Dallas DWI Victim Injury Lawyer
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) causes problems for everyone. Whether a state calls it DWI like Texas, or driving under the influence (DUI) like many other states, it is a huge problem. Not only is a driver who gets behind the wheel after too many drinks putting his or her own life in danger, but also the lives of passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. It is incredibly important to always use a designated driver or call a cab if you will be drinking and need a ride, but when people decide to get behind the wheel anyway, people get hurt.
Our Dallas DWI victim injury lawyers discuss the criminal penalties associated with DWI in Texas, including fines, up to a two-year license suspension, continued surcharges to keep your license, required jail time, and required drunk driving education. For those whose terrible behavior injures others, there are additional penalties for causing serious bodily injury or killing another while driving drunk.
Sometimes, though, trusting the criminal justice system does not do enough to help the victims of these drivers. While restitution and compensation for injuries is often a part of a criminal defendant’s punishment, that is not always enough to help those who were injured or the families of those who died due to a drunk driver. Just because the criminal justice system has taken over, or even if the criminal justice system has failed to convict the drunk driver, the civil system can help get those who have been injured the help that they need. If you were hit by a drunk driver, contact our Dallas DWI victim injury attorneys today for a free consultation at (817) 476-1797.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Drunk Driver for Injuries
Whenever someone’s bad actions or negligence cause harm to others, the courts are willing to step in and help the victims of that bad action get compensation. When a drunk driver harms others in a car crash, the fact that he is intoxicated and unable to safely drive will help in proving the drunk driver was at fault. While the criminal justice system may make defendants reimburse victims for medical expenses, this might not be enough to make the victims “whole” again.
In the civil court system, you can fight to get financial compensation for a whole array of reasons. Medical costs and expenses caused by the crash are the simplest to compensate. Courts will even compensate plaintiffs for future and ongoing medical care that a victim will need.
If you have been the victim of a drunk driver, and you have missed work due to your injuries, courts may be willing to reimburse you for lost wages. When people are unable to work because of their injuries, courts often order the defendants to reimburse the plaintiff for lost wages. This can extend into the future as well if you are unable to work or lost your job due to your injuries.
While it may be difficult to put a price on, courts also aim to reimburse plaintiffs for their pain and suffering. No one except the person going through the pain really knows what it is like, but juries often work hard to decide how much money should be awarded. Since Texas has no cap or limit on damages for pain and suffering in a personal injury case, a jury can award any amount. Even if the victim of a drunk driver died, they may have still suffered before death, and their heirs should also be entitled to some compensation.
Establishing Liability for Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver in Dallas, TX
Just because the drunk driver was the one who drove the car and crashed it does not mean that the drunk driver was the only person responsible for your injuries. A private individual that drove drunk may not have the money to fully reimburse a victim for their injuries, especially if they are paying fines or going to jail for their criminal charges. Because of this, Texas law has other ways to help victims get reimbursed.
There may be another individual responsible for your injury. While the main defendant is usually the drunk driver, that driver may have been allowed to drive by someone else. For instance, if someone else put the keys in the drunk driver’s hand and permitted them to drive, they may be just as responsible for your injures as the driver himself. If the drunk driver worked as a delivery driver or truck driver, the company that hired him may be negligent in its hiring practices or allowing the driver to get behind the wheel. That may also make them partially responsible for your injuries and the damages you deserve.
Texas, and many other states, have an extra protection for DWI accident victims. Many states have enacted a law typically called a “dram shop act.” The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 2.01 creates a civil liability for bars and restaurants that overserve patrons. That means that, if someone is visibly intoxicated, but a bar keeps serving them alcohol, then the patron gets behind the wheel and hurts or kills someone while DWI, the law will treat the bar as partially responsible for the death or injury. This is excellent news for people with severe injuries whose high medical bills would otherwise go without reimbursement in Dallas, Texas.
Injuries Due to Drunk Driving Crashes in Texas
Any car crash can cause severe injuries to the drivers and passengers of any of the cars involved. Many DUI crashes are worse, though, because the drunk driver’s intoxication makes them unable to react quickly to driving emergencies. While in a sober car crash, both drivers usually try to brake or swerve to avoid a crash, drunk drivers are often too slow to even try to brake, resulting in a higher speed crash.
Car crashes can cause injuries that range from simple cuts and scrapes to death. Whiplash, broken bones, and concussions may be common, but that does not mean they are not serious. Severe neck, back, head, and brain injuries are usually the worst injuries victims face. Even permanent injuries like paralysis, loss of limb, or death can occur due to a drunk driver.
Speak With a Dallas DWI + Drunk Driving Victim Injury Attorney
If you were injured by a drunk driver or lost a loved one to a drunk driving crash in Dallas, Texas, call Queenan Law. If you need money to pay for your medical bills, to cover your lost wages, or to reimburse you for pain and suffering, Queenan’s legal team may be able to help. Queenan Law is experienced in fighting for personal injury victims in Dallas, Texas. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.