Car accidents happen all the time in Atlanta for several reasons. A driver may act negligently, a part of the vehicle may be defective, or someone on the road may be driving drunk.
Drivers cannot control many of these causes, such as poor road conditions and defective auto parts. Others though, such as drunk driving, are completely within our control and they are entirely preventable.
Accidents caused by drunk drivers are just as chaotic and frightening as any other crash on the road. Some may argue that due to the erratic and unpredictable actions of a drunk driver, the aftermath of these collisions is even scarier.
If you have been hurt in a crash with an intoxicated motorist, it is important to speak to an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. The attorneys at MG Law will help you handle your accident involving a drunk driver.
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What is Drunk Driving in Atlanta?
As with most states in the country, any driver that is over the age of 21 and is found with a blood alcohol content over (BAC) of 0.08 percent is considered legally intoxicated. Individuals who operate a commercial motor vehicle are not allowed to have a BAC of 0.04 percent while they are behind the wheel. Anyone who is under the age of 21 can only have a BAC of 0.02 percent under Georgia’s zero-tolerance law.
Anyone who violates the law and operates a motor vehicle when their BAC is over the legal limits will face harsh penalties. They include jail time, high fines, and a possible driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Still, in Georgia, there are times when motorists can be found “less safe” even when they are not legally drunk.
When law enforcement officers see certain signs of intoxication, they can be charged with drunk driving, even when they are under the legal limit. This is when a police officer finds a driver to be “less safe.”
Signs that may give a police officer probable cause that a driver is intoxicated, even when a chemical test shows otherwise are bloodshot eyes, reddened face, slurred speech, and alcohol on the driver’s breath.
What to Do After an Accident with a Drunk Driver in Atlanta
Car crashes can cause a lot of damage, particularly when the driver that caused the accident was drunk. It is very scary and you may not know what to do afterward. The steps you take at this critical time though, are extremely important, especially if you plan on filing a personal injury claim in the future.
The steps for how to handle a drunk driving accident are as follows:
- Call for medical help: Drunk driving can result in some of the most serious injuries. Car accidents caused by an intoxicated driver are especially unpredictable and they often occur at very high speeds. There is little chance that you will escape one of these crashes uninjured. Call an ambulance immediately, even when you think you were not injured during the accident. A paramedic will evaluate you and take you to the hospital if you are hurt, where you can get further treatment. Not only is this important for your health, but the medical records taken will document your injury and strengthen your claim.
- Call the police: In Georgia, you must report any car accident that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500. Any crash with a drunk driver is going to cause at least one of these. Still, even if you think it is not necessary to call the police, you must do so. The drunk driver may be uncooperative, and they may even try to flee the scene. Reporting the accident will ensure that an officer visits the scene and that they write and file a report. The report will indicate that the other driver was drunk, which can help prove you were not at fault for the crash.
- Gather evidence: It is surprising how quickly evidence goes missing after a crash. While you are still at the scene, it is important to gather as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of any damage to all vehicles involved, your injuries, and any other relevant evidence, such as skid marks or a bumper on the road. Also try to take pictures of the entire accident scene, as these can show how the crash occurred.
- Locate witnesses: Eyewitness statements carry a lot of weight in a personal injury claim. It is usually assumed that eyewitnesses are objective third parties who have no reason to state anything but the truth of how the accident occurred. As soon as possible after the crash, locate anyone who may have seen it and exchange contact information with them. Your lawyer will contact them in the future to obtain their statements, which will act as strong evidence in your case.
- Call a personal injury lawyer: After an accident involving a drunk driver, just as a crash with any other motorist, you can file a personal injury claim to recover damages for your injuries. These claims are never easy to file, though. To strengthen your case, you will have to prove the other motorist was drunk, which means obtaining the police report, the chemical test results, and other information. This is not easy, particularly when you are trying to recover from your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will take on these tasks, and all others related to your claim, so you obtain the full financial compensation you deserve.
Call Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Atlanta Today
If you have been hurt in a crash with an intoxicated motorist, it is imperative that you speak to our Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers at MG Law today. Our skilled attorneys will help you handle your drunk driving accident case so you obtain full compensation for not only your financial losses, but also for your physical pain and suffering and emotional turmoil.