The single choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol can change lives forever. The consequences can be painful injuries that take months or years to heal, thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs, emotional trauma, or even death. And yet, drunk driving accidents in Newnan are far too common. If you have been injured or affected by a drunk driving collision, you may need the help of a Newnan drunk driving accident lawyer.
Our attorneys have more than two decades of experience helping drunk driving accident victims recover as fully as possible. While we know money can never fully mend the pain suffered from this type of accident, we do find financial compensation helps victims pay for their costs and have more space to focus on getting better. Our goal is full compensation for your damages—and we don’t get paid unless you do. Let us give you a FREE consultation to get started. Call us today at 404-341-6555 or fill out the form on this page for your free consultation.
What Damages Can I Collect from a Drunk Driving Accident in Newnan?
If you were hit by a drunk driver in Newnan and suffered injuries, you can probably recover for all costs related to the accident. That typically includes:
- Medical expenses, including hospital and doctor bills, prescription medications, and any current or ongoing treatments
- Costs of transportation to and from doctor appointments
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle
- Lost wages from time you’ve had to take off work for treatment, sometimes including any bonuses or other income you missed out on because of the accident
- Pain and suffering damages, including physical pain and suffering or mental and emotional distress
There is also another type of damage you can claim in cases like drunk driving accidents: punitive damages.
The sole purpose of punitive damages is to “punish, penalize, or deter a defendant” based on the choices they made. In this case, that choice would be making the decision to drink and operate their vehicle. This could be demonstrated as willful misconduct or wantonness because the driver disregarded the safety of other drivers by choosing to drink and drive.
In Newnan and the rest of Georgia, the cap for punitive damages is $250,000. Since punitive damages are so serious, they can greatly increase the total money you may be able to receive in your claim.
Wrongful Death Damages
Loved ones of someone killed in a drunk driving accident may also be able to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit. The deceased’s spouse, minor children, surviving parents, or representative of their estate (in that order) are entitled to seek damages on behalf of the deceased loved one. This is known as a wrongful death case.
If you file a wrongful death case, you are seeking damages for what the deceased loved one lost because of the accident. That includes the damages mentioned above as well as funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering the loved one experience, medical expenses from their last illness or sickness, and intangible damages like loss of care and companionship.
The costs of a drunk driving accident can be extreme and heartbreaking, especially if the injuries are severe or a life is lost. The higher your damages, the more you should be able to submit as a claim to the other driver’s insurance. To make sure you seek recovery for all you’re entitled to, speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer immediately after your accident.
Is Drunk Driving the Same as DUI?
Many times, it can refer to the same thing. Here’s the difference:
- “Drunk driving” means someone drive while intoxicated by alcohol
- “DUI” stands for “driving under the influence.” That means the driver was under the influence of a substance. This is often alcohol, but not always
While drunk driving specifically refers to alcohol, a DUI can mean the driver was under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs like cocaine or meth, marijuana, prescription drugs like painkillers, and even over-the-counter medications if they interfere with reaction time or cause drowsiness.
A substance does not have to be illegal for someone to get arrested for DUI. There simply must be proof that they were significantly impaired by that substance and that it affected their driving.
Whether the case is defined as drunk driving or DUI, the driver is liable for your damages if their actions caused your accident. This is almost always the case when alcohol is involved. A good Newnan drunk driving accident lawyer can help gather evidence to show that the driver’s intoxication led to your accident and injuries.
The Insurance Company Is Trying to Contact Me. What Should I Do?
Be very wary about talking to insurance companies after an accident, especially the drunk driver’s insurer.
You should definitely contact your own auto insurance company to report the accident if your contact with them requires it. However, just give them simple facts like where and when the accident happened. Do not discuss fault until you’ve spoken with a good lawyer.
The other driver’s insurance company is a different story. They will be looking for ways to pay less for your claim, and insurers are known to use sneaky tactics to do so. If the driver’s insurance company contacts you:
- Never admit any fault
- Never give a recorded statement
- And never accept any money or sign any forms right away
Anything you say could be used against you later—even something as simple as politely saying you’re “okay” when they ask how you feel. It’s best to contact a drunk driving accident lawyer first to discuss what happened and how your case looks. They can advise you on the best course of action in your situation. If you hire them, they can even speak directly to the insurance company on your behalf.
Talk to a Newnan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Our attorneys do not take drunk driving accident cases lightly. We’ve been helping victims recover the money they deserve for more than 20 years, and we’re here to help you too. If you were harmed in or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, contact us today for a FREE consultation to discuss your options. Call 404-341-6555 today, or fill out the form on this page to get started.