Drunk driving is all too common in the Peachtree Corners area, and in the Atlanta metro area in general. Of course, we are not alone in this problem — it’s a nationwide issue. But as one of the fast growing areas in Georgia, Peachtree Corners will likely see an increase in accidents with an increase in population. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has some sobering statistics:
- Every two minutes a drunk driving crash injures someone in the United States.
- Every 51 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies as a result of a drunk driving accident.
- Two out of three of us will be impacted by a drunk driving accident during our lifetime.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident where the other driver was driving drunk, it’s a good idea to speak with a Peachtree Corners drunk driving accident lawyer to help make sure the insurance company treats you fairly. If someone died in the DUI accident, our legal team can help you decide if filing a wrongful death claim is in your best interests.
There are plenty of lawyers who try and keep the drunk driver out of jail, and who try to say they were not at fault in the accident. Our firm protects the interests of people like you who have been injured by drunk drivers. We go after the other driver’s insurance company and third parties when necessary to make sure you and your family receive a settlement that will cover your medical costs, property damage, and other damages. We have a track record of getting multi-million dollar settlements for our clients — out of court, or as a jury award.
Drunk Driving and DUI Defined
A lot of people often use the terms “drunk driving” and “DUI” interchangeably, but in legal terms, they have slightly different meanings. Drunk driving means driving while intoxicated by alcohol. DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, has a broader legal definition. It means driving under the influence of ANY substance that can affect your nervous system and your driving abilities. Common substances involved in a DUI charge include:
- Prescription drugs
- Over the counter drugs that cause drowsiness
- Meth, heroin, cocaine, crack and other illegal drugs
When police suspect drunk driving, they will administer a field sobriety test, as well as a breathalyzer test or blood test to see if the person’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08. For people below the legal drinking age of 21, the legal limit is .02. If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence of drugs or other substances, they will order a blood alcohol or urine test.
Is a Drunk Driver or Impaired Driver Always at Fault?
Most times, the insurance companies or the courts assign fault to the impaired driver. Drugs or alcohol can adversely affect the ability to drive safely. Drunk drivers or impaired drivers may speed, drive aggressively, cross into oncoming traffic, run stop signs and more. Any of these things can cause an accident.
If you are hit by a drunk driver or someone charged with DUI for another reason, you can still be partially at fault. For instance, if you rear ended the person or you yourself were speeding. The police investigation and the insurance company investigations will determine who is at fault. Georgia is a comparative fault state, meaning if you were less than 51% at fault, you can claim damages. But any amount you receive will be reduced by the percentage at which you were at fault. For example, if the award was $30,000 and the impaired driver was 100% at fault, you could collect the full $30,000. If you were 10% at fault, you would only collect $27,000. 10% of $30,000 = $3,000.
What Kind of Damages Can I Collect in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Each case is different, but in general, if the impaired driver was 100% at fault in the accident, you would be entitled to collect 100% of your costs. It’s important after your accident that you keep receipts and keep track of the amount of time you were out of work, so that you have paperwork to backup your claim for damages. In a typical car accident case, accident victims are entitled to compensation to cover:
- Out of pocket medical bills, including future medical bills related to the accident
- Physical or occupational therapy costs
- Prescription drug costs
- Lost wages if you missed time from work because of the accident or future wages if you have a disability from the accident
- The cost of fixing your car or replacing a totaled vehicle
- Potentially large financial awards for severe losses such as disabilities and pain and suffering
Drunk driving accident and DUI cases are special, because Georgia law allows you to recover substantially more. If a drunk or impaired driver caused the accident, the court can award you punitive damages. Punitive damages are separate from your actual monetary losses. They are designed to punish the other driver for choosing to endanger lives by driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. Because of the possibility of punitive damages, drunk driving cases frequently settle for more money than other types of accident cases—often for more than $100,000. The insurance companies would rather settle with you out of court than risk a jury giving you a higher amount. Your accident lawyer can help you determine what a fair settlement is.
Talk to a Peachtree Corners Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, consulting with a Peachtree Corners drunk driving accident lawyer may be the smartest move you make. Our lawyers have helped countless DUI accident victims over the years. Let us put our experience to work for you, with a FREE case evaluation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation today.