Category: Car Accidents

Lawsuits Against Drunk Drivers: What You Need to Know

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

Were you injured by a drunk driver? When the driver at fault for your car accident injuries was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time, we recommend talking to an experienced car accident attorney because your situation is a little different than if you were in a common collision.

The Kemmy Law Firm has a lot of experience in drunk driving accidents, and we share the public safety concern that drunk driving poses throughout the Permian Basin. We believe the civil justice system not only brings justice to drunk driving victims it also reduces drunk driving by holding drunk drivers accountable. If you or your family was hit by a drunk driver, we can assess your circumstances and explain your legal options. For most drunk driving car accident victims, we pursue compensation through an insurance claim. But this doesn’t always guarantee a fair settlement. Depending on the facts, we might recommend filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver or the business that served them. Litigation can result in recovering the level of compensation you really need.

To learn more about drunk driving lawsuits in Texas and New Mexico, call Kemmy Law Firm at (210) 735-2233 or use our online form. We offer free consultations and no up-front costs.

Can You Sue a Drunk Driver?

Yes, if an impaired driver hit you and caused you injuries, then you can file a lawsuit against them. You can use evidence of the driver’s intoxication and any other traffic violations to establish negligence. Once you prove negligence and establish your physical, emotional, and financial injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.

When to Sue a Drunk Driver

When you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, the first step is to pursue an insurance claim. Drivers in Texas are required to carry personal injury coverage of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident and property coverage of at least $25,000 (30/60/25 Coverage). Your policy also should have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage unless you refused it in writing.

Your PIP coverage will pay for some medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Then, the other driver’s policy should kick in. Unfortunately, the minimum policy limits might not be enough to cover all of your injuries.

Filing a lawsuit is appropriate when insurance isn’t enough to pay for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s also a good idea to file if the insurance company is wrongly denying your claim, or the at-fault driver was uninsured.

If you’re unsure of whether to file a lawsuit, talk with a lawyer. We also highly recommend you speak with a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer. Many settlement offers by insurers are lower than what the case is really worth. We can review a settlement offer and advise you on whether it’s a fair amount compared to the potential value of your case.

Evidence in Drunk Driving Accident Claims

When you pursue car accident compensation, you have to prove the other driver was at fault, which means you need evidence.

When a drunk driver injures you, you want evidence that shows they were intoxicated. This can include your testimony regarding the crash and your interactions with the other driver. You might have smelled alcohol or seen open containers of alcohol in the car. You might have noticed the driver slurred their words or had difficulties staying upfront and balanced.

You’ll want to get a copy of the police report. When the police suspect a drunk driver, they’ll note their observations in their report. They might ask that driver to blow into a roadside breath test or perform a field sobriety test.

If there is enough evidence of impairment, the officer will arrest the driver and charge them with a DUI. The record of the arrest, their charges, and any formal BAC tests are also evidence.

How Do DUI Charges Impact a Drunk Driver Lawsuit?

Your personal injury claim against a drunk driver is a civil matter that is separate from a criminal DUI case. You don’t have to wait for the outcome of the DUI case, though your car accident attorney will monitor it. You can pursue personal injury compensation from the driver while they deal with the drunk driving charge separately.

Dram Shop Laws in Texas

There’s an additional element to drunk driving lawsuits that you need to know about: Texas Dram Shop Laws. Under certain circumstances in Texas, a business can be held responsible for injuries or death caused by a drunk driver that business served. The first is when a business serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person who is a clear danger to themselves or others. The second is when a business serves alcohol to a minor.

It’s important to talk with a lawyer after a drunk driving accident causes you injuries in Texas. Your lawsuit might be more complicated than the standard car accident case because of Texas’s Dram Shop Law. You might have the right to sue the business that served the drunk driver, which has the potential to provide you with a greater amount of compensation.

Talk with Our Car Accident Lawyers About Drunk Driving Accident Injuries

You deserve to have all the facts after getting hurt because of a drunk driver. You should know what options you have under Texas law, including the damages you’re entitled to and whether filing a lawsuit is in your best interest.

With decades of experience and a history of results, at Kemmy Law Firm, we can explain what to expect and you deserve after a DUI accident. Contact our Odessa auto accident attorneys online or call (210) 735-2233 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Contact Kemmy Law Firm Today

(844) 334-4388 ONLINE FORM

Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.

When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.