Drunk driving injuries and fatalities are inexcusable because they could easily have been prevented if the drunk driver had simply chosen not to get behind the wheel. Since September 1, 1999, drivers are considered per se guilty of DWI (driving while intoxicated) in Texas if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. Our Texas DWI car accident lawyers aggressively pursue claims against irresponsible drunk drivers and the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that improperly serve them. Victims can sue the drunk driver under the general laws of negligence, but often the driver is either uninsured or underinsured and has few if any, assets to support a lawsuit.
Texas DWI Car Accident Lawyers
Under Texas’ “dram shop” statute, establishments that serve alcohol may be liable for injuries caused by a drunk driver who was served alcohol on the premises. A dram shop may be a bar, lounge, night club, or any establishment where alcohol is purchased and consumed on the premises. Under the law, it must be “apparent” to the establishment “at the time” the alcohol is provided, sold, or served that the person consuming the alcohol is “obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presents a clear danger to himself and others.” The “intoxication of the recipient” must also be a “proximate cause of the damages suffered.” Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 2.02. In addition, the dram shop statute holds purveyors of alcoholic beverages liable for negligence when alcohol is sold to persons under the age of 21. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 2.02. In Texas, social hosts (those who serve alcohol in their homes) cannot be held liable when their guests consume too much alcohol and then injure someone while driving home. See Smith v. Merritt, 40 Tex. Sup. J. 377 (1997).
Injured victims or family members of those who lost loved ones in Austin DWI accidents are entitled to compensation from the drunk drivers themselves and from their insurance companies. Even in nonfatal drunk driving accidents, injured victims may be left with a physical injury that diminishes the quality of their lives forever. If you sustained injuries in a car accident that was caused by an irresponsible drunk driver, you should consult an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case. Certain Austin car accident lawyers can help you receive money for the medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, and physical pain you suffered as a result of the accident.
Auto Accidents by DWI
In 2008, almost 40,000 people were killed and an additional 2.35 million people were injured in auto accidents across the United States. In Travis County alone, there were 98 fatalities and 11,858 injuries, the majority of which occurred in Austin. Auto accident injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe brain and spinal cord damage, and in the most serious crashes, death. Car wreck injury victims often experience extreme physical pain and emotional distress; may require a splint, cast, or even surgery; and may be unable to work for weeks, months, or years after the accident. Insurance companies are notorious for making low settlement offers that are insufficient to cover all of the losses accident victims suffer as a result of the other driver’s negligence. An experienced Texas DWI accident lawyer can help calculate any past or future lost earnings, medical expenses, unpaid household bills, and damage to your vehicle to help ensure that you are compensated for the full value of your losses.
Accident victims should not accept an insurance company’s offer to settle without first consulting with a Texas DUI accident attorney. Evaluating all of the facts involved in the cause of a motor vehicle accident requires skill and experience. They will use our experience in handling accident cases to investigate all potential contributing causes of your auto accident in order to help you get just compensation for your injuries. Our team of accident experts will take over the investigation of your case so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.