When you drive or walk in Houston streets and roads, you expect that all other road users will be careful, especially motorists. Unfortunately, your caution alone is not enough to keep you safe. The actions and choices of other motorists have a great influence. When someone fails to uphold the duty of care you are legally owed, the unthinkable can happen. As well-practiced car accident attorneys, we see many cases of drunk driving in our city. Anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated with alcohol commits an offense that is punishable by law.
A criminal lawsuit may be established by a state attorney. This kind of lawsuit aims to punish the driver for violating state and federal laws regarding drunk driving. The perpetrator may be fined, jailed, or both. Additionally, civil charges may be brought forward by victims seeking compensation for the harm they suffered. They may self-litigate, but their lack of knowledge in legal affairs ultimately impedes the success of their claim. Instead, working with a reputable Houston drunk driving accident lawyer will garner the best results.
Any form of driving while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited in Texas and many other states in the U.S. Anyone whose Blood Alcohol Content is above the set limit of 0.08% is deemed unfit to operate a vehicle, and thus is liable for punishment under Texas traffic laws. If their behaviors while on the road result in an accident where someone is severely injured or even killed, drunk drivers face criminal and civil lawsuits. A state prosecutor will spearhead criminal charges as a punishment for violating state laws, and the driver is likely to face a jail term, fines, or both.
In addition, a drunk driver may become financially responsible for damages following an accident they cause. Injured parties may decide to pursue legal action by filing an injury claim depending on the harm suffered. If someone is killed, a wrongful death claim may also be brought forward.
The goal of a personal injury claim is to recover monetary compensation for losses suffered. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a similar incident, a professional Houston drunk driving accident attorney is best suited to handle your case for a beneficial outcome.
Although liability in a drunk driving accident is often straightforward, there are scenarios where the driver may not be the only person to blame. Of course, they carry a duty to guarantee the safety of passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists, and by engaging in prohibited behaviors such as drunk driving, they become automatically responsible for the damages caused.
That said, retaining a knowledgeable attorney may help you establish grounds on which to hold other parties accountable for the accident. For instance, understanding how Texas Dram Shop Laws affect liability in your case will be challenging. Depending on the circumstances under which the other party became drunk, any party found to have served the alcohol to an already intoxicated person or to a minor may be held accountable for the resulting accidents.
Whether as a social host or restaurant owner, anyone who serves alcohol is bound by these laws to ensure that revelers do not exceed the set limits before they operate their vehicles. A seasoned Houston drunk driving accident attorney may help establish whether a third party may have indirectly contributed to a crash.
As with all other auto wrecks, your first course of action should be checking yourself for injuries and seeking medical treatment. This must be done promptly for your well-being as well as to provide proof of injury and causation.
Next, you should contact the local police department and report the crash. This will help with investigating and documenting the crash. If you can, remain at the scene and talk to as many people as you can. Eyewitnesses play a critical role in proving your version of the story and should be the first people you speak to. Record their contact information and record their statements.
Finally, remember to notify your insurance company and contact a Houston drunk driving accident attorney as soon as possible.
A qualified attorney will help prepare your case and ensure all necessary legal requirements are fulfilled before negotiating with insurance companies or proceeding to trial.
Don’t just settle for any attorney who says they can handle your case. Always carry out background checks to ensure they are qualified and licensed to practice personal injury law. Most importantly, their track record should speak for itself having handled and won similar cases. Contact a Houston drunk driving accident lawyer at our firm today to get started.