Drunk driving accidents wreak havoc on San Antonio roads. They lead to severe injuries, property damage, and heartbreaking loss. This could even include a wrongful death. In these challenging times, victims and their families need support and guidance. The Major Law Firm specializes in helping those affected by these tragedies.
Dealing with a drunk driving accident is overwhelming. There are medical bills, insurance claims, and the emotional toll of the event. While legal compensation can't undo the trauma of car accidents, it can provide financial relief. That's why consulting a San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyer is crucial.
If an intoxicated driver has harmed you, seek medical care as soon as possible. Then, schedule a free consultation with our drunk driving accident attorney.
Why You Need a San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer to Help You
Navigating the aftermath of drunk driving collisions is tough. Legal complexities can confuse and frustrate victims. A specialized lawyer understands the nuances of drunk driving cases. They can guide you through the process, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
Furthermore, insurance companies can be tricky. They might offer quick, low-ball settlements. But with a lawyer by your side, you'll have someone to advocate for your rights. They will negotiate aggressively, ensuring you're treated fairly.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics in San Antonio
Drunk driving is a persistent issue in San Antonio. During the past few years, drunk driving arrests by police officers have gone up. There were about 3,700 drunk driving arrests in 2020 in San Antonio. This number increased to 4,200 in 2021 and 4,300 in 2022.
Despite strict drunk driving laws, drunk driving cases continue to rise. Many factors contribute, like easy access to alcohol and lack of public transport. The community bears the social and financial burden of these accidents. It's vital to hold drunk drivers accountable.
Legal Implications and Penalties for Drunk Driving in San Antonio
San Antonio takes drunk driving seriously. Drivers face hefty fines, jail time, and license suspension if caught. First-time offenders might get leniency, but repeat offenses have stricter penalties. The goal is to deter people from driving under the influence.
In addition, those causing car accidents face civil lawsuits. Victims can claim compensation for damages and injuries. These legal battles can be lengthy and stressful. Without proper representation, victims might not get their rightful compensation.
Common Types of Driving Impairments
A. Vision Impairment
Alcohol can blur vision. Drunk drivers might not see oncoming traffic or road signs. They might miss seeing pedestrians or judge distances wrongly. This makes them prone to collisions and crashes.
B. Hearing Impairment
Alcohol affects the auditory senses. Drunk drivers might not hear honking or emergency sirens. They may be unaware of warnings, leading to accidents. Clear hearing is vital for safe driving.
C. Reaction Times Impairment
Alcohol slows reaction times. Drunk drivers can't respond quickly to sudden changes. This delay can make the difference between a close call and a crash. Safe driving requires fast reflexes.
D. Aggression Impairment
Some people become aggressive when drunk. This can translate to aggressive driving. Speeding, tailgating, and road rage become risks. Such behaviors are dangerous on the road.
E. Judgment Impairment
Alcohol impairs judgment. Drunk drivers might make rash decisions. They might overtake dangerously or ignore traffic rules. Poor judgment often leads to accidents.
F. Alertness Impairment
Alcohol can make drivers drowsy. Falling asleep behind the wheel can happen. Even a moment's lapse can result in tragedy. Alertness is crucial for safe driving.
Common Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving
A. Traumatic Brain Injury
Head-on collisions can cause serious traumatic brain injuries. These can have lasting impacts, affecting memory, motor skills, and more. Immediate medical attention is crucial, but some effects might be permanent.
B. Spinal Injuries
The force of a crash can hurt the spine. This can lead to paralysis or chronic pain. It's a life-altering injury that affects mobility and quality of life. Rehab and therapy can help, but some might need lifelong care.
C. Organ Damage
Internal injuries are common in severe accidents. Lungs, liver, or kidneys might get damaged. Immediate medical intervention is crucial because some injuries can have long-term health implications.
D. Limb Injuries
Arms, legs, or other limbs can get crushed or severed. In some cases, amputation might be necessary. Such injuries require intensive care, rehab, and prosthetics.
E. Soft Tissue Injuries
Muscles, ligaments, or tendons might get strained or torn. While they might not seem severe, they can be debilitating. Proper medical care and physiotherapy can aid recovery.
Things You Need to Take After Your San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident
After an accident, ensure everyone is safe. Move to a secure location if possible. Staying on a busy road can lead to more accidents.
Always report the accident to the police. They'll document the scene, which is crucial for legal proceedings. Their report can provide valuable evidence.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, see a doctor. Some injuries manifest later. A medical report can also serve as evidence in a lawsuit.
Gather Evidence While Avoiding the Driver if Needed
Take photos of the scene, vehicle damages, and injuries. But, if the driver seems aggressive, maintain distance. Your safety comes first.
Talk to and Exchange Info With Witnesses
Witnesses can provide crucial insights into the accident. Collect their contact details. They might be needed for testimonies later.
Speak to a San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Before talking to insurance companies, consult a lawyer. They'll guide you on your rights and the next steps.
The People That Can Be Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident
Multiple parties can be held liable in drunk driving accidents. The obvious one is the drunk driver. But, sometimes, others might have played a part. Holding all responsible parties accountable is crucial.
For instance, if a bar served an already drunk person more alcohol, they might be liable. Or if a company's employee caused the accident while on duty, the company could be responsible. Understanding the whole picture ensures maximum compensation.
The drunk driver is the primary culprit. They chose to drive under the influence. Their reckless behavior endangered lives. They are responsible for the harm they cause.
But pinning the blame requires evidence. Blood alcohol content, witness testimonies, and police reports can help. A skilled lawyer can piece together a strong case against the driver.
The Drunk Driver’s Employer
If the driver was on the job during the accident, their employer might be liable. Businesses are responsible for their employees' decisions and actions when they are on the job. This is especially true if the company didn't have strict policies against drunk driving.
For instance, if a delivery driver caused an accident after attending a company event with alcohol, the company might be at fault. Proving this requires evidence of the driver's role and the company's knowledge or negligence.
The Store, Bar or Restaurant Who Sold Alcohol to the Drunk Driver
In Texas, businesses can be held liable under the "dram shop" law. If they sell alcohol to someone intoxicated, they share the blame. If that person causes an accident, the establishment could face legal consequences.
However, proving this requires evidence. Things like receipts, witness testimonies, and surveillance footage can help. A skilled lawyer can help establish the establishment's fault.
Social Host That Provided Alcohol to a Non-Related Minor
In some cases, individuals can be held accountable. If they provided alcohol to a minor, who then caused an accident, they're liable. This is especially true if the minor wasn't a family member. Social hosts must think twice before serving alcohol to young guests.
Understanding this law requires expertise. Many nuances can affect the outcome. A seasoned lawyer can help navigate these complexities.
Four Elements to Establish Negligence in a Drunk Driving Accident
The victim must prove they suffered harm. This can be physical injuries, property damage, or emotional trauma. Medical reports, bills, and repair estimates can serve as evidence.
B. Breach of Duty
Drivers have a duty to drive safely. Driving under the influence is a clear breach of this duty. Proving this requires evidence like blood alcohol content or eyewitness accounts.
The victim must prove the driver's actions caused the harm. This means establishing a direct link between the drunk driving and the accident. Accident reconstruction experts can help confirm this.
D. Duty of Care
All drivers must exercise caution to protect others. This means driving responsibly and following traffic rules. Driving drunk violates this duty, putting others at risk.
Compensation You Can Secure in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Victims of drunk driving accidents deserve compensation. They've faced trauma, pain, and financial burdens. While money can't undo the harm, it can ease recovery.
Medical bills are often the most significant burden. Emergency care, surgeries, medication, and therapy can be expensive. Some might need lifelong care. Compensation should cover all present and future medical costs.
Vehicle Repairs and Replacement
Accidents can damage or total cars. Victims deserve compensation for repairs or replacements. This ensures they can get back on the road without financial strain.
Injuries might mean missing work. This results in lost wages. For some, injuries might mean they can't return to their job. Compensation should consider current and future earnings.
Beyond tangible costs, there's pain and suffering. Accidents can lead to trauma, stress, and emotional distress. These non-economic damages are harder to quantify but are just as important.
Contact Our San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at The Major Law Firm for an Initial Case Consultation
You're not alone if you or a loved one faced a drunk driving accident. The Major Law Firm is here to support and guide you. Our seasoned San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers are ready to fight for your rights.
Don't deal with the aftermath without expert help. We understand your pain, stress, and confusion after a DUI accident. Let us handle the legal side, ensuring you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Reach out today, and let's make things right.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a lawyer after a drunk driving accident in San Antonio?
Yes, hiring a lawyer is crucial after a drunk driving accident. They can guide you through the legal process, ensuring you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Can establishments that sell alcohol to the drunk driver be held responsible for the accident?
Yes, under Texas's "dram shop" law, establishments can be liable if they sell alcohol to someone visibly intoxicated who then causes an accident. This means bars, restaurants, or stores could face legal consequences if their actions contributed to the accident.
What types of compensation can I seek after a drunk driving accident?
You can claim compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. It's essential to consult a lawyer to understand the full scope of compensation you're entitled to.