Drunk driving is not only illegal, it can result in civil liability as well. Victims of drunk driving accidents in Roswell often have the option to sue the drunk driver to recover money damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and an amount for pain and suffering. Drunk driving puts thousands of people’s lives in danger every day, and when you or your family has been affected by a drunk driver, you have legal options. This is a difficult time, and you don’t have to go through it alone. A Roswell drunk driving accident lawyer can be your greatest resource.
Our lawyers have over 20 years of experience helping drunk driving accident victims in Roswell and throughout Georgia. We understand how hard this situation can be for you and your family because we have seen this type of case happen over and over again. We can’t undo the accident, but we can help you get money damages to decrease the financial burden that a drunk driving accident can put on you and your loved ones. Give us a call at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
Is the intoxicated driver always at fault in a drunk driving accident?
The drunk driver isn’t automatically at fault for the accident, but most cases involve some type of error that the other driver made because they were intoxicated. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol, many functions that are required to drive effectively are inhibited. These include things like:
- Ability to focus on the road
- Proper hand-eye coordination
- Good judgment and decision-making
The general ability to maintain control of their vehicle is also affected. That means that when an emergency occurs, such as a sudden stop, the driver is often unable to respond appropriately because they are intoxicated.
In any car accident, the victim must show four basic things, including
- The driver had a duty to others on the road;
- That duty was violated;
- The violation caused the accident; and
- The accident caused your injuries or property damage.
“Fault” is commonly associated with the causation requirement. That is, if the driver wouldn’t have taken the action that they did (or failed to take an action), then the accident wouldn’t have happened. In drunk driving cases, it’s generally not enough to say that if the driver hadn’t been drunk, the accident wouldn’t have happened. Being drunk by itself doesn’t cause an accident—the effects that the alcohol has is what really causes a crash.
Consider an example. Imagine that you are driving alongside a car on a four-lane highway. You are going around another driver when they start merging into your lane. They end up hitting your vehicle and causing an accident. The cause of the crash was that the other driver merged into your lane while you were there. The fact that the driver was drunk explains why they weren’t able to control their car or weren’t paying attention, but being drunk by itself didn’t actually result in the accident. If the other driver had not merged into your lane, it wouldn’t have resulted in any damage. That is, the side effects of alcohol impair driving, and that’s really what leads to a crash.
In this example, if the driver were sober, they likely still would have been at-fault because they weren’t paying attention. When a driver is drunk, it just helps explain why they failed to control their vehicle or take appropriate action.
While it’s easier to show that a driver caused the accident when they are drunk, it isn’t automatic. You still need the help of a drunk driving accident lawyer to help you show how the alcohol-impaired the other driver and caused the accident. You must also prove the other required facts of your personal injury case as well.
What happens if the drunk driver doesn’t have any insurance?
You can still sue the drunk driver even if they don’t have insurance. In that type of situation, you would expect payment for your losses directly from the driver instead of their insurance company. Depending on the facts of your case, you might also be able to involve other parties who may be at least partially responsible for your losses.
The other parties are responsible under Georgia law because they “helped” a drunk driver get behind the wheel, or they didn’t stop an individual from driving while clearly intoxicated. These people or entities might include:
Restaurants or bars.
Establishments that serve alcohol have an obligation not to over-serve their guests. If someone is clearly intoxicated, they must “cut them off,” and refuse to continue to serve them. When they keep serving someone who gets in their car and causes an accident, then the bar or restaurant may need to be involved in your lawsuit too.
Those who throw parties in their own homes or another location also have a duty to avoid over-serving their guests. When someone is clearly drunk and gets in their car after a party, the party’s host may also be responsible for your losses.
When someone else owns the vehicle that the driver is using at the time of the crash, the vehicle owner may be responsible for your damages based on a legal theory called “negligent entrustment.” Under this theory, the car owner shouldn’t have let someone drive their car when they knew that the driver was drunk.
Anyone who provided a minor with alcohol.
If you are involved in an accident with a minor who was drunk, the person or entity who gave the minor the alcohol could also be liable to you for your losses after a crash.
Each of these situations is very fact-intensive. Your attorney will be able to help you decide who should be involved in your case to increase your chances of being completely compensated for your losses.
Talk to a Roswell Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Having an attorney help you with your legal claim against a drunk driver significantly increases your chances of getting money damages. You can use this award to help rebuild after these often-devastating accidents. Don’t wait to get started. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your free consultation today.