Choosing to drink and drive is an incredibly careless decision. When it results in an accident, people can get seriously hurt or even killed. If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a drunk driver in Duluth, you are entitled to seek compensation for what was lost. A Duluth drunk driving accident lawyer can help.
Our drunk driving accident lawyers can help you handle the aftermath of the accident and protect your legal rights. We know you’re already dealing with enough after the accident—you shouldn’t have to stress about the legal aspects of the crash, too. Call us today at (404) 948-4815 for a FREE consultation where we’ll discuss the details of your accident and how we can help.
What Drunk Driving Means in Duluth
Someone is a drunk driver when they have become intoxicated by alcohol. The legal definition of driving while intoxicated (DUI) is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Someone can be arrested for DUI if a blood or breath test shows their BAC is above the legal limit or if an officer determines the driver is under the influence based on physical cues.
Exceptions for DUI Limits
Although most drivers are considered drunk at 0.08% BAC or higher, there are two main exceptions:
- Commercial drivers can be arrested for DUI with a BAC of04% or higher.
- The BAC limit for underage drivers is much lower: 02% or higher in Georgia and zero in some other states.
Other Instances of Driving Under the Influence
Someone can also be arrested for DUI if they’ve consumed anything that impairs their driving ability. Besides alcohol, this can include:
- Illegal drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine
- Some prescription medications
- Over-the-counter drugs that cause drowsiness or slow reaction time
If you work with a Duluth drunk driving accident lawyer, they will gather evidence to show the other driver was under the influence of whatever substance they had consumed and how it impaired their driving ability.
Damages You Can Recover After a Duluth Drunk Driving Accident
If you are not at fault for the accident, you can seek compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance company for your damages. Those damages can include the following.
Medical costs often make up the largest part of economic damages in a drunk driving accident claim. You may be able to recover for expenses like:
- Medical bills from doctor visits, tests, surgeries, and more
- Prescription medications
- Future treatment
- Costs of traveling to and from doctor appointments
Besides the stress of getting medical treatment and seeing the bills pile up, you’ll probably have to miss work time. This can cause additional strain because you aren’t able to continue working to make money and pay for your increasing medical bills.
Thankfully, you can include lost wages in your injury claim too.
Chances are, you have significant vehicle damage. Even minor car damage can end up being very expensive. You might even have to replace your car. You can include these costs in your injury claim for compensation.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are non-economic losses, such as:
- Emotional trauma
- Fear or humiliation
- Depression or anxiety
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To include pain and suffering damages in your claim, there needs to be a physical injury that has led to your emotional damages. This can be hard to demonstrate since there is no dollar amount attached like with medical bills or lost wages. You will need the expertise of a good drunk driving accident lawyer to help show how your accident injuries have impacted you emotionally.
Punitive damages have one main motive: punishing the wrongdoer and discouraging future bad choices. You are only eligible for punitive damages in certain situations, such as when the at-fault party has acted grossly negligent or malicious.
Since all drivers should know better than to drink and get behind the wheel, a judge or jury may award punitive damages to the victim as punishment for the drunk driver.
What Happens if the Drunk Driver Is Convicted
If the driver gets convicted of DUI during your injury case, it will usually help you get the best compensation. A conviction means the court has found the driver guilty of drinking and driving, which provides proof of their negligence behind the wheel. Your lawyer can use this to prove the driver was at fault for your injuries and other damages.
What to Do if You Were in the Car with the Drunk Driver
If you happened to be a passenger in the drunk driver’s car during the accident, you might wonder if you are also at fault. What if you were injured in the accident the driver caused?
After the accident, responding officers will definitely get your information and ask you about your involvement in the crash. They may also test your BAC. However, that does not mean you will be found guilty. If you did not have control over the drunk driver’s actions, you should not have to pay for their mistakes—especially if you were injured because of their choices.
That being said, it’s much harder to seek compensation for damages if you were in the car of the offender. So, you will want to consult with a drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident happens. They can help protect your rights so you aren’t blamed for decisions you couldn’t control.
Talk to a Duluth Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Our drunk driving accident lawyers in Duluth know how painful and overwhelming an accident with a drunk driver can be. We have been helping drunk driving accident victims win the full recovery they deserve for 20 plus years. Often, when the at-fault driver has been arrested for DUI, it helps your case a lot and increases your chances of the best settlement possible.
We can help you build your injury claim, gather evidence, and protect your rights as an injured victim. Get started today with a FREE consultation and case evaluation. To schedule your FREE consultation, call us at (404) 948-4815 or contact us online to get started.