering damages
Unlike medical costs and lost wages, pain and suffering damages will not have a clear dollar amount. That’s because they are meant to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you face because of your accident injuries. You must have a physical injury from the drunk driving accident to claim pain and suffering damages.
You may also be entitled to receive punitive damages from the drunk driving accident. Punitive damages have one main objective: to punish the wrongdoer and/or prevent future wrongdoing.
Punitive damages are only available in specific cases where very careless, malicious, or wanton behavior has been demonstrated. Some drunk driving accidents fit that description. You’ll want to talk with your drunk driving accident lawyer in McDonough about the full range of damages that you can seek compensation for after the accident.
Damages from the Death of a Loved One
You may also be able to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed by a drunk driver. A wrongful death claim is made on behalf of the deceased and accounts for damages like the loved one’s last medical costs, their pain and suffering before they died, and funeral and burial costs.
If you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, our lawyers can speak with you about your options and answer any questions you have during this time.
Speak with a McDonough Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Recovering from a drunk driving accident in McDonough is not easy. We have seen firsthand how hard it can be for victims and their families, but you don’t have to deal with the aftermath alone. Our lawyers have spent the last 20 plus years helping those hurt in drunk driving accidents pursue settlements to get back on their feet.
Contact us today to set up a FREE consultation where we can answer your questions, discuss the details of your accident, and come up with a plan of action for your case. (404) 341-6555 or contact us online to get started for FREE today.