Call our McDonough drunk driving lawyers today.
Drunk driving kills. There is no longer any debate about that fact. However, thousands of people continue to get into accidents due to alcohol. Although many people wrongly believe that alcohol does not impair their driving, Georgia makes it a crime for a simple reason: impaired drivers are a risk to themselves and the general public.
If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving crash, contact our law offices today. We can help you make a claim to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Why Drunk Driving is So Dangerous
Impaired drivers are a clear risk to the public for the following reasons:
- Mistakes of judgment. Someone who is intoxicated might take some risky action that a sober driver would not. For example, a drunk driver might try to make a turn directly in front of oncoming traffic.
- Slowed reflexes. An intoxicated driver might be too slow to hit the brakes, which can lead to a collision.
- Risk of falling asleep. Alcohol is a depressant and can lead to intense drowsiness. When a driver falls asleep, they can veer into oncoming traffic or drive off the road.
- Anger. Some people are angry drunks. The risk of road rage and aggressive driving tactics increase when some people consume alcohol.
Other drunk drivers are a risk for leaving the scene of the accident because they know they have broken the law and fear getting caught. Instead of calling the police or helping injured victims get medical care, these drunk drivers hit the gas pedal, leaving injured people behind to fight for themselves.
Bringing a Claim Against a Drunk Driver: Challenges
To receive compensation for a crash, an injured victim needs to show that a driver was at fault for the collision. If the driver who hit you was intoxicated, then he or she was certainly at fault since they should not have been behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
Drunk driving accidents present some challenges, however:
- Proving that the driver was intoxicated. Because this is a civil suit, the driver doesn’t have to have a certain blood alcohol content (BAC). However, you’ll need some proof that the driver’s actions were to blame. If police had the driver blow a breathalyzer, then we can possibly use the results.
- Proving the defendant is responsible for your injuries. There must be a close enough connection between the driver’s negligence and your injuries to hold them responsible.
- Obtaining full compensation for your injuries. Georgia has a dram shop law that allows victims to sue businesses and individuals for a drunk driving collision. This law applies if a business or individual furnishes or serves alcohol to a minor or to a person who is visibly intoxicated.
We have experience in drunk driving collisions and can hold as many people responsible as possible, which increases the odds of receiving fair compensation.
Punitive Damages and Drunk Driving Accidents
Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1, allows victims to receive punitive damages if they “clear and convincing evidence” the defendant’s conduct showed wantonness, willfulness, or conscious indifference to consequences.
Punitive damages have a clear objective: to punish the defendant and deter the larger public from committing the same offenses. Some of our clients qualify for punitive damages in addition to their regular compensatory damages in their drunk driving lawsuit. In many cases, punitive damages are some multiple of compensatory damages and can really increase the amount of money that our clients receive.
Differences between Criminal and Civil Cases
A personal injury lawsuit is a type of civil suit, which is distinct from the criminal DUI case against the driver. In fact, a defendant does not have to be criminally convicted of drunk driving for our clients to be successful in our claim. There are many reasons for this, such as the lower burden of proof in a civil case, which is “preponderance of the evidence” instead of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Also, a motorist is responsible for damages if they were negligent, which can exist even if they were not legally intoxicated. Someone drinking while driving could be distracted, for example, which might be enough to hold them at fault for the collision.
Contact a McDonough Drunk Driving Lawyer at MG Law
Drunk driving collisions are often more complicated than other types of car accidents. At MG Law, our team has helped many people following a drunk driving crash. To start your case, contact a member of our team today for a free consultation and please avoid delay. Georgia law gives victims a limited amount of time to sue for compensation.