In a single recent year, 1,089 people in Texas were killed in car accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol-related deaths accounted for a staggering 32.2 percent of all Texas traffic fatalities. Additionally, 8,843 people suffered serious injuries in drunk driving accidents in Texas rural and urban areas combined.
Nearly 30 people in the U.S. die every day in crashes caused by drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone dies from an alcohol-related crash every 51 minutes. The annual cost of these accidents totals more than $59 billion.
Motorists are more at risk for alcohol-related crashes at certain times of day than others, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Almost four times as many drunk driving fatalities occur at night as during daytime hours. There are more alcohol-impaired fatalities among drivers ages 21 to 24 than in any other age group.
If you or a loved one has been harmed because someone else made the dangerous decision to drink and drive, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. You should seek legal advice immediately – before you discuss the matter with an insurance adjuster and before you sign anything.
Let the law offices of Kraft & Associates, P.C., advise you about your rights after a car accident caused by a drunk driver. We’re an established and professional law firm with friendly lawyers and staff who are easy to talk to. Please contact us today.
Drunk driving is a problem nationwide. NHTSA reports that there were 10,322 alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities in 8,364 fatal crashes, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic deaths in one recent year. Of all drivers involved in fatal crashes, 23 percent of passenger car drivers and 22 percent of light truck drivers had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.
Most states are cracking down on drunk driving, and Texas is no exception. Even a first-offense DWI carries a possible fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail and loss of a driver’s license for up to a year.
In addition to the criminal penalties that may be imposed, drunk drivers – and their insurers – may be held financially accountable under state law for the accidents they cause. If you were injured in an accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, the driver may be liable for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, disability, property damage, and pain and suffering.
It’s important to remember that civil liability for a drunk driving crash is a separate matter from criminal charges. Even if the driver in your crash never faced DWI charges or was charged but acquitted, he or she may still be liable for your injuries.
As an added sanction, injured victims of drunk drivers may sue for punitive damages in Texas. These additional damages serve the purpose of punishing the drunk driver, and they may also provide additional compensation for the victim.
A provider of alcohol, such as a restaurant, bar or host of a party, may also be held liable for the actions of a drunk driver in certain circumstances under the Texas Dram Shop Act. There may be a basis for a statutory cause of action under Chapter 2 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code:
If you or a family member has been injured in a crash with an impaired driver, your best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible, and before you sign anything or discuss the accident with an insurance adjuster.
At Kraft & Associates, P.C., our experienced lawyers are ready to make sure your rights are protected and advise you on how to proceed with your claim. For decades, we have helped victims of car accidents caused by the wrongdoing of others obtain compensation. Our firm is committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve, whether through settlement negotiations, mediation, arbitration or trial.
We have the resources necessary to fully investigate the cause of your crash. Our lawyers often work with investigators to prove that another driver’s alcohol impairment caused an accident – even if the other driver was not charged with DWI. We can visit the scene, collect evidence, inspect the vehicles and interview witnesses. We can also thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case for the possibility of liability for your damages on the part of the person who provided alcohol to the driver who caused your accident.
There are deadlines for filing a car accident claim, so it is important that you meet with an attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case. For a free assessment, contact us today.