Injuries Caused by Drunk Drivers
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been hurt by a drunk driver, the injury attorneys at Sessions & Fleischman can help you get the compensation you deserve and punish the drunk driver for the needless (and completely preventable) injury you have suffered. An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer at Sessions & Fleischman will work to get you the compensation that you deserve if you have been injured by a DUI driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 30 people die in drunk driving crashes every day, and drunk driving crashes claim about 10,000 lives per year. Along with this, billions of dollars in personal and public damages are caused. If you have been in an accident caused by the recklessness of another person, let a drunk driving accident lawyer at Sessions & Fleischman help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We understand how to present these cases and maximize your recovery following a DUI accident.
How Big Is the Drunk Driving Accident Problem?
The problem of drunk driving arose almost as soon as motor vehicles came into use. See J. Jacobs, Drunk Driving: An American Dilemma 57 (1989) (Jacobs). New Jersey enacted what was perhaps the Nation’s first drunk driving law in 1906, 1906 N. J. Laws pp. 186, 196, and other States soon followed. These early laws made it illegal to drive while intoxicated but did not provide a statistical definition of intoxication. As a result, prosecutors normally had to present testimony that the defendant was showing outward signs of intoxication, like imbalance or slurred speech. R. Donigan, Chemical Tests and the Law 2 (1966) (Donigan). As one early case put it, “[t]he effects resulting from the drinking of intoxicating liquors are manifested in various ways, and before any one can be shown to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor it is necessary for some witness to prove that some one or more of these effects were perceptible to him.” State v. Noble, 119 Ore. 674, 677, 250 P. 833, 834 (1926). The 1930’s saw a continued rise in the number of motor vehicles on the roads, an end to Prohibition, and not coincidentally an increased interest in combating the growing problem of drunk driving. Jones, Measuring Alcohol in Blood and Breath for Forensic Purposes—A Historical Review, 8 For. Sci. Rev. 13, 20, 33 (1996) (Jones).
Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S. ___ (2016).
That quote from a recent United States Supreme Court case presents, at least in part, a historical perspective of the battle against car accidents, injuries, and fatalities resulting from drunk driving. Culturally, our acceptance of drinking and driving has changed dramatically; however, we still have to deal with an extremely high number of these incidents. We call them incidents, as opposed to accidents because alcohol-related incidents that result in injuries and deaths are anything but accidents.
Are Drunk Driving Accidents Increasing?
The overall trend in driving under the influence, DUI-alcohol, and DUI-drug related automobile crashes and fatalities is positive. Overall, the numbers show that alcohol- and drug-related fatalities resulting from car accidents has dropped slightly in 2018 by approximately 3.6% as compared to 2017. However, the total number of fatalities resulting from drunk- and drugged driving continues to remain staggeringly high. In 2018, the overall number of deaths caused as a result of drunk- and drugged drivers was approximately 10,511 – that’s a decrease of 397 alcohol and drug-related deaths as a result of driving from 2017. The total number of fatalities in automobile accidents was approximately 36,564 during 2018.
One of the really alarming pieces of data that comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the overall number of pedestrian- and bicycle-related deaths as a result of drunk and drugged drivers has increased by about 2.2% during 2018.
How does alcohol make a driver more dangerous?
The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has performed extensive studies on the impact of alcohol on a driver’s ability to control themselves and vehicles after consuming alcohol:
|BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC) IN G/DL||TYPICAL EFFECTS||PREDICTABLE EFFECTS ON DRIVING|
|.02||Some loss of judgment; relaxation, slight body warmth, altered mood||Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target), decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)|
|.05||Exaggerated behavior, may have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes), impaired judgment, usually good feeling, lowered alertness, release of inhibition||Reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations|
|.08||Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), harder to detect danger; judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired||Concentration, short-term memory loss, speed control, reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search), impaired perception|
|.10||Clear deterioration of reaction time and control, slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking||Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately|
|.15||Far less muscle control than normal, vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol), major loss of balance||Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing|
FAQs About Drunk-Driving Accident
- Can a drunk driver be held responsible even if there is no blood-alcohol content or breath-alcohol content (BAC) test? Yes, a drunk driver can be held responsible for their careless/reckless actions by showing that they were impaired in their ability to drive a motor vehicle was under the influence of or impaired as a result of alcohol or drugs even when we do not know with certainty their blood alcohol level or blood alcohol concentration. The blood-alcohol level helps prove DUI per se under Georgia law, but it is not necessary to show impairment of the person’s balance, reaction time, physical ability to control a vehicle, etc. An experienced DUI accident lawyer understands that there are multiple pieces of evidence that we can rely upon to show impairment.
- Am I entitled to compensation beyond my medical bills if I have suffered a personal injury as a result of a drunk driver? Yes, accident victims injured as a result of a drunk driver may recover punitive damages in addition to customary items of damages.
- Can the social host or business that served the drunk driver prior to the accident be held responsible? Georgia’s DRAM shop law that allows the establishment that serves a person prior to driving while intoxicated is very restrictive, but it is applicable to some cases. During your free case evaluation we will discuss this possibility and other legal options that you may have. Insurance coverage and “layers” of liability can be complex in drunk driving accident cases. Our personal injury attorneys can help you navigate these tricky issues.
- Is an intoxicated driver always at fault for causing a car crash? No, it is still our duty under the law to show that the DWI driver caused the accident through some negligent accident.
- The drunk driver was punished criminally and sentenced to jail time. Can they still be sued and held civilly responsible? Yes, if you are the victim of a drunk driving accident or if a loved one suffered a wrongful death as a result drunk driving, you may pursue damages beyond the penalties imposed in the criminal case as a result of criminal charges through a personal injury case and personal injury lawsuit. Generally, damages in the civil injury case are paid by an insurer.
- Can I recover punitive damages for property damage suffered in accident case with a driver that is under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Yes, punitive damages are recoverable solely for property damages – even if you have no personal injury claim.
- Can an insurance company refuse to provide insurance coverage for an injury claim arising from a drunk driving accident? No, under Georgia law, an insurer cannot complete refuse coverage for to an injury victim based upon a DUI exclusion of coverage.
An Injury or Death Caused by An Impaired Driver Is a Completely Preventable Event. A Drunk Driver Deserves to Be Punished for The Life-Altering Effects of Their Decision.
A person that drives a vehicle after having consumed alcohol consciously places the safety and lives of others at risk, and they deserve to pay for that needless risk and the damages that they cause others to suffer. The drunk driving accident attorneys at Sessions & Fleischman know alcohol-related incidents as well as anyone in Georgia. You will not find a lawyer that understands the evidence and science related to drunk driving cases better than Ben Sessions, and we utilize that very specialized knowledge to help maximize the recovery that our clients seek after a drunk-driving crash. If you or someone that you love has been hurt by a drunk driver and you want a lawyer that will fight to help you obtain the recovery you deserve, call us.
In considering drunk driving accidents that we also consider the dangers of drowsy driving which go hand-in-hand with drunk accidents.
If You Have Been Hurt by A Drunk Driver, Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You.
Auto accidents involving drunk drivers and drivers charged with DUI present unique evidentiary and insurance issues. Our car accident lawyers are experienced in representing clients in these cases. You will be hard-pressed to find an attorney with more experience litigating alcohol-related issues, drunk driving cases, and drunk driving cases involving serious injuries or fatalities. Allow a personal injury lawyer at Sessions & Fleischman to put that experience to work for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This website is presented for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you or a family member has been injured by a drunk driver, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Victims of DUI-related motor vehicle accident will never pay legal fees out of their pockets: we handle these cases strictly on a contingency-fee basis.