Drunk/Impaired Driving

Read this article to learn the facts about drunk and impaired driving, with a special focus on California, New York, and Texas. Find out how the Lanier Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys can help those injured by impaired drivers.

Drunk and impaired driving remain serious public health concerns. Despite education and law-enforcement efforts, drunk driving statistics show that a significant percentage of motorists continue to drive while intoxicated or impaired and continue to cause drunk driving accidents and injuries. 

Fortunately, you and your attorney can hold them accountable. A personal injury claim is a way for injury victims to get justice for their losses and put the pieces of their lives back together. At the Lanier Law Firm, we fight for clients to receive full compensation for their injuries by never settling for inadequate insurance payments.

Consequences of Drunk/Impaired Driving

Drunk or impaired driving can lead to accidents that cause catastrophic injuries and death. At risk in these accidents are the impaired driver’s passengers, other motorists and their passengers, and pedestrians. In some cases, people inside their homes or in their yards may be at risk.

Although not all drunk driving accidents result in major injury, many do and include injuries such as:

Impaired drivers also cause a significant amount of property damage, including damage to other cars, public infrastructure, and private and commercial real estate.

What can a personal injury attorney do?

A personal injury attorney has one job when representing victims of drunk driving accidents: winning the maximum compensation available for their clients. Accomplishing this requires knowledge of and significant experience in the compensation process.

Prepare Your Claim

You need to present a strong claim to get the proper compensation. This requires gathering and analyzing evidence, such as police and medical reports, witness testimony, and video footage. A seasoned attorney will use this evidence to strategize and prepare the most appropriate case for your circumstances.

Deal with Insurance Companies

Insurance adjusters want smaller payouts. They look for reasons to pay injury victims as little as possible or to downright deny their claims. If you deal directly with an insurance company after an accident, the company may use your words against you to blame you for the car crash.

Our attorneys at the Lanier Law Firm know how to negotiate with insurance companies. We understand their tactics, and we know these tactics change in favor of the victim when attorneys get involved.

Take Your Case to Trial

If negotiations fail to produce a settlement, then you have the option of taking your case to trial. We have won significant verdicts at trial for our injury victim clients, and insurance companies know we will go all the way to verdict to get what our clients need.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations establishes a time limit for injury victims to file a personal injury claim. The specific duration depends on which state the injury took place. In New York, you must file the claim within three years. However, in both California and Texas, the time limit is two years.

Compensation

Drunk and impaired drivers may be liable for a whole host of losses that victims and their families suffer. Generally speaking, there are two types of losses or damages that negligent and reckless drivers may be responsible for: economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages caused by impaired drivers are objective expenses and losses directly related to the injury. They may include:

These expenses are calculable and verifiable.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages include losses that don’t come with specific dollar values. They must have monetary values assigned to them during the negotiation process and include:

At the Lanier Law Firm, we never accept lowball offers from insurance companies. Our attorneys are knowledgeable enough to know what our clients’ cases are worth. We fight hard during the calculation process for a number our clients truly merit.

Who may be liable?

If you are in an accident with an impaired driver, then that driver might be liable. However, the fact that they were under the influence is not enough. You must also show that they caused the accident.

When to Contact a Lawyer

Time is of the essence in drunk driving injury cases. As explained, the statute of limitations governs injury cases. But besides that, there are other concerns with letting too much time go by, such as degradation of evidence, witnesses moving away, and witness forgetfulness.

Contacting an attorney as soon as possible keeps your claim valid and strong.

Cost of a Lawyer

In general, personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. The fee is entirely dependent on the amount of compensation the client receives. For the client, this translates to no costs upfront, as they pay attorney fees at the end of the case.

What makes the Lanier Law Firm the best choice?

The Lanier Law Firm gives each client high-level legal services coupled with individual care. We bring our years of experience to bear on every case we represent and will go to any lengths to satisfy our clients. Our certified personal injury attorneys have won millions of dollars for clients and are ready to fight for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage our clients to reach out for help with their unanswered questions. Below you’ll find some of the common inquiries we receive surrounding drunk and impaired driving.

What is impaired driving?

Impaired driving refers to driving under the influence of a substance that significantly lowers a person’s ability to drive safely. In most cases, the substance is alcohol. However, it can also apply to other substances.

What are three signs of impaired driving?

Impaired drivers telegraph their intoxicated driving in many ways. Some common signs a driver is drunk include:

If you see someone driving erratically, stay far away from them and call the police when it is safe to do so.

What can impair a driver?

Any substance that causes a driver to lose the ability to drive safely is a substance that impairs. Alcohol is the most common example. Marijuana, certain prescription drugs, and illegal drugs also impair drivers.

How do I know if I was dealing with an impaired driver?

After a crash, the impaired driver may exhibit the following signs:

When the police arrive, they will perform sobriety tests to determine impairment.

What percentage of accidents do drunk drivers cause?

According to drunk driving statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 11,654 drunk driving deaths in 2020. This accounts for nearly one-third of all traffic deaths in 2020. While drunk driving accidents and deaths are preventable, they are sadly still quite prevalent.

What is the effect of alcohol on accidents?

Alcohol increases the risk of an accident on the highway as well as the severity of the accident. It also clouds the judgment of intoxicated drivers. Drivers are prone to dangerous behavior when driving while impaired.

Contact the Lanier Law Firm Today

If a drunk or impaired driver has injured you, you deserve compensation for your losses. You can get relief from mounting expenses and other financial obligations if you file a claim promptly. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney.

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