A Drunk Driving Lawyer San Antonio Can Fight for Your Rights
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to a reputable Drunk Driving Lawyer San Antonio at Khattar Law, PC, and know your rights. To book a free consultation, call 210-923-1234.
Since 1991, our attorneys have been helping personal injury claimants seek compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligent or criminal actions. We understand the complexity of personal injury law and the evidence necessary to support your case. You can expect to receive extensive legal help from our experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer.
Drunk drivers are a risk to themselves and others. If you or someone you know was injured in a drunk driving accident, it is time to act. Injuries can worsen over time, causing lost income, expensive medical bills, long term disability, and worse.
Simply put, drunk driving accidents cause severe physical and economic hardship and yet driving under the influence happens every day. When a person is under the influence of alcohol or other substances, an accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Alcohol is known for causing blurred vision, slow reaction times, and poor decision making. One wrong move, and an accident causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries can occur.
To file a DUI claim, you must know some vital information
If you are the victim of an accident, you may have a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is a legal action to hold the responsible party accountable for any injuries or property damage incurred as a result of the accident. If successful, you may be awarded “damages.” Damages are a form of monetary compensation. There can be actual or compensatory damages (to recover economic loss directly resulting from the accident) and punitive damages (compensation in addition to other damages as a form of social deterrent to the behaviour).
Damages will include compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, and other costs associated with the accident. You may also be entitled to damages related to pain and suffering. With the help of a qualified San Antonio Drunk Driver Lawyer, you can recover damages owed to you as a result of an accident with a drunk driver.
If you need an experienced Drunk Driving Lawyer San Antonio, it is important to be aware of several things. Accidents caused from drunken driving are not treated like other personal injury cases. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities were highest in Texas in 2018 compared to the rest of the United States. Needless to say, Texas takes driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously.
Personal injury cases usually require proof of negligence. Negligence is when someone has a duty to act in a reasonable manner under the circumstances but fails to do so, and that failure to act reasonable is the cause of someone else’s injury (i.e., damages). To bring a successful negligence claim, you would first need to show the court that the individual had a duty to act as a reasonable person would in that circumstance and that they breached that duty by driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
Texas courts have simplified those elements of proof for personal injury claims caused by drunk driving. Texas instead employs a theory of liability in impaired driving cases called “negligence per se.” Rather than having to wade through evidence and legal argument to prove that driving under the influence is breach of a duty to act reasonable, Texas says that violation of the law is “per se” evidence of a breach of duty to act reasonably when driving a motor vehicle.
The injured party does not need to show that the drunk driver had a duty to be responsible or that the driver breached that duty. An experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer will know what evidence is needed to prove your claim and help you to win.
Things to know about Drunk Driving Liability
As mentioned, victims of a drunk driving accident may be awarded a unique type of damages called punitive damages. Sometimes referred to as exemplary damages, punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant-drunken driver for their dangerous conduct and as form of deterrence to the public. Punitive damages are not typical of most other kinds of personal injury cases. To pursue such damages, you should consult the expert attorneys at Drunk Driving law firm San Antonio.
In some cases, bars and restaurants may also be held liable for your injuries under Texas law, often referred to as Dram Shop laws. Dram shop refers to any commercial establishment where alcohol is sold and consumed. The purpose of these laws it to place some responsibility on proprietors to control how alcohol is consumed at their establishment.
For example, a bar or restaurant may be liable if an employee sold alcohol to a minor, or if an employee sold alcohol to a person that was obviously intoxicated and that person gets into a fight or car accident that causes injury or property damage.
Texas laws are very complicated and personal injury claims are seldom clear-cut, black and white. Insurance companies employ their own attorneys who will make creative arguments and dispute injuries. You should not have to worry about a complex legal process while dealing with injuries caused by a drunk driver.
Steps to take after being a victim of a drunk driving accident
Accidents can happen in broad daylight under the best of circumstances, but driving while drunk can make a dangerous situation worse. We recommend taking the following steps soon after being hit by someone driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances:
- Check for personal injuries or injuries to other passengers in the car.
- If possible, turn on your hazard lights and move your car to a safe location out of the direct flow of traffic.
- If you are injured but able, dial 911 for help immediately. You may also want to alert family or close friends of the accident so they know your whereabouts.
- Document as much information as you can about the accident. Take pictures of the accident scene from various angles, speak to witnesses and if possible get their contact information, get the other driver’s information, and keep a record of the on-site police report. These details and documents will help you in court later.
- Keep documents such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information readily available in your vehicle.
- Provide the evidence collected at the scene to a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer. Eyewitnesses may prove to be your best form of evidence.
- Notify your insurance company.
The law is tough on people who drink and drive, and for good reason. Driving while drunk or intoxicated is not only a violation of the law, but is also irresponsible and dangerous to the community at large.
Insurance coverage for a drunk driving accident victim
Insurance is a contractual agreement that typically covers two general areas: your person (health) and your property (car). With personal injury claims, you are likely to deal with the following:
- Your Car:
Car insurance covers expenses related to vehicle damage. Most basic forms of insurance coverage include some form of property damage liability insurance. With property damage liability insurance, the victim of an accident may be entitled to recover from the insured the value of the vehicle up to the limit of the policy.
It is also always best to maintain collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance for your own car because you never know when an accident will occur and not all drivers are insured. While not required in Texas, carrying these types of insurance can help to offset any expenses not covered by the other driver’s policy.
- Your Health:
There are several forms of insurance coverage that will help to cover health expenses related to a car accident. Bodily injury liability insurance helps to cover expenses related to the injury of other drivers or pedestrians when the insured is at fault. Similarly, personal injury protection will cover you or your passengers if they are hurt in an accident caused by someone else.
These types of insurance provide coverage for medical bills related to personal injuries, medication, therapies, etc., caused by a car accident, but insurance companies are seldom willing to fork over compensation easily. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation from the guilty party’s insurance company. A DUI accident lawyer can help you out in such cases by dealing with insurance companies on your behalf.
What if you cause a drunk driving accident?
Drinking and driving carries heavy penalties in most states. Depending on the circumstances, an impaired driving accident can amount to a felony, leading to thousands of dollars in legal fees, compensation to victims, civil fines, and even jail. Driving under the influence is a violation of the law and is per se evidence of negligence causing harm to innocent people.
A DUI accident lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to obtain hefty damages on behalf of their aggrieved clients. If a fatality is caused by impaired driving, you could be charged with manslaughter.
There is never a justifiable excuse for driving drunk because there are some very simple steps to take to avoid driving while intoxicated. Some of these may go without saying, but are important to reiterate because once a drunk driving accident occurs, there is no turning back. Here are some suggestions of what not to do:
- Do not consume alcohol when you know you will have to drive. One drink can be enough to put some people over the legal blood alcohol concentration limit.
- Take a cab, rideshare service, or plan to ride with a sober friend.
- Do not attempt to “sleep it off” behind the wheel of your vehicle. The ability to drive may be sufficient probable cause to be arrested for a DUI, regardless of your intent.
- Have a Plan B. If you are in a situation where you are intoxicated and do not have an alternative ride, despite appropriate preparation, find a hotel or call a friend or family member for assistance. Most people will prefer the relative low cost of a hotel or temporary embarrassment to jail time.
Talk to a Drunk Driving attorney San Antonio at Khattar Law, P.C.
Khattar Law, PC. has handled “drinking and driving” cases since 1991. We have highly experienced drunk driving lawyers in San Antoniowho will help you recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. We will be by your side throughout the legal process, from speaking to insurance carriers and collecting evidence to obtaining witnesses statements and making arguments in court. Contact a drunk driving lawyer at Khattar Law, PC in San Antonio today.