At Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, our Texas Car Accident Lawyers represent the victims of drunk drivers across Texas from our offices in Houston, Dallas and McAllen. We use our years of experience with all types of car accident cases to create robust legal strategies that get results.
Holding Drunk Drivers Financially Responsible For Accidents And Injuries
As your representation, our lawyers will aggressively pursue the maximum recovery for all the damages you or your loved one experienced because of the drunk driver. Our personal injury lawyers will analyze every detail of your accident and craft a personalized plan for your case. In addition to collecting evidence, we will scrutinize every detail of a criminal case brought against the driver to create the most substantial accident claim.
Even if the driver who caused the accident is acquitted of DUI charges, you may be able to bring a civil case against them. Our lawyers will determine what compensation can be obtained and use creative approaches to get compensation. If the negligent parties do not offer a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to take your case to the courtroom.
If a drunk driver causes you to be injured in a car accident, the losses you endure (what the law calls your damages) can be extensive. In addition to property damage to your vehicle, there are a variety of physical, financial, and emotional losses that commonly apply.
Drunk drivers often cause terrifying, violent accidents that leave their victims seriously injured. Often, such injuries require ongoing medical attention, and if your injuries lead to secondary health concerns, your medical costs can be that much steeper. Common medical expenses include:
Emergency care at the scene of the accident and emergency transportation from the scene of the accident
Surgical care and follow-up medical attention
Appointments with doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
Medical treatments, tests, and procedures
Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy
Home health care
Adaptive physical devices
Pain and Suffering
The violent crash you endure as a result of a drunk driver can lead to considerable physical and emotional pain and suffering. While your pain and suffering are more difficult to categorize and put a price on, the damage is very real and should not be overlooked or downplayed. Some of the telltale signs of emotional distress include the following:
Severe mood swings
Sleep disturbances that can include nightmares, insomnia, and/or night terrors
Increased anxiety and panic attacks
Fear of driving
A serious injury can mean an extended amount of time off the job, which can translate to considerable financial losses. Additionally, a serious injury can affect your ability to do your job and lead to a decrease in earning potential. Losses of this kind can also have an emotional effect – due to the depth of meaning many of us derive from our careers.
Injuries Common to Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers are erratic drivers, which makes them some of the most dangerous drivers out there. While accidents caused by drunk drivers can leave you with virtually any kind of injury, some are more common than others.
A broken bone is a very painful injury that is not only can take weeks or months to heal but can also lead to serious secondary health concerns. Complicated breaks are more prone to health complications, such as chronic pain and severe limitations related to range of motion. Serious breaks can require multiple surgeries and extensive follow-up care.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect your very sense of self, which makes it one of the most difficult injuries to overcome. Our brains make us who we are as individuals, and even a minor injury can prove emotionally devastating. TBIs are as serious as they are unpredictable and difficult to treat effectively. Just to make the matter that much more challenging, TBIs can hide in plain sight – with few (or no) outward symptoms – until the injury becomes even more serious and more difficult to treat.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can happen anywhere on the spinal cord, and they are most closely associated with immense physical pain and severe decreases in range of motion. If the spinal cord is seriously injured or severed in a car accident, it can mean permanent paralysis and a lifetime of medical and personal care needs.
Burns, Cuts, and Abrasions
Burns, cuts, and abrasions are common in car accidents, and they are painful injuries that are closely associated with serious infections. If the burns, cuts, and/or abrasions you suffer are on or near your face, they can lead to permanent disfigurement and the emotional challenges that are associated with consequences of this magnitude.
Consult with an Experienced Texas Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
The next order of business is reaching out to a dedicated Texas drunk driving accident lawyer – serving Houston, Dallas, and McAllen. The sooner you have professional legal counsel in your corner, the better protected your legal rights and the better chance you stand of obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.
You can, of course, seek to recover from the drunk driver’s insurance company. The driver may be charged with a DUI at the scene, but, except to the extent it helps you recover, that is cold comfort to you or others injured. If either the driver’s or your own insurance company declines to settle, you can pursue litigation against them. Your potential losses are extensive:
Medical fees and expenses
Loss of wages or earnings
Loss of earning capacity for the future
Pain and suffering
Counseling expenses, especial where disfigurement or death is involved
Loss of quality of life
Ongoing therapy and costs of assistive devices
Texas law also permits the recovery of punitive damages in car accidents against drunk drivers. Punitive damages are intended both as a punishment for the driver and as a deterrent for other drivers.
Dram Shop Liability
Drunk drivers are not born drunk; someone has to serve them alcohol. For this reason, Texas permits victims of drunk driving accidents to file lawsuits against the bar, restaurant, liquor store, or other business engaged in selling liquor that sold alcohol to the impaired driver. This lawsuit is known as a dram shop liability case. It is based on the theory that businesses show be held responsible for the injuries and deaths caused by a drunk driver under certain circumstances. The required circumstances for dram shop liability are:
The business served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual presenting a clear danger to the intoxicated individual and others
The business served alcohol to a minor who then caused a drunk driving car accident.
The dram shop liability case can be brought in addition to any other legal claims against the impaired driver and that driver’s insurance company. The business that improperly served the driver can be held financially responsible for any resulting property damage, physical injuries, or wrongful deaths caused by the drunk driver. If you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the business was grossly negligent in serving the impaired driver, you may also be able to recover punitive damages in the dram shop action.
Actions against the Impaired Driver
Texas law also permits you to file a personal injury lawsuit against the impaired driver. You have two years to do so under the Texas statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with a drunk driver, make sure to gather all the evidence you can at the scene or later. You will want to obtain and keep copies of any accident reports, citations, and blood or breathalyzer results. You will also want to get witness contact information and exchange insurance and contact information with any involved drivers.
The statistics related to drunk driving are nothing if not sobering, including the following shared by the National Safety Council (NSC):
Motorists who are impaired by alcohol are a primary safety concern on our roadways.
In 2019 alone, drunk driving left 10,142 people dead.
Twenty-eight percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2019 were caused by drunk driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that raising the drinking age to 21 has saved more than 31,000 lives since 1975.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Drunk Driver
If a drunk driver causes you to be injured in a car accident, there are certain steps that you should take to help you regain your health and well-being and to help you protect your car accident claim.
Seek the Medical Attention You Need
Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, seeking medical attention sooner rather than later is well advised. Some injuries are slow to develop noticeable symptoms, but this does not stop them from becoming more serious over time – and more difficult to treat effectively.