Why Is There an Increase?
During the holiday season, there is an uptick in DUI-related accidents and subsequent injuries. Between holiday parties and family gatherings, many people drink socially, increasing the likelihood of someone getting behind the wheel after imbibing too much. When this happens, accidents happen and innocent people are injured.
How to prevent DUI accidents & injuries:
- Never drive after consuming alcohol, drugs, or substances that may impair you
- Have a ride home planned before going out
- Use a designated driver
- Download taxi or ride-sharing apps on your phone, and bring your phone charger with you to ensure that your phone will work when you need it to
If you are in a situation where you are impaired and need to get home, call a friend or family member or remain where you are. The only way to prevent DUI accidents and injuries is to not drive impaired.
Keep reading to learn what to do if you or a loved one is injured in a DUI accident, including what your legal rights to compensation are.
What Are Your Legal Rights When Injured in a DUI Accident?
After a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident in which a DUI was involved, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, injury and accident-related expenses, and emotional pain and suffering. Additionally, suppose someone was killed in a DUI accident. In that case, their family may be able to seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical costs associated with their loved one’s accident, and the loss of their companionship and support.
To discuss your case and find out if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney, like ours at Fry | Goehring.
Determining Liability in a DUI Accident
When it comes to liability in accident cases, Georgia is an “at-fault” state. This means that the party who caused the accident is the one who is liable for the damages. They are, therefore, responsible for paying damages through their insurance. Consequently, the first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is determining who is liable for the accident.
In cases where someone is injured in a DUI accident, and it is determined that the motor vehicle operator who was driving under the influence was at fault, there will also be a criminal component to the case. Typically, the drunk driver will be charged with a felony. However, if a drunk driver injured you or a loved one, do not assume that just because they are facing criminal charges you will receive compensation. Frequently, the best way to recover the compensation you are entitled to be through filing a personal injury claim in civil court. It’s also important to note that a drunk or impaired driver does not need to be found guilty in criminal court for you to be successful in filing a civil personal injury suit.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit
When someone is killed by a drunk driver, in addition to the criminal charges they face, the family of the person killed may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Just as with a personal injury claim, filing a wrongful death suit may be the only way for the family to recover fair compensation for the loss of their loved one.
When to Hire an Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk or otherwise impaired driver in a DUI accident, it is important to speak with an attorney about your situation. Many assume that they are not entitled to compensation beyond what their insurance companies pay out and consequently do not receive adequate compensation to help them recover.
It is also crucial that you or your loved ones speak with an attorney before agreeing to any sort of settlement or signing away your rights to restitution.
The aftermath of an accident can be stressful and overwhelming but, with the help of Fry | Goehring, you can get the legal support you need. From explaining your legal options to representing you in court, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you stay focused on healing and moving forward.Contact us online to discuss your case with one of our Atlanta-based attorneys.