San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol cause hundreds of injuries and fatal accidents which is why reaching out to a San Antonio drunk driving Accident lawyer is important. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 28 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve a drunk driver. Illegal and even prescription medications can contribute to these accidents.
It’s common knowledge that drunk driving is a serious problem, but most people don’t realize its severity.
Other significant statistics regarding drunk driving include:
- On average, someone suffers an injury from a drunk driver every two minutes.
- Thirty people die every day or one person every 48 minutes in America due to drunk driving.
- Approximately one-third of all drivers charged with drunk driving are repeat offenders.
- Every day around 300,000 drunk drivers are on the road; only 2,800 of those drivers get stopped by law enforcement.
- Over one-quarter of all U.S. traffic fatalities are the result of intoxicated drivers.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that the yearly cost of U.S. alcohol-related crashes exceeds $44 billion.
- Other estimates put the price tag as high as $132 billion per year.
What happens when a driver partakes in a few drinks and decides to get behind the wheel of their vehicle?
The effects of alcohol impairment on motorists include:
- Decreased reaction times
- Impaired judgment and decision-making
- Reduced motor control
- Blurry or otherwise altered vision
- Lower inhibitions against risky behaviors
The dangerous effects of alcohol impairment may result in:
- An increased stopping distance
- An inability to recognize and obey applicable road signage and other traffic control measures
- Swerving, weaving, and running off the road
- The failure to detect other vehicles or pedestrians
- Speeding, dangerous passing, and other aggressive driving maneuvers
Drunk driving is one of the most negligent acts of driving there is. Instead of obeying the laws, drunk drivers selfishly get behind the wheel. Perhaps they don’t want to be bothered to call a cab or wait for someone to get them. They don’t have the forethought to appoint a designated driver. Maybe they feel like they are just fine to drive or think alcohol doesn’t impact their driving in the way it affects others.
No matter the reason, there is no excuse for this type of negligence that leads to serious and fatal injuries every hour in this country. Suppose you or someone you hold dear suffered an injury or lost their life as a result of a drunk or otherwise impaired driver. In that case, a seasoned San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyer from the Wyatt Law Firm will advocate for justice and compensation on your behalf.
Who Can You Hold at Fault for Impaired Driving Accidents?
Any accident scenario—a hit-and-run, head-on, sideswipe, broadside, or rear-end collision, can involve a driver impaired by alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs. No matter what type of accident occurred, driving under the influence of these substances is illegal and will result in some degree of liability. The amount of liability assigned to an impaired driver will depend upon the circumstances and the actions of the other driver(s) involved.
Always note that even though impaired drivers face criminal charges, you can still file a civil case to pursue compensation. Criminal and civil cases are entirely separate, and the outcome of one doesn’t necessarily reflect the outcome of the other. Even if a drunk driver is found not guilty in criminal courts, they can still owe you compensation for your injuries.
Criminal Justice System
Drunk driving is illegal. Drivers caught driving while impaired, especially those who injure or kill someone, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Texas laws. However, the criminal charges they face won’t pay for your economic and or non-economic damages.
You need a compassionate San Antonio drunk driving accident attorney who will fight on your behalf. A drunk driving or other serious conviction for the at-fault driver won’t cure your injuries, and neither will fair compensation for your claim. However, when you receive such compensation, you can rebuild your life as much as possible.
Legal Consequences for a Drunk Driving Conviction in Texas
Anyone caught driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more while behind the wheel will face drunk driving charges in Texas. If convicted on those charges, the penalties are as follows:
- Up to a $2,000 fine.
- As many as 180 days in jail upon conviction, with three mandatory days.
- Loss of driver’s license for up to one year.
- Up to a $4,000 fine.
- One month to a year in jail.
- Loss of driver’s license for up to two years.
- A $10,000 fine.
- Imprisonment between two and ten years.
- Loss of driver’s license for up to two years.
Most Common Drunk Driving Injuries in Texas
Drunk driving accidents can cause minor injuries such as bruises, cuts, scrapes, severe, life-threatening, or catastrophic injuries, and everything in between. Typically, the more traumatic the accident, the more traumatic the injuries.
Injuries might include:
- Facial injuries, which can lead to scarring or disfigurement
- Soft tissue injuries. Whiplash is one of the most common types of soft tissue injuries suffered by car accident victims, which sometimes requires a long recovery
- Broken bones, especially ankles, legs, arms, hands, ribs, and the pelvis
- Burns, common when the accident results in a fire and can also lead to scarring and disfigurement
- Spine and back injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, which can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Emotional, ranging from fear of being in another car accident to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anyone suffering severe or catastrophic injuries in a drunk driving accident deserves the opportunity to speak with a skilled San Antonio drunk driving accident attorney. By meeting with such an attorney, you can determine how to proceed in seeking the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim Worth?
If you recently suffered injuries in a drunk driving auto accident, you are likely wondering what your claim can be worth. This is an understandably pressing question as you face medical bills and daily pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict precisely what your claim will be worth. However, an experienced San Antonio car accident lawyer from the Wyatt Law Firm can draw from many resources to help estimate the compensation your claim can garner.
Many factors can increase or decrease its value, including:
- The severity and type of injuries sustained
- Your pain and suffering
- Any temporary or permanent disability incurred
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Any loss of lifestyle
- Your future medical needs
- Past medical bills
- The amount of time you will be off work
- If you can return to work
- Your legal counsel
To help determine the value of your claim, your car accident lawyer will look for comparable jury awards and can use mock jury surveys to evaluate your claim’s worth.
The Elements of Negligence in Drunk Driving Claims
Like most other personal injury claims, plaintiffs base drunk driving claims on negligence.
To prove a drunk driving claim, you or your San Antonio drunk driving accident attorney will need to establish the following four elements of negligence in your claim:
- Duty: A duty existed between the drunk driver and the injured party. For example, a driver must not drive with a blood alcohol content level over the legal limit.
- Breach of duty: The drunk driver breached or violated the duty by drinking and getting behind the wheel.
- Causation: Causation is one of the most crucial parts of an injury claim. The injured party must prove that the drunk driver’s actions caused their injuries to obtain compensation.
- Damages: The injured party suffered a physical, emotional, or financial injury, also referred to as damages. Their damages must be the result of the driver violating a duty. However, a case may not go forward if they cannot prove damages.
When Is a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit Necessary?
Sometimes, an injured individual isn’t satisfied with the insurance company’s settlement offer. Despite multiple rounds of negotiations, the two parties can’t agree on how much the value of a full and fair settlement.
Under these circumstances, your attorney will let you decide if you want to accept a settlement or pursue your claim in court. They can also offer advice about what they think you should do based on past experiences. However, the decision is ultimately yours.
Suppose the insurance company isn’t willing to offer you a settlement that you believe is fair, and you have a strong case. In that case, a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary.
How Do You Pay for a San Antonio Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer?
Not understanding how car accident lawyers get paid, many people with valid personal injury lawsuits don’t reach out for the help they need. Ultimately, they might leave thousands of dollars on the table that they might have used to help pay for their damages.
At the Wyatt Law Firm, our commitment is to get you the legal help you need and deserve; as such, we only work on a contingency fee basis for our injured clients.
This means that:
- We don’t require money upfront from you—not even to cover our costs as some firms do.
- We only get paid when you receive a settlement or court award—if you do not receive one, we do not get paid, and you owe us nothing.
- We don’t get paid if we don’t resolve your case successfully with a settlement or court award.
- Our fees are paid directly from your monetary award, so you never have to worry about paying us out of pocket.
Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident? Contact the Wyatt Law Firm Today
At the Wyatt Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing drunk driving car accident victims and determining fair compensation for their damages and injuries. Even when drunk drivers are involved, car insurance carriers are often partial when offering payment because they are the ones responsible for paying for your claim.
They want to pay you as little as possible, which is typically much less than what you need to recover from your auto accident. Your body, wallet, and mind have already suffered enough from the damage of your car accident. Don’t accept any further losses by agreeing to a settlement that isn’t sufficient to fairly pay you for your injuries.
Helping injury victims is our passion, and we stop at nothing less than justice in your case. Let us help you get what is rightfully yours. This is a confusing and overwhelming time in your life. You likely have many questions and concerns as you navigate this path. Reach out a San Antonio personal injury lawyer.
We are here to address your questions and guide you as to your next steps. Remember that you only have a certain amount of time to file an injury lawsuit after a car accident. Call or contact the Wyatt Law Firm to get your case started today and to find out how we can help you during this difficult time of life.
I was extremely satisfied with the handling and outcome of my lawsuit. Paula and her entire team are amazing at what they do. I’m so glad that I had them there to help me every step of the way. Karen and Clayton were most definitely helpful with keeping me informed and on top of everything. Louis and Gavin were also very helpful in making sure I understood the process. I would 100% recommend them. Thank you Wyatt Law Firm. Thank you Paula.