When vehicles collide and travelers are injured, families can be devastated to discover that one of the drivers was drunk — that’s when you need a drunk driving accident lawyer. There are tears, confusion and anger, not to mention doctors, hospitals and costly medical bills. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, you don’t have to go it alone. While you focus on medical appointments and getting better, a drunk driving accident attorney can pursue your legal rights in court and secure financial compensation.
At Guajardo & Marks, our Dallas DUI attorneys have represented many victims and their families who had to suffer because of the poor decisions made by impaired drivers, and we’ve seen the devastating effects these accidents have on our clients. They sometimes face serious injuries, lifelong medical treatment, loss of income, loss of work capacity, intense pain and incredible suffering. For a free initial consultation about your case, call the Guajardo & Marks Law Firm at (972) 774-9800.
What To Do After A Drunk Driving Accident In Dallas
- The first priority is to make sure that you and your passengers are safe.
- Call an ambulance if someone needs immediate medical care.
- Notify the police promptly after an accident so they can arrive at the scene and file a report.
- Take pictures or have others take pictures of any damage or injuries.
- Get information from the other driver — their name, address, phone number and insurance information.
- Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Hire a drunk driving accident lawyer.
- Keep records and notes on bills, medical treatment and the condition of your injuries in the days and weeks following the collision.
- Don’t speak to or sign anything from the other driver’s insurance company, because they will not be acting in your best interest.
It’s important to hire a Dallas drunk driving accident lawyer, because the insurance company for the other driver will respond immediately with lawyers, investigators and other personnel determined to limit the insurance company’s exposure and financial liability. You need an experienced and skilled attorney to work on your behalf just as aggressively. Collecting police reports, photos, witness depositions, and other evidence is the job of a drunk driving lawyer who will write legal briefs and file a lawsuit for compensation on your behalf.
A drunk driving accident attorney at Guajardo & Marks will first have a free initial consultation with you to determine whether you have a case. If you do, we will then interview you, passengers of your car and any witnesses to gather every detail possible about timing, location, the behavior of the other driver and events immediately leading up to the crash. We will then review physical evidence from the crime scene, including condition of the vehicles, any skid marks on the asphalt, road signage, weather conditions and visual obstructions. If needed, we have the resources to hire expert witnesses for your case. We will then craft legal arguments that articulate your case and file any documents needed to assert your claim.
In our interactions with you and your family, we will be readily on hand to answer your questions, explain the legal process in terms you can understand, offer suggestions for pursuing your claim and prevent you from being harassed by the other party’s attorneys or representatives.
The first thing you might think of is the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle. But the compensation can be much greater. Financial compensation also includes doctor bills, hospital bills, current and future healthcare costs, lost wages, future earnings if you become disabled, physical pain and emotional suffering. This compensation is also available for any family members or others who were injured as passengers in your car. In some cases, there are other unique things that you can be financially compensated for, and that’s why hiring an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer is essential; he has handled many accidents and knows what additional circumstances can be compensated.
Contact a Dallas Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Now
Timing is critical. It’s important to contact a drunk driving attorney immediately, before evidence is lost, witnesses disappear and memories fade. Even if it’s obvious right after the crash that the other driver was drunk, driving recklessly, and had little concern for anyone else on the road, witnesses and others forget things as weeks and months go by. Not surprisingly, they also tend to leave details out of their interviews and written statements if a great deal of time has passed. It’s important to gather information when people’s memories are fresh and before all items at the crash site are moved or disposed of. If you have been injured in a drunk driving collision, contact the attorneys at Guajardo & Marks at (972) 774-9800 for a free initial consultation about your case. We will answer your questions, ask a few of our own and help determine whether or not you have a case.
Types of Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
Spinal Cord Damage – Vehicle accidents are the leading cause (36.5 percent) of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Spinal cord injury can lead to disability and paralysis, in addition to millions of dollars in medical treatment and ongoing care.
Loss of Limb/Amputations – The loss of limbs and amputations permanently alter a person’s life in many ways — intense pain, body image issues and loss of work capability and income, to name just a few. When health is not the primary cause of amputation, vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of the loss of limbs.
Organ Damage – High-impact collisions can result in major damage to the kidney and ureter, intestines, lungs, spleen, liver and many other internal organs. These dangerous and potentially life-threatening injuries can’t be always detected immediately following an accident.
Wrongful Death – When a drunk driving accident takes the life of another person, survivors can seek justice in the form of wrongful death claims. This includes compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of future income, especially if the deceased was the primary earner in the family.
Dallas Drunk Driving Statistics
Texas Among the Worst in the Country
In recent years, Texas has had more drunk driving accidents than any other state in the nation and Dallas had the third most drunk driving fatalities in TX. There is no doubt that alcohol-related crashes in Dallas County constitute a public health crisis, putting millions of drivers at risk every day.
A map of all alcohol-related wrecks in Dallas, TX (2016) illustrates that no corner of our communities are immune from the dangers of drunk drivers.
- In 2016, there were 765 accident injuries and 84 fatalities in drunk driving accidents in Dallas County.
- The time of the day with the most DUI-related accidents is typically between 2:00a.m. and 2:59a.m.
- There are more drunk driving crashes on Saturdays than any other day of the week.
Texas Dram Shop Law
Not only is an intoxicated driver held responsible for getting behind the wheel, but the business or person who allowed a visibly intoxicated patron to drive could also be held legally responsible for a crash. This is known as a “Dram Shop Law.” In Texas, a bar, convenience store, restaurant or other establishment that served alcohol to a drunk driver can be held liable for damages that occur as the result of an accident.
Your options for a legal remedy don’t end with the intoxicated person’s negligence. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 2 contains the state’s laws regarding both dram shop and social host liability. People, businesses and organizations who sell alcohol may be held liable for an injury caused by a customer if:
- the alcohol was sold or given to a minor under age 18, or
- when the alcohol was sold, the buyer was obviously intoxicated and it was unmistakable that he posed “a clear danger” to the safety of himself and others, and
- the intoxication was a foreseeable cause of the injuries sustained in the collision.
Put an End to Drunk Driving
DUI Prevention in Texas
In order to reduce drunk driving on our roads, we can all take steps to make sure our next gathering is a safe one.
- Offer alcohol-free beverages.
- Make sure your guests have a safe ride home.
- Serve an ample amount of food.
- Stop serving drinks well before the end of your party.
- Always designate a sober driver if you’re in a group that is going out for the night.
- Keep contact information for taxis or ride-share services for yourself or friends that might need a ride.
- Educate your children about the hazards of riding in a car driven by a friend who had too much to drink at a teen party.
- Offer to drive a party-goer home if there are no other options.
Texas Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
Drivers in Texas are legally intoxicated if they have blood-alcohol content higher than 0.08 percent (0.04 percent for commercial drivers). The possible legal penalties in Texas for driving while intoxicated include fines, surcharges, court costs, community service, imprisonment, increased auto insurance and DWI education and intervention programs. Fines range up to $2,000 for first offenses, $4,000 for second offenses, and $10,000 for third offenses and convictions where a child was in the vehicle.
A typical drinker can achieve this level of drunkenness from having two or three drinks in an hour. For women and adolescents, drinking just one or two drinks in an hour may lead to a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater.
Seek Help from a Dallas Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your suffering. Our Dallas drunk driving accident lawyers have helped countless families secure payment for damages — including medical bills, property and automobile damage, ongoing professional care and physical and emotional suffering.
We treat families with the respect, compassion and individual attention they deserve at what we know is a very difficult time. We return calls promptly, explain the law in terms you can understand without using legal jargon and answer the many questions you likely have. It is important to act quickly after a vehicle accident to make sure that your case has the best possible chance of success. Contact Guajardo & Marks today for a free consultation at (972) 774-9800.
A Review From Our Client
“I have known Mike and Greg for years, and they are very talented and caring lawyers. They work hard for their clients and always put their client’s interests ahead of theirs. If you need a reputable personal injury injury law firm, look no further than Guajardo & Marks. -Dana McArthur