Drunk drivers cause billions of dollars in damage each year. Accidents are often deadly, with one person dying every 39 minutes in alcohol-related crashes on American roadways. Those who survive crashes frequently experience debilitating injuries that keep them from earning their paychecks and swamp them with medical bills.
If you or a loved one are involved in a drunk driving accident in Winder, you should know you have the right to pursue compensation and accountability through a civil injury claim. An auto accident attorney at Smith Hulsey Law is available to review your case and discuss your next steps.
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 40-6-391, it is illegal for adults to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 grams or more. Commercial operators have an even lower threshold to be considered drunk behind the wheel. Drivers break the same law if they have drugs in their systems, have sniffed glue, or have ingested toxic vapor in an amount that makes it unsafe for them to be behind the wheel.
Even at 0.02 grams, as little as one drink, alcohol acts as a relaxant and can diminish the ability to multi-task and react quickly to vision prompts, such as spotting a car changing lanes, and gauging how to avoid a collision. When a driver’s BAC levels are over 0.08 grams, their reaction time deteriorates, along with their judgment, reasoning, muscle coordination, and memory. This loss of function makes drivers much more likely to err in the constant small decisions all drivers must make. If someone suspects they were in a car accident involving a drunk driver, they should speak with a Winder attorney as soon as possible.
State law establishes severe punishments for drivers caught drunk behind the wheel. Even a first offense can mean up to a year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, a year-long license suspension, 40 hours of community service, and a $210 driver’s license reinstatement fee. As harsh as these penalties might be, the reality is even harsher for people injured by drunk drivers.
Drivers have a duty of care to everyone sharing the highway, including the legal responsibility to drive without impairment. When a motorist’s reckless behavior causes an accident that harms others, they should be responsible for providing compensation to these injured parties.
A Winder attorney who handles drunk driving car accidents could aggressively seek a settlement from the drunk driver’s insurer or through a negligence lawsuit. Compensation, or damages, covers losses that are quantitative and qualitative. These recoverable damages may include:
Punitive damages could also be available in a drunk driving accident. The plaintiff must clearly and convincingly prove the defendant acted with malice, willful misconduct, or with total disregard for how much harm the acts could cause.
Driving drunk is illegal, and getting caught may lead to criminal charges and penalties. However, if someone harms you intentionally or because of their reckless actions, they should also pay for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Injured parties have the right to file a separate civil claim to pursue this compensation.
By gathering evidence proving a reckless driver caused your injuries, our attorneys could reach a fair settlement on your behalf. If a negligent motorist does not offer the compensation you deserve, we will take your case to court and fight for you. Call our office after a drunk driving car accident in Winder to discuss your legal options.
Smith Hulsey Law