Drunk driving isn’t only illegal, it’s also extremely dangerous. But, millions of drunk driving accidents still occur every year in the United States—including many right here in Buford. Drunk driving accidents are often severe because they may occur at high speeds and involve a driver who didn’t attempt to stop or avoid the crash at all. In these situations, you need legal help. A Buford drunk driving accident lawyer can help you with your legal claim.
Our lawyers know just how confusing, devastating, and painful an accident with a drunk driver can be—because we see these cases far more often than we should. We have the compassion and experience you’d expect from someone who is working on your side during this difficult time. Let us put you in touch with some of the top drunk driving accident lawyers in Atlanta—and 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.
How do insurance companies handle drunk driving accidents?
Once the drunk driver’s insurance company hears that you were injured, they’ll spring into action. They know that fault is almost always going to be assigned to their insured driver, so they’ll want to settle the case right away—before you have time to assess your injuries and get an attorney.
They will usually call or mail you a letter that indicates that they want to discuss a settlement, hear your side of the story, or generally just get more information from you. They may even throw out a settlement number immediately in their first contact with you. It’s very tempting to just take this money and walk away, but it’s rarely a good idea. The insurance company knows that the reality of your crash has not yet set in and you likely haven’t had a chance to talk to a lawyer to get an idea of what your case is worth. You may also not know conclusively what long-term treatment will be required for your injuries.
An insurance company is counting on the fact that you can be swayed into just accepting a small amount of money to be done with the whole experience—and they settle a lot of cases that way. They will also seem compassionate and understanding. They may even give you the impression that they are doing what’s in your best interests and looking out for you. The reality is that they look out for their company’s bottom line, and they are always searching for ways to save money and close out cases. Don’t fall for these tricks! Get a drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as you can to talk to the insurance company on your behalf. Always talk to a lawyer before giving a statement or even answering questions from the insurance company.
Who can be held responsible for the drunk driving accident that injured me?
There are actually more people or businesses that might be responsible for your drunk driving accident than you might think.
- The Driver. The drunk driver is the first person that everyone considers in an accident, and rightly so. This person made a decision to get in the car and drive while they are intoxicated. Driving while drunk is virtually always a careless or reckless activity that would amount to legal negligence.
- Bars and Restaurants. Georgia has a Dram Shop Act that makes bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcohol liable for over-serving their customers. That means that if they can see that an individual is visibly drunk, but they continue to provide that person alcohol anyway and let them get in a car, they can be legally responsible for any accident that person causes.
- Social Hosts. The same rules that apply to bars and restaurants also apply to those who are hosting parties in their home and provide alcohol. Someone who allows a drunk person to leave their house can be liable for your injuries and damages after a drunk driving accident.
- Those Who Provide Alcohol to Minors. If the individual was under the age of 21 and was intoxicated when your accident occurred, the person or establishment that provided the minor with alcohol can occasionally be legally responsible for your damages as well. After all, if they wouldn’t have given the minor the drink, the accident likely wouldn’t have occurred. Keep in mind that Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy for minors, which means that any amount of alcohol in their system is against the law—a criminal conviction could help your personal injury case.
Knowing where the driver was just before the accident and where they were going may give you some information about whether other people or businesses could be liable for your accident. Your lawyer will be able to help you investigate to get this information.
What is considered “over the limit” in Buford?
If a driver is in a criminal case, the legal limit to drive with alcohol in your system is 0.08 BAC. “BAC” stands for “Blood Alcohol Concentration.” It represents the percentage of alcohol that has entered your bloodstream. Once alcohol is in your bloodstream, it affects your ability to function, often providing a “buzzed” feeling.
You may be surprised just how quickly a driver can get to the legal limit. The University of Arizona did a study that indicated that between two and four drinks in an hour will put most people up to the 0.08 BAC limit. Drinking quickly doesn’t give your body the time it needs to process the alcohol.
As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out, however, even buzzed driving is drunk driving. Any time you consume alcohol, it affects your driving abilities. In fact, thousands of accidents occur when the driver has only a 0.02 BAC. There is no need to have a BAC of 0.08 to be considered a “drunk driver” for civil cases. Any amount of alcohol in a driver’s system could impair their driving abilities enough to make a mistake that causes an accident.
Talk to a Buford Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
If you’re unsure where to turn or what to do next after your Buford drunk driving accident, our lawyers can help. Let us give you a consultation with some of Buford’s top attorneys. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.