Georgia Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
A drunk driver who harms another can be held accountable for his grossly negligent behavior. Not only in criminal court, but also in civil court. If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for all relevant damages. Contact the compassionate Georgia personal injury lawyers at Grant Law Office for the legal counsel you need to attain a just settlement. We are here to help you in any way we can.
As our client, you can expect our attorneys to get you the maximum compensation possible. We are skilled negotiators who never accept inadequate deals. We are also aggressive trial attorneys who thrive in a courtroom setting. To find out more about what our firm can do for you, call (404) 995-3955 for a free case evaluation.
In Georgia, a driver is considered legally drunk when he has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%. At this point, the driver is severely impaired. His vision has become blurred or doubled; he is unable to make rational decisions; his reflexes have been severely slowed. A drunk driver is rarely able to swerve, slow down, or stop in order to avoid a collision. This means that all the steps a sober driver would take to lessen the impact of an accident will not be taken. The result is debilitating injuries to the victims, such as:
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Spine injuries
- Brain damage
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Crush injuries
- Loss of limb
Sadly, thousands of people are hurt every year by drunk drivers. Thousands more are killed. These drivers leave families devastated by the loss of their loved one, struggling to recover from the financial burden that the death has caused. Thankfully, families can file a wrongful death claim if their loved one was killed by a drunk driver, allowing them to recover proper compensation.
However, on top of their other crimes, drunk drivers may also flee the scene of the accident. Driving with a BAC of .08% is illegal, and punished by the justice system. While hit-and-runs are also illegal, they give drunk drivers a chance to get away from the crime scene and avoid facing the consequences of their actions. But if you were the victim of a hit-and-run, you may still be able to file a claim. First, the police may be able to track the perpetrator down. Second, with an uninsured motorist policy, you may be able to recover damages from your own insurance provider, meaning you won’t be left paying for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
An accident can leave its victims in a difficult financial situation. Those recovering from injuries often have to take time off from work in order to rest and heal, meaning they won’t be able to bring in a paycheck. Then, there are the many bills to contend with. Thankfully, victims can file a claim in order to receive compensation from the at-fault party and that party’s insurance company.
There are two main kinds of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include anything financial that the victim suffered due to the accident. When seeking compensation for economic damages, you can claim for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of employment
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are meant to cover non-financial burdens that the accident caused. It can be difficult to determine your non-economic damages, as there are no bills or receipts involved. However, a skilled attorney can help you determine how much you deserve for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lowered quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment
While damages for personal injury claims and wrongful death claims overlap, there are a few damages that you can claim that are specific to a wrongful death claim. These include:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of benefits, such as retirement and insurance
- Loss of companionship
In addition to the usual damages, you may seek punitive damages, which are special payments intended to punish severe wrongdoing. While there is a punitive damages cap under Georgia law ($250,000), cases involving drunk drivers are exempt. This means you may potentially receive a more substantial verdict for your losses. Punitive damages are more important than just getting you more money. They discourage the driver from committing the same offense again, and set a precedent for other drivers in the state.
Insurance companies know that drunk-driving accident cases are trouble. Sympathy is most often with the victim, which makes it difficult to throw a case out altogether. That's why they pull out all the stops to try and trick claimants into accepting less-than-adequate settlement deals. In order to ensure your claim remains strong, do not speak to the insurance adjuster. Adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you, which means they will pressure you into doing something that would jeopardize your claim.
While the insurance company may pretend to be sympathetic to your trauma, it will try to lowball your settlement. Remember, the less money the higher-ups give you, the more money they get to keep. Insurance companies are not your friend, which is why you need a skilled lawyer who can push these companies to give you the compensation that you actually deserve. That way, you can redirect any calls from the insurance adjuster to your trusted attorney. The experienced legal team at Grant Law Office has dealt with insurance companies before and will not be fooled into accepting less than you deserve.
After becoming the victim of a drunk driver, you may assume that the only person you can hold responsible is the at-fault driver. Of course, the driver holds the brunt of the blame. However, under dram shop laws, a business that served alcohol to the driver could also be considered partially liable for the accident.
According to Georgia dram shop liability law, third-party venders, such as liquor stores, bars, or restaurants that serve alcohol, can be held responsible for a drunk driver if the vender:
- Served alcohol to someone under the age of 21
- Served alcohol to someone who was clearly already intoxicated
On top of that, social hosts, or people who throw a party at their house, hotel, and so on, can also be held liable if they do either of the above. It can be difficult to prove that your driver was already drunk before being served, as determining if someone is clearly inebriated is somewhat subjective. Generally, there are three factors that you need to be able to prove:
- The server knowingly provided alcohol for someone who was showing signs of being drunk
- The server was aware that the intoxicated person was going to be driving a vehicle later
- The consumption of the alcohol was the primary cause of the accident
There are a number of ways you can prove each of these three factors. You can get security footage from the business, speak to witnesses, and examine police reports that may hold key information. Doing this while also trying to heal from severe injuries can be difficult, which is why your best chance of finding a third-party vender or social host liable is to speak with an experienced attorney.
Recovering from the devastating effects of a drunk-driving accident can be lengthy and painstaking. You shouldn't have to do it alone. Please contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer at Grant Law Office and let our excellent legal staff attend to your needs and bear some of the burden. If you have any specific questions regarding your case, feel free to contact our office at (404) 995-3955.
- How to Spot a Drunk Driver
- How Dram Shop Liability Impacts Your Claim
- Georgia's Impaired Driving Laws & Penalties
- Drunk Driving - NHTSA
- Impaired Driving - MedlinePlus
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.
Phone: (404) 995-3955
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