How to Sue a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been in an accident due to someone else’s drinking, here is everything you need to know about how to sue a drunk driver. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a driver is legally intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08% — but they are breaking the law as soon as drugs or alcohol affect their driving regardless of where their BAC is.
If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, the at-fault driver could be liable for damages such as current and future medical bills as well as current and future earnings if your injuries have affected your work. In some cases, you may also be liable for damages related to your pain and suffering and mental anguish.
If you believe that you may have grounds to take legal action against the drunk driver and would like to recover damages to get the justice you deserve, the personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta explain the process of how to sue a drunk driver.
To see if you have a case against the drunk driver, contact Grimes & Fertitta online or call us at 713-224-7644 to schedule a consultation.
Hire a trustworthy attorney
After the accident occurs and all potential injuries are treated, your first and most important step is to contact a personal injury attorney to represent you. In the state of Texas, it is within your car accident victims’ rights to sue the drunk driver(s) and their insurance company to receive compensation for your injuries. It would not be in your best interest to sue a drunk driver without legal representation.
Who you hire to represent you matters. Hiring a drunk driving accident lawyer in Houston from Grimes & Fertitta is your best shot at a favorable outcome. Our attorneys have the expertise and experience necessary to help you gather evidence and press charges against the at-fault driver.
In order to sue a drunk driver, you and your attorney have to prove that negligence occurred, injuries happened as a result, and that you suffered damages. Here’s how to go about it.
Proof of negligence
Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that the person deemed responsible for the car accident is also responsible for paying for damages. If you want to recover damages from the drunk driver in a lawsuit, you’ll need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were the at-fault driver.
Your attorney must be able to prove the following elements to declare fault:
- The other driver owed you a duty of driving safely on the road
- The driver breached his or her duty by an act of negligence (drunk driving)
- The driver’s negligence caused the car accident and your injuries as a result
- The injuries caused you to suffer damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.)
These elements can be proven by you and your attorney collecting evidence regarding the scene of the accident. This evidence can include the filed police report which can contain the drunk driver’s BAC level, eyewitness testimonies, evidence of alcohol in the driver’s car at the time of the accident, and video evidence of the driver showcasing intoxicated behaviors.
Proof of injury
A key factor in drunk driving accidents is proving that the drunk driver’s negligence caused your or your loved one’s injuries. Proof of injury can be documented in the form of medical bills or other costs associated with injury treatment. If you received medical treatment as a result of being injured by a drunk driver, keep a record of any expenses including:
- Hospital costs
- Any administered treatments or procedures
- Any notes or write-ups made by your doctor
- Medications or prescriptions
- Physical therapy (if necessary)
You should not be responsible for paying hefty medical bills when someone else is at fault. Having this evidence on record can give you a fairer shot at receiving financial compensation.
Proof of damages
Alongside medical bills, if a drunk driver also caused non-economic damages, you and your loved ones can still obtain compensation. In our article when to sue for personal injury, we lay out the different types of damages that a victim of an accident can collect including non-financial damages like wrongful death, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, disfigurement and/or impairment, and mental anguish.
These damages, though more internal, can qualify for financial compensation.
For example, if the drunk driver’s negligence caused the death of a loved one that was in the vehicle, they can be held responsible to pay for the funeral costs. Another example would be that the drunk driver would pay for physical or cognitive therapy for the accident victim(s). You and your attorney can work together to prove these damages exist to get you the financial and emotional support you need to recover from this tragedy.
Suing a drunk driver for damages? Grimes & Fertitta is here for you.
The main answer to how to sue a drunk driver is knowing how to find a personal injury attorney that will fight for you. You only have two years after the incident to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver, so it’s best to act quickly and contact an attorney. Grimes & Fertitta are compassionate and experienced drunk driving accident lawyers in Houston who have handled many cases just like yours with compassion and professionalism.
As former lawyers for insurance companies, we can anticipate every punch that the drunk driver’s insurance adjuster might throw. We use this experience to craft stronger arguments and build your case for the best possible outcome. This gives us an advantage in the courtroom and gives us a better chance to recover damages that you and your loved ones clearly deserve.
If you have any questions about suing an uninsured driver for damages or want to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit, contact Grimes & Fertitta online or call us at 713-224-7644 to schedule a consultation.
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