One in every three traffic fatalities in the U.S. involves a drunk driver. Unfortunately, in Georgia, the statistics are sobering, as well.
Consider the following facts generated from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety:
- In 2019, there were 353 drunk driving fatalities in Georgia.
- Almost 25% of car accident fatalities result from drunk driving accidents.
- An estimated 400 people are killed because of DUI accidents annually in Georgia.
- 1.4% of drivers have reported getting behind the wheel after drinking too much.
Unfortunately, the numbers above do not account for the number of injuries that occur due to drunk driving collisions.
If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you may wonder what rights you have to recover compensation. At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, we can review the facts of your case and help determine what type of compensation you are entitled to (if any). We recommend contacting our office soon after your accident so we can evaluate your case and begin collecting evidence.
Georgia DUI Laws
According to Georgia DUI laws, you can sue a drunk driver for the injuries you sustain in an accident they cause. While this is true, it is necessary to prove that the other driver was driving under the influence, requiring more than just the police officer’s report and arrest of the individual.
Hiring an experienced DUI attorney in Georgia helps ensure you get the maximum compensation for your accident and injury.
It is worth noting that in Georgia, being struck by a drunk driver is not viewed as a simple “accident.” Instead, the authorities view it as a purposeful and conscious decision since the driver chose to consume drugs or alcohol and then drive.
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs is a criminal offense in the state and is often charged as criminally reckless conduct. Since these actions are taken seriously, being struck by a drunk driver means your case falls into a different classification regarding personal injury claims.
Car insurance companies are also considered responsible for a driver’s DUI-related accidents. While this is true, most insurance companies will fight all elements of the case formed against the driver they insure, including if they were truly at fault for the collision. The insurance adjuster will also investigate the injuries or damages you claim to have sustained.
If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, where they are the at-fault party, it is possible to take legal action against them to ensure they are held responsible for your damages and losses.
What Right Do You Have to Receive Monetary Compensation from a Drunk Driver?
After being injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you should have the situation investigated carefully by the police. Gathering copies of arrest videos is necessary before you talk to any insurance companies.
Our legal team knows what must be done to gather the needed accident information by using Open Records requests and additional means. We will work to build a solid foundation for your case and then talk to the insurance company that may be liable to cover your damages and costs related to the accident.
Our team will examine the underlying facts of the accident to ensure the right tone is taken with the insurance companies. While we work on your case, you should focus on your recovery. Even in situations where you are uninsured, we may be able to help you find healthcare providers who will help you to ensure you get the necessary treatment while your case is pending.
If you are seriously injured in an accident, it will take some time for our legal professionals to fully understand the scope of the damages. You can count on us to stay by your side and fight for your rights at each step of the legal process. We understand that your treatment and recovery cannot be rushed. If this happens, the likelihood of permanent issues from the accident and your injuries increases significantly.
Part of the job we take on as your legal counsel is ensuring the insurance companies are updated with your treatment status. This is something we take seriously.
We have found that most DUI-related accident claims can be settled without going to court; however, this is not always the case. If we must pursue a lawsuit and go to trial, we will ensure you have a strong case and work to ensure you receive the full monetary compensation you are entitled to.
What Must Be Proven to File a DUI Lawsuit Against Another Driver?
You must establish one of the following to have the right to file a DUI civil lawsuit against another driver:
- The at-fault driver has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, according to a breathalyzer test. In Georgia, this is referred to as a DUI per se charge and can be found using a breath or blood sample taken from the driver within three hours of the accident.
- The accused driver refused the test or failed to submit the required sample. This is a DUI less safe charge, and, in this case, it is the officer’s opinion that the individual was impaired and considered less safe to operate a motor vehicle based on their prescription drug, drug, or alcohol consumption.
- The accused driver was under the age of 21 and had a BAC of 0.02% or higher. This is also charged as a DUI per se.
- The accused driver was operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. In this case, it is a DUI per se charge.
Establishing that these things were present at the time of your accident is something we can help with.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your DUI Accident Case
You have legal rights if you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver. Contact our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines for help with your case. We will work to ensure you recover the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.