Drunk Driving in Atlanta

Accidents involving drunk drivers can be complicated to resolve. Do not try to pursue a claim for injuries without speaking with an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer first. At MG Law, we have years of experience helping injured victims recover compensation after being struck by a drunk driver.

If you need assistance, contact our Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers at (770) 988-5252 to learn how we can help.

Drunk drivers are a danger in Atlanta, just as they are everywhere in our state. The news is filled with stories of drunk drivers slamming into innocent motorists and causing serious injuries, sometimes even death. Our city’s exciting nightlife only contributes to the problem.

Those injured by drunk drivers feel a justifiable sense of outrage. How can anyone get behind the wheel of a car after having had a few alcoholic beverages? They also are justifiably concerned about the cost of their medical treatment and their inability to work. Let us help.

For a free consultation, please call (770) 988-5252 or send us an online message today.

We Have Zero Tolerance For Those Operating Vehicles While Under The Influence

Hold drunk drivers accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused - take action now and secure the compensation you deserve by contacting our experienced legal team for a free consultation.

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Drunk Driving Defined Under Georgia Law

Georgia law defines drunk driving in OCGA § 40-6-391.

It states that a person can commit a DUI if they are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and:

  • If they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that they become a less safe driver, or
  • If their alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher.

Being intoxicated behind the wheel is not limited to alcohol or illicit drugs. Any drug that impairs your driving capability could result in a DUI charge. That means even prescription medications could cost you a lot. Prescription drugs that could impair your ability to drive are required to carry a warning. If you’ve been warned not to drive while taking a particular medication, it’s essential to follow instructions. Otherwise, you could find yourself in jail and facing expensive fines.

As you can see, a driver does not need to blow a certain score on a breathalyzer test. So long as drugs or alcohol have impaired the driver, they can be charged and convicted of DUI.

Civil Suits for Compensation

If a driver was drunk, the state could decide to prosecute the driver for either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction can carry serious penalties, including fines, jail time, and a license suspension.

However, this conviction does nothing to compensate the people injured in the accident, who have mounting medical bills and other expenses stemming from the crash.

This is where a civil personal injury suit comes into play. Anyone who has been injured by the negligent or reckless acts of another person can sue for compensation for their injuries. Civil suits are designed to make people “whole,” which means compensating them for their losses.

In the civil suits we bring, our clients have received money to cover medical care, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. These civil suits are independent of any criminal charges, and a driver can be found liable in a civil suit even if they are acquitted in their criminal case. Civil cases are handled in completely different courts and have a lower burden of proof when compared to a criminal case.

Why Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Atlanta

If you want to pursue a claim for damages, an Atlanta dui accident lawyer can improve your chances of receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Some of the ways a lawyer can help include the following: 

  • Investigating your claim and gathering evidence, 
  • Evaluating your damages, 
  • Negotiating a potential settlement with insurance companies, 
  • Providing legal advice,
  • Protecting your rights,
  • Consulting with medical experts, and
  • Representing you in court. 

Do not assume that all insurance companies will be willing to pay out just because one driver was intoxicated. Some insurance companies prefer to take their chances in court, which is risky. The other driver’s insurance might offer you a settlement amount lower than your case is worth in hopes you’ll take it now rather than risk waiting a year or more for trial. 

At MG Law, we’ll be there for you every step of the way. If going to trial is in your best interest, we’ll prepare the strongest case possible. We want you to focus on your recovery, not face additional stress and anguish over dealing with insurance adjusters who only care about protecting their insured driver.

A Drunk Driver Accident Attorney Can Also Help With Punitive Damages

Drunk driving crashes differ from run-of-the-mill car accidents in a key way. There is a chance you could receive punitive damages.

Unlike other damages, punitive damages are levied to punish the driver by making them pay a sum of money. Courts do not award punitive damages often, except in extreme situations.

A driver will only need to pay punitive damages if the victim can show by clear and convincing evidence that the driver’s actions showed malice, wantonness, misconduct, or an entire want of care so that the driver was consciously indifferent to what happened. In many cases, a drunk driver will satisfy this standard, which means an injured victim might seek punitive damages.

What to Do After an Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident

Many people suffer more serious injuries in a drunk driving crash than in other accidents, usually because the offending motorist was taking reckless action, such as driving too fast or passing illegally. Some of our clients are so badly hurt they can do nothing but call an ambulance after a collision.

If you can move around, however, then there are other steps you should take that improve your ability to receive compensation.

For example, we recommend that you take note of what makes you think the other driver is intoxicated:

  • Did they slur their speech?
  • Did the other driver admit to drinking?
  • Did the driver have an alcoholic beverage in their hand or in the car?
  • Did their breath smell of alcohol?

Write down anything you notice and call the police to come to the scene. They should write a police report and, more importantly, have the driver run through field sobriety tests. The officer’s observations could prove critical in the coming civil lawsuit.

Remember to document the accident as best you can before you leave. This means getting pictures of any damage to the vehicles and anything else that seems important. You should use your smartphone to take pictures of dings on the cars, skid marks and debris in the road, and possibly the alcohol bottles in the driver’s car.

You should immediately see a doctor if you are not transported from the accident scene to the hospital. You need to ensure you don’t have any internal injuries that are not visible. Sometimes, it can take a couple of days before you realize the full extent of your pain. Seeking medical treatment early on is also important for your claim. The other driver’s insurance will argue the accident was not that severe or that something else caused your injuries if you wait too long to seek medical treatment. 

Proving Liability in a DUI-Related Accident

Before collecting any compensation, you must prove liability against the intoxicated driver. It’s not enough that someone is drinking and driving. You must show how that led to the accident and caused your injuries. 

Potentially liable parties will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the accident. While you might assume only the other driver is at fault, it’s very possible that multiple parties contributed to the accident. Georgia has “dram shop” laws. These laws provide strict repercussions to anyone caught selling alcohol to someone who’s visibly impaired or is a minor. That means nightclubs, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, party hosts, waiters, and sports venues can be liable. 

In Georgia, comparative negligence laws allow you to collect compensation even if you share some liability for the accident. However, your negligence cannot exceed 49%; otherwise, you’re barred from recovery. For example, consider a scenario where the jury finds you 10% at fault. That means you can recover 90% of your damages. If the jury finds you are 50% at fault, you will receive no compensation. It doesn’t matter how severe your injuries are, either. 

Because proving liability against the other driver directly impacts your ability to recover damages, hiring an experienced Atlanta DUI accident victim lawyer is crucial. The sooner you hire our experienced injury lawyers, the sooner we can protect your legal rights.

Speak with an Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

The days after a drunk driving collision can be confusing. We recommend that injured victims focus on their health and then reach out to a seasoned drunk driving accident lawyer in Atlanta who has deep experience with various types of car accidents.

Contact MG Law online or call us at (770) 988-5252 today for a free consultation. When you meet with our Atlanta DUI car accident lawyers, we’ll review your case and help you decide on a plan of action. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and help you get justice after a DUI-related accident.

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