Most everyone understands that it is a criminal offense to drive while drunk in Atlanta. Drunk drivers are also civilly liable to pay for any damage they cause in a collision. Just because someone is intoxicated does not mean they are not responsible for their actions. In fact, a conviction for DUI can serve as evidence of negligence that can prove a defendant’s fault in a civil case.
Drunk driving car accidents in Atlanta can cause substantial injuries and disruptions to every part of your life. Whether a defendant was driving a separate vehicle, or the victim was riding in a car while a drunk person was driving, all injured parties have the right to seek fair payments. To learn about your compensation options after a drunk driving wreck, get in touch with a dedicated car collision attorney right away.
Drunk Driving as Evidence of Negligence
Many car accident cases weigh the actions of the two drivers to distribute blame for the crash. For example, if two cars collide after an improper lane change, a court will examine the actions of both parties to assign fault.
One major exception to this rule is the legal principle of negligence per se. This allows a court to assume that a defendant is at fault for an accident if they were breaking the law at the time of the incident. Driving while drunk is a prime example.
If a police officer arrests a defendant driver, it is important to obtain a copy of the police report. This can serve as valuable evidence moving forward in the claim. It is crucial to recognize that a drunk driver being convicted of driving under the influence does not automatically mean that an injured person will be paid for their losses. Instead, a plaintiff must pursue a civil compensation claim.
However, potential plaintiffs must be sure to act quickly after an accident. Even though a criminal case can take over a year to come to a resolution, there is a strict time limit on when a court will hear a civil lawsuit. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 9-3-33, plaintiffs have only two years to file a case in court. An Atlanta attorney could help an injured party to file their drunk driving accident claim within the state’s required timeframe.
Potential Sources of Compensation
While demonstrating that a drunk driver was at-fault is certainly a major part of an injury claim, a claim is not complete unless it makes a full accounting of the plaintiff’s losses and connects them to the incident. A diligent lawyer could help plaintiffs properly evaluate their claims and push for maximum compensation.
The core of a claim is the physical injuries the plaintiff suffers. A defendant could be held liable to pay for all medical costs associated with treating accident-related injuries.
A plaintiff can also make a claim for any economic losses endured in the incident. If the accident forces a plaintiff to miss time at work or even to be so injured as to never work again, the defendant is responsible for reimbursing the plaintiff for these losses. Mental anguish or loss of quality of life could also be compensated in an injury claim. In short, a drunk driving car collision claim in Atlanta aims to put the plaintiff in a position as if the accident never happened. An attorney could help pursue a compensation amount that accounts for the full extent of an individual’s physical, emotional, and financial losses.
Discuss Drunk Driving Car Wrecks with a Seasoned Lawyer in Atlanta
If you were injured in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver, do not wait to take legal action. A knowledgeable lawyer could lead the way in holding drunk drivers responsible for their actions. They work to gather evidence vital to the claim, stay informed of the status of any criminal charges faced by the defendant, and pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Contact an attorney today to learn more about your legal options regarding drunk driving car accidents in Atlanta.