Drunk driving is a dangerous decision, not an accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident by a drunk driver, understand what steps you need to take next to reach a full recovery.
Hit by a Drunk Driver? That’s no Accident
Designating an alcohol and drug-free driver or arranging alternate transportation is a must for any night out. Unfortunately not everyone parties with a designated driver. Drunk driving is no accident – it’s a dangerous decision.
In 2016 there were 1,432 crashes caused by drunk drivers. 15 were fatal. In an effort to reduce drunk driving injuries, Austin police announced a no-refusal policy for every weekend through September 2017. The policy of no-refusal weekends began in January and my be expected to continue past September.
APD’s No Refusal initiative is focused on saving lives and preventing accidents caused by drunk driving. Read on to find out what you should do if you’re in a drunk driving accident.
Austin Drunk Driving Accident
Estimates show that 1 in 3 people may be involved in a drunk driving accident during their lifetime. Intoxicated drivers may be impaired from alcohol consumption, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs like cocaine or marijuana, although alcohol is the most frequent offense.
Many of these crashes lead to serious injury, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and even death. Family members may also suffer if a loved one has been in an alcohol-related crash for the need to take care of that family member, or even funeral costs. MADD estimates that on average a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes, and in the year 2008 an estimated 11,773 Americans died from auto and trucking accidents with impaired or intoxicated drivers. High-risk populations for DWIs include drivers under age 21, ages 21-34, and repeat offenders.
Make a Note
Possible injuries permitting, try to get as much information about the vehicle that hit you as possible. Quickly snap a picture of the vehicle or write down the license plate, make, model and color. If the driver of the other vehicle commits a hit-and-run, you’ll have as much information as possible to help the police find them afterwards. If you have a passenger in the vehicle, they may be able to capture a photo with their smart phone.
Call the Police
Call 911 immediately to report the accident. The police can record all details regarding the accident and establish if the other driver is over the legal alcohol limit.
Approach Witnesses and Take Photos
Talk to any witnesses and get their personal information so you can contact them later. They can provide a testimony in court that can help your case. Take pictures of the damage that occurred during the accident. Take as many as you think is necessary.
Seek Medical Care
Get medical care for possible injuries as soon as possible. Your health is the most important thing to worry about after an accident. Even if you think you aren’t badly hurt, still see a doctor. There might be injuries that you aren’t even aware of. The doctor will also document your injuries and this information can be used in your personal injury case.
Contact a Lawyer
A good personal injury lawyer can help you handle your case and retrieve the compensation that you deserve. If you are injured in a car crash with a drunk driver, contact McMinn Law Firm. Our personal injury lawyers have experience with personal injury cases and will fight relentlessly for your case.
Insurance companies of drunk drivers who have been involved in an accident often try to cheat the injured person out of the compensation they truly deserve. They do this by attempting to limit the person’s recovery to smallest amount and coming to a quick settlement with the victim. Thus, allowing the insurance company to steer clear of any future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, and potentially punitive damages.
An Austin man suffered multiple, serious injuries when he was hit by a drunk driver. The injured man received $65,000 as a result of McMinn Law Firm’s representation which led to an $100,000 award.
The McMinn Law Firm is here for you or a loved one that has been involved in a drunk driving accident. Our lawyers can help you be assured that you or your family knows how to deal with the insurance companies and take the time to obtain the settlement that you deserve and need. Whether it be a drunk driving related car accident or trucking accident, we want to help you go through this process so you do not have to face it alone. We will check every aspect that we can such as all events and reports of the accident, records of the drunk driver, and any medical examinations in order to assess the full extent of the damage and potential liability of the drunk driver.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
We’ve all been there before. As you’re going to work, or coming home from that alumni association happy hour, a slight queasy feeling overcomes you as you look at the driver straight ahead.
It seems their alcohol tab was quite a bit more than yours, as the car isn’t exactly moving in a straight line, but going side to side, getting ever-so-close to the car in the left lane. You know it’s just a matter of time before the inevitable accident occurs, so as a concerned driver, what do you do?
- Stay far behind the driver, so as to prevent any injury to yourself due to an abrupt stop by the drunk driver.
- Second, make sure you are clearly out of the way of the driver, in any direction of travel, even coming to a stop on the side of the road.
- While stopped, place a call to the proper authorities, as the police are the only people who are trained to interfere in these kinds of situations.
- When notifying the police, make sure to describe the make-up of the car (if you cannot or do not remember the license plate), the direction of travel the car is heading in, and a brief description of the way in which the car is driving.
How to Recover from A Drunk Driving Accident in Austin
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you will probably want to seek out the help of an attorney if you were injured in the crash.
DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is an unnecessary and reckless behavior that usually results in tragic accidents and crashes. In a year, there are thousands of individuals who suffer from injuries or the loss of a loved one because of drunk drivers. A personal injury lawyer can help you in your case to secure the financial help you will need to recover fully. Negligence is never an excuse for an injury, no matter how mild – and most especially for the loss of life.
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, negligence will always be put on the drunk party. In order to make sure that the drunk driver’s intoxication is properly recorded, and your injuries are thoroughly documented follow the steps below after a car crash with a drunk driver.
If you’ve been the victim of a DWI accident you need an experienced Austin car crash attorney.
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When Truck Drivers Operate Under the Influence
The NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that large truck drivers, who drive while intoxicated, made up only 1% of the drivers who were involved in fatal accidents in the year 2007. It may look like a small number, but considering the size of a commercial truck that these drivers operate, the inclusion of alcohol in the mix may be catastrophic and truly devastating.
A typical vehicle can weigh around 3,000 pounds. A tractor trailer, on the other hand, tips the scales at 80,000 pounds. When a drunken truck driver collides into an unknowing passenger vehicle, the sheer amount of force sustained by the vehicle is too much and usually results in severe injuries and sometimes death.
Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Help Victims
Drunk driving truck accidents result in different kinds of injuries – it may range from broken bones, fractures, back injuries, as well as potential brain damage. If liability can be proven on the part of the truck driver, then you may claim for compensation for the damages sustained, and the expenses you had to shoulder.
- You may file for your hospital bills and medication.
- You may ask to be recompensed for the income you did not earn because of the accident.
- You may file for a claim if the accident led to a permanent injury which impacts your ability to work.
- You may file for reparation fees should you need to go to a rehabilitation facility for therapy. You have the right to claim for all the pain, trauma and suffering you are going through, as well as any damage done to your vehicle.
- In the unfortunate case of a wrongful death, then you can also seek for compensation on the medical and funeral expenses, as well as the financial support needed by a family who lost a loved one.
Because of the potentially devastating effects of drunk truck driving, the Texas Transportation Code sets a limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content or BAC for drivers. However, the limit is higher for commercial truck drivers – it is set at 0.04%. Thus, a commercial truck driver could drink only half the amount that a motorcycle rider could, and still be deemed legally intoxicated. Furthermore, commercial truck drivers should not be consuming alcohol for at least four hours before setting out for the road.
Both the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (1999), and the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (1896), send a very strong message to all commercial truck drivers that DUI is not a tolerable action.
If one is convicted for a major offense, then the driver may lose his or her commercial truck driving license. If it is the first offense, then the driver, for a year, is disqualified from carrying a driver’s license. The penalty could extend to three years if the truck he or she was driving carried hazardous materials. If it is the second offense, then the disqualification is for a lifetime.
Infographic: Dangers Of Truck Crashes
Weighing in at an average of 40 tons, semi-trucks can cause severe damage in vehicle accidents. Shipment of goods and services puts more vehicle miles traveled on commercial vehicles. But at what cost? In recent years, estimates show that $112B U.S. dollars are spent each year on injuries and loss of life. View this infographic to see why commercial vehicles can cause so much damage on Texas roads and in communities like Austin.
Why Choose The McMinn Law Firm If You’ve Been Hurt By a Drunk Driver?
The McMinn Law Firm is a credible and reliable group of knowledgable lawyers who have been handling DWI-caused car wreck injuries for years. We have the competence, experience and resources to ensure that your case is strong and aggressive enough against large trucking companies who have failed to uphold their responsibilities.
We are dedicated to fighting for your claims. We believe that these accidents are unforgivable because they could have been prevented.