Drunk driving is a serious issue that continues to plague the city of Edinburg and the entire state of Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019, there were 940 fatalities in Texas involving a driver under the influence of alcohol. These accidents not only result in severe injuries and loss of life but also cause emotional distress and financial burdens on victims and their families. When an individual is injured or loses a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, it’s crucial to seek justice and compensation through the civil justice system.
This is where an Edinburg drunk driving accident lawyer can help. The Adley Law Firm is dedicated to representing victims of drunk driving accidents in Edinburg and the surrounding communities. Our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
How Can An Edinburg Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Assist You?
In the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, it’s essential to understand the difference between criminal and civil cases. While the drunk driver may face criminal charges such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), these criminal proceedings are separate from any civil claim that the victim or their family may pursue for damages. The criminal case focuses on punishing the offender and protecting society from future harm, whereas the civil claim seeks to compensate the victim for their losses and hold the responsible party accountable.
Hiring an experienced Edinburg drunk driving accident attorney is crucial for proper representation in your civil claim. At The Adley Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience handling drunk driving accident cases. We understand the intricate details of Texas laws and regulations surrounding these cases, and we’re dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights and best interests. In some instances, we may be able to negotiate a fair settlement without the need for a lengthy court battle, allowing our clients to move forward with their lives more quickly.
Understanding Edinburg Drunk Driving Regulations
In Texas, the terms driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are used to describe instances when a driver operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. According to Texas law, a person is considered intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Additionally, drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
Recognizing the signs of an impaired driver can help prevent accidents and save lives. Some common signs include erratic driving, swerving, weaving in and out of lanes, and driving at inconsistent speeds. If you suspect someone of drunk driving, it’s essential to report them to the authorities immediately.
It’s essential to understand how DWI/DUI laws can impact your civil claim. In Texas, a drunk driver can be held liable for the damages they cause. However, if the victim is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced according to their percentage of fault under Texas’ comparative negligence laws.
Determining Liable Parties in an Edinburg Drunk Driving Accident
In most drunk driving accident cases, the intoxicated driver is the primary party responsible for the damages caused. However, additional parties may also be held liable in certain circumstances. For example, if the drunk driver was operating a company vehicle or was on the job at the time of the accident, their employer may share liability.
Additionally, under Texas’ dram shop laws, alcohol-selling establishments like bars and restaurants can potentially be held responsible if they served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person who later caused an accident. Social hosts who provide alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated guests may also be held liable for damages resulting from a drunk driving accident.
An experienced Edinburg drunk driving accident lawyer can help you identify all potentially responsible parties and pursue compensation from each of them to ensure you receive the full amount you deserve.
Potential Compensation in an Edinburg Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Victims of drunk driving accidents can pursue various types of compensatory damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Compensation can also cover property damage, such as vehicle repairs or replacement, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident.
In some cases, victims may also seek punitive damages in a drunk driving accident claim. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. In Texas, punitive damages may be awarded if the victim can prove that the drunk driver acted with gross negligence or malice.
Drunk Driving Accident FAQ’s for Edinburg
If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident in Edinburg, you likely have many questions about your rights and options. Here are ten frequently asked questions and answers to help guide you through the process:
- What should I do immediately after a drunk driving accident? First, call 911 and seek medical attention for any injuries. Then, gather information such as the other driver’s contact and insurance information, take photos of the scene, and obtain contact information for any witnesses. Finally, contact an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to discuss your legal options.
- How long do I have to file a claim after a drunk driving accident in Texas? Texas law allows victims of personal injury accidents, including drunk driving accidents, to file a claim within two years of the date of the accident.
- What if the drunk driver is uninsured or underinsured? If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy, you may be able to seek compensation from your insurance company.
- Can I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault for the accident? Yes, under Texas’ comparative negligence laws, you may still be eligible for compensation as long as you were less than 51% at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
- What if the drunk driver fled the scene of the accident? If the drunk driver cannot be located, you may still be able to seek compensation from your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- How are damages calculated in a drunk driving accident claim? Damages are calculated based on the victim’s actual losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
- Can I sue the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver alcohol? In some cases, you may be able to sue an alcohol-selling establishment under Texas’ dram shop laws if they served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person who later caused an accident.
- What if a loved one died in a drunk driving accident? If a family member died in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
- How long does a drunk driving accident case typically take to resolve? The length of a case can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether a settlement can be reached without going to trial.
- What if I cannot afford an attorney? Many drunk driving accident attorneys, including The Adley Law Firm, work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay any attorney fees or case expenses unless a financial recovery is achieved.
Connect with an Edinburg Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in Edinburg, don’t hesitate to contact The Adley Law Firm for a complimentary and confidential consultation. Our dedicated attorneys are committed to obtaining maximum compensation and justice for victims and their families. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf, and you can rest assured that you won’t pay any attorney fees or case expenses unless we achieve a financial recovery for you. Reach out to us today to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you on the road to recovery.