Georgia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
GEORGIA INJURY LAWYER FOR DRUNK DRIVING CAR ACCIDENTS
Our Atlanta, Georgia injury law firm has represented many people who have been seriously injured in collisions caused by drunk and impaired drivers. Most people have heard of DUI collisions and understand generally what it means to be driving while under the influence. Georgia defines impairment while operating a car or truck as a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. It is important to note, however, that a driver may be impaired by drugs or medication instead of, or in addition to, alcohol. Therefore, DUI wrecks do not always involve alcohol. Drunk drivers pose obvious and significant risks to the motoring public. Our Georgia personal injury law firm has handled T-Bone, rear-end, and many other types of collisions caused by drunk and impaired drivers.
The DUI driver is almost always prosecuted in the criminal system, and sometimes receives jail time, a fine, and community service. The driver may also be sued for monetary damages using Georgia’s civil tort law. When a DUI driver causes a collision with another car or strikes a pedestrian, he is subject to the usual claims made by the injured person for lost wages, medical bills, and pain/suffering. In addition, Georgia law allows a person injured by a drunk driver to make a claim for punitive damages. These are damages that are meant to punish and deter egregious conduct.
When are DUI car accidents most commonly seen?
Our Atlanta area car wreck law firm has reviewed DUI collision cases involving many different scenarios, including:
- Drivers leaving commercial establishments like bars and restaurants
- Drivers who have been to social parties at private homes or businesses
- Drivers who have overdosed on medication and drive impaired
- People who consume alcohol or drugs at their own homes and then drive
DUI car accidents often occur at high speeds and result in significant injuries, such as:
Our Georgia injury law firm has seen clients suffer these sorts of injuries as a result of collisions with impaired drivers:
- Broken arms and legs requiring surgery and rehabilitation
- Scarring on the body from flying glass
- Lacerations to various body parts
- Shoulder ligament tears, such as rotator cuff injuries
- Knee injures from compartment intrusion during the wreck
- Brain trauma from head strikes in the interior of the car
Atlanta, Georgia Drunk Driving Accidents Often Result In Serious Personal Injuries
Collisions involving drunk driving often result in complicated insurance accident claims and litigation. Why? The answer is that drunk driving, whether the impairment is from drugs, alcohol, or both, usually results in: criminal charges for the at-fault driver, a significant collision (and, usually, a lot of injuries), and law enforcement involvement (in both the criminal and civil proceedings).
In recent years, our law firm has been involved in many cases involving serious injuries to clients resulting from DUI collisions. We have represented numerous children injured in drunk driving wrecks, the family of a country singer who was killed by an impaired driver while the singer was returning home from a concert, and an Atlanta DUI task force police officer who was struck by a drunk driver while on Interstate 75.
First, the drunk driver is almost always charged with a crime. This complicates a civil / injury action because, as most people who have seen law-related television shows know, the driver enjoys the 5th Amendment privilege. This constitutional right means that until the DUI criminal charges against him/her are adjudicated (that is a fancy legal word for “finished” or “done”), the driver doesn’t have to tell anyone anything about how much he drank, where he was drinking, what happened during the accident, or anything else. In other words, the impaired driver has a right against self-incrimination. Why does this matter in a personal injury case against the driver? [Notably, sometimes it doesn’t. If the cause of the wreck is clear, the driver’s whereabouts before the collision are verifiable via means other than asking him, and it is clear that he was drunk, then the future Defendant’s knowledge about the lead-up to the wreck and the wreck itself may not matter.].
But, and this is one of those important “buts”… there is often reason to want to know where the driver was before the wreck. Many times, DUI drivers are served alcohol to excess at social functions, restaurants, and bars. Georgia law imposes social host and Dram Shop liability in cases where the host/bar employees knew or should have known that the individual was intoxicated and likewise that he would be driving. If a person, company, or commercial establishment can be held legally liable for their role in causing the DUI wreck, this often results in making substantially more insurance coverage available in the related civil action.
Personal injury lawyers who handle civil/insurance actions against drunk drivers need to be skilled at: communicating with law enforcement (who usually possess vital information about the wreck), dealing with the DUI driver’s insurance company, handling the injured person’s insurance company (as underinsured, or “UM”, insurance coverage is almost always involved in serious injury DUI wreck), understanding Georgia law regarding punitive damages, and meeting with the client’s treating physicians and surgeons in order to fully understand the injuries caused as a result of the collision. Before hiring an injury attorney to handle your DUI accident claim, ask he or she: how many DUI injury claims have you handled? In what counties? What sorts of injuries have your clients had? What is the most amount of money you’ve collected for a client in a drunk driving injury case? When was the last time you represented someone who was injured in a DUI wreck? Can I call that person or their family for a reference?
If the lawyer can’t answers these sorts of questions to your satisfaction, you shouldn’t hire him.
DUI CAR ACCIDENT RESULTS
C.C. $2,800,000 (Wrongful Death / Company Vehicle / DUI)
The case was resolved after our law firm was retained to investigate and litigate a collision involving an employee of a national company, who was driving his work-issued truck, and an Atlanta resident. As part of the settlement agreement, the Defendants in this case required that almost all of the facts about the collision and litigation be confidential.
O.B. $1,050,000.00 (Dram Shop / Drunk Driving Collision)
We secured this policy limit settlement on behalf of an Atlanta Police DUI Task Force Officer who was critically injured by a drunk driver. Through discovery, we were able to prove that the driver had consumed a substantial amount of alcohol at a local sports bar and had been served drinks by a bartender with whom he had a personal relationship. After leaving the bar, the drunk driver fell asleep at the wheel and collided with our client, who was monitoring traffic from his police car on the side of the highway. Our client made a remarkable recovery, but the insurance company elected to tender the entire policy limit rather than face a trial.
N. Family $208,500 (Family of five hit by a drunk driver, with three people suffering physical injuries)
Our clients’ total medical expenses were approximately $15,000 after this collision. We were able to secure a settlement of approximately fourteen times that amount by proving the egregious conduct of the drunk driver and locating key eyewitnesses.
K. S. Insurance Policy Limits (Drunk driving / Car wreck)
Our firm represented a high school girl who was seriously injured when a drunk driver struck her car. The child suffered severe leg injuries, requiring surgeries and rehabilitation. Through in-depth discovery, we were able to uncover multiple applicable insurance policies and a substantial Medical Payments policy.
J.K. Insurance Policy Limits (Drunk driving / Fatality)
Our law firm represented the family of an aspiring country music singer who was killed by a drunk driver in Henry County, Georgia. The singer was returning home late at night from a concert and was tragically killed when a driver, who was already on parole, crossed a double yellow line and caused a catastrophic wreck. Our law firm was honored to represent this family. We were also honored that a lawyer against whom we had previously litigated a brain injury case, suggested our firm as counsel for the family.
E.H. Insurance Policy Limits (Drunk driving / Car wreck)
Our client, a minor, suffered a skull fracture and permanent loss of hearing in his right ear as a result of a wreck caused by his friend’s intoxicated driving. Our client was as a passenger in the car being driven by the drunk, underage driver.
J.P. Insurance Policy Limits Drunk Driving / ATV Wreck)
Our client was a passenger on an ATV, operated by an intoxicated driver in Paulding County, Georgia. Our client was thrown from the ATV and suffered a number of injuries, including a broken pelvis, fractured shoulder, and substantial scarring to her arm. Through investigation of the case, we uncovered a homeowner’s insurance policy which provided substantial coverage for the claims.
C.R. Insurance Policy Limits (Drunk Driving / Car Wreck)
We obtained a policy limits settlement for our client, who suffered a fractured elbow when her family was hit by a drunk driver in Henry County, McDonough, Georgia. Our investigation revealed that the at-fault driver’s BAC was nearly 2 and 1/2 times the legal limit.
B.R. Insurance Policy Limits (Drunk Driving / Car Wreck)
We secured a policy limits settlement for our client, who suffered a fractured wrist when his family was hit by a drunk driver in Henry County, McDonough, Georgia. Our investigation revealed that the at-fault driver’s BAC was nearly 2 and 1/2 times the legal limit.
If you’ve been injured by a Drunk Driver Call Andy Goldner Today
Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone: (404) 869-1580