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What To Do If You’re Hit By a Drunk Driver in Texas

Grimes & Fertitta > Personal Injury  > Vehicle Accidents  > What To Do If You’re Hit By a Drunk Driver in Texas

What To Do If You’re Hit By a Drunk Driver in Texas

What To Do If You’re Hit By a Drunk Driver in Texas

Being hit by a drunk driver isn’t something many people think they’ll ever have to deal with, but Texas alone saw 1,162 deaths caused by drunk driving accidents in 2022 — that averages out to three deaths every single day. Whether you’re looking to gain this knowledge in advance or you have suffered on account of a drunk driver, knowing what to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver in Texas can make all the difference in the outcome of an accident case.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you’re going to need the best personal injury attorneys Houston has to offer if you want to get yourself and your family what you truly deserve.

In this article, the Houston drunk driving accident lawyers from Grimes & Fertitta will walk you through what to do if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver. If you or a loved one have been involved in a drunk driving accident, call Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 and ask them to fight for you.

What happens if I’m hit by a drunk driver?

So, what do you do if you’re involved in a drunk driver accident in Houston? These five steps will get you where you need to be.

1. Assess your injuries

If you were hit by a drunk driver in Texas, your health and safety should always be your first priority. Before doing anything else, check to see if you or anyone else in the accident suffered from any injuries. If you were injured by a drunk driver, call 911 immediately.

So long as your vehicle is in a safe place to do so, you should stay put until help arrives. The adrenaline of the accident can cover up the pain of any serious injuries and moving can cause you to suffer more damage. Paramedics will be able to check you for any serious injuries (like neck and back injuries, which are common after car accidents) and remove you safely from your vehicle.

2. File a police report and collect evidence

After assessing your own injuries and anyone involved, you’ll want to call the police. While you are waiting for them to arrive, start collecting evidence from the scene including:

  • The other driver’s name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information
  • Eyewitness contact information
  • Photos or videos of alcohol containers in or around the other car
  • Videos that show that the other driver was impaired (slurred speech, stumbling, etc.)
  • Photos or videos of the scene of the accident (tire marks, location of the vehicles, damages, etc.)

Upon arrival, you’ll want to express your concerns about the other driver drinking and driving to the officer. Your statement may be the catalyst that encourages the police officer to administer a field sobriety test and will make it easier to prove negligence later on.

3. Seek medical care

If you were not already taken to the hospital, you should still take yourself to be checked out. Not all injuries are obvious and although you may feel fine at the moment, you may have suffered internal injuries, brain injuries, a concussion, or whiplash. It’s always better to err on the side of caution in these situations.

4. Collect evidence

Evidence can quickly disappear after drunk driving accidents so it’s crucial that you do your due diligence to collect your own. Aside from collecting evidence on the scene of the accident, if you are able to do so, you should also be collecting as much documentation as possible. This includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Doctor’s notes of treatments and procedures
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy bills, referrals, and treatment plans
  • Lost wages
  • A copy of the police report
  • Photos or videos of your injuries/progress or lack thereof
  • Funeral and burial expenses

5. Contact a drunk driving accident lawyer

After suffering any injury on account of a drunk driving accident, whether they were minor or catastrophic injuries, reliving the experience is probably the last thing you want to do. However, you likely also suffered a great deal of personal and financial loss, and although the driver will likely face a DWI charge complete with jail time and fines, you need your own lawyer to help you sue for the damages you suffered.

Hiring a drunk driving accident lawyer can help you understand your rights, prove that the accident was caused as a result of the driver’s drinking and driving, and work to award you the damages you need and deserve.

Keep reading: When to get an attorney for a car accident (Hint: It’s as soon as possible!)

Challenges unique to drunk driving accidents

Drunk driving cases and car accident cases are similar in the sense that both can involve serious injuries and will require that you prove fault in order to negotiate a settlement with insurance. There are, however, a few important differences.

  1. Proving negligence. In drunk driving cases, proving that the other driver was driving drunk is enough to prove negligence.
  2. Collecting admissible evidence. Proving that the driver who hit you was drunk is the cornerstone of any drunk driver accident case. If they sleep it off before there is evidence, you might be out of luck.
  3. Insurance company tactics. Insurance companies will always do their best to minimize payouts and offer the bare minimum to victims.
  4. Emotional toll on victims. Because of this, you are more likely to receive punitive damages (or damages intended to punish the negligent behavior) from a drunk driving accident than you would be if you were injured in a regular car accident.
  5. Complex civil and criminal proceedings. In drunk driving cases, the plaintiff is often facing both civil and criminal proceedings, and the state’s prosecution can sometimes get in the way of completing civil proceedings.

If you were hit by a drunk driver in Texas you need to make sure you work with a skilled drunk driving accident attorney who can help ensure that you and your family get what you need to heal.

Can I sue someone who hit me while drunk?

If you were hit by someone driving drunk, suing the drunk driver is the logical next step. Depending on the outcome of your case, you could be entitled to the following damages:

  • Wrongful death damages, including any expenses suffered on account of planning a funeral and burial
  • Medical bills and care
  • Loss of current or future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

If your loved one lost their life as a result of catastrophic injuries suffered from a drunk driving accident, you may also be entitled to damages for funeral or burial costs, lost wages (both previous and future), as well as any medical bills accumulated prior to their death.

Can I sue a drunk driver for an accident?

Because Texas is a pure negligence state, you have a right to sue both the drunk driver who hit you or your loved one as well as the insurance company — and potentially the bar or restaurant that over-served the individual who was drinking and driving. To know what options you have available to you, it’s best to consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in drunk driving cases.

What is the average settlement for a drunk driving accident in Texas?

I got hit by a drunk driver, what am I entitled to? While there is no way to accurately estimate what the average settlement for a drunk driving accident in Texas is, there is a range in which many accident settlements fall.

You could be looking at $10,000 on the low end, with some cases going up into the millions depending on damages suffered. If we were forced to give an average, most drunk driving accident settlements would likely fall between $80,000 and $150,000 — but those numbers will change depending on the damages that you and your family have suffered.

The real amount that you will be entitled to will depend entirely on what you and your family need to recover and the specific damages covered. To make sure you get what you deserve and aren’t the victim of lowball offers from insurance companies, you should always work with an experienced Houston drunk driving accident lawyer.

Hit by a drunk driver in Texas? Call Grimes & Fertitta today.

If you were hit by a drunk driver in Texas, the first thing you should do is check for injuries and get any necessary medical attention before calling the police. As long as you are okay to do so, you can begin to gather evidence while you wait for law enforcement to arrive. Proving that the other driver’s drinking and driving was the cause of the car accident is essential to the outcome of your case. As soon as possible, call a top-rated drunk driving accident lawyer in Houston from Grimes & Fertitta.

Our aggressive drunk driving attorneys have experience with cases just like yours and can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove the other driver’s fault while securing you the compensation you so rightfully deserve.

If you need a car accident attorney in Houston, you need to call Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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