Despite the strict laws against drinking and driving, intoxicated drivers still cause many accidents in the Oakwood area. If you were hit by a drunk driver, you may be suffering from serious injuries and struggling to pay for medical bills, property damage, and other losses. However, conclusively proving that someone else’s intoxication was the direct cause of your accident-related injuries can be a lot more complicated than you might expect.
Effectively pursuing financial recovery after drunk driving car accidents in Oakwood often takes assistance from experienced car crash attorneys with a track record of success. Regardless of whether the person who hit you ends up convicted of or charged with a DUI offense, you could potentially file suit against them in civil court and hold them accountable for the harm they caused.
Every licensed driver in Georgia assumes a duty of care to pay attention to their surroundings and obey state laws behind the wheel. Driving while impaired by any substance violates both of these obligations. As such, drunk driving accidents typically qualify as grounds for civil litigation.
If a drunk driver receives a citation from or is arrested by a police officer who responds to the scene of the wreck, a lawyer could help establish civil liability for the accident by looking up the police report and noting the defendant’s criminal charges. Importantly, a civil lawsuit for a drunk driving car accident in Oakwood can proceed before, during, or after a related criminal case for the responsible party.
It is also possible to hold someone civilly accountable for a drunk driving wreck even if they are not convicted in criminal court. However, it can be challenging to prove liability if someone is not cited for driving under the influence by any law enforcement authority after the crash. In this situation, a skilled Oakwood attorney could assist with finding, preserving, and effectively presenting other evidence that someone else’s intoxication was the primary cause of the wreck in question. This evidence may include:
Even if an injured victim proves that another person involved in that crash was drunk, high, or otherwise impaired while driving, that fact alone does not guarantee that the defendant driver will be found 100 percent to blame for the incident. Depending on the circumstances, a person hit and injured by a drunk driver may bear partial liability for their own injuries—for instance, because they failed to stop at a stop sign or did not maintain reasonable awareness of their surroundings.
If a civil court finds a car wreck victim partly responsible for their own damages, the court may reduce their recoverable compensation by their percentage of the blame in accordance with Official Code of Georgia §51-12-33. Legal representation from a local attorney could be key in maximizing compensation for a victim of a drunk driving crash.
The aftermath of a wreck caused by drunk driving can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if the crash resulted in serious injuries. Fortunately, people who get hurt under these circumstances usually have strong grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the impaired driver.
Let an attorney with experience handling drunk driving car accidents in Oakwood pursue your claim while you focus on healing. Schedule a consultation by calling Smith Hulsey today and get the legal help you deserve.
Smith Hulsey Law