Houston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
If I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver, Can I File a Lawsuit?
Drunk and drugged driving remain among the most significant dangers on our roads. Each year, thousands of victims are injured and killed by motorists who made the negligent decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or impaired. Fortunately, there are laws in place that both punish impaired drivers criminally, and hold them accountable for victims’ damages civilly.
Finding Restitution in Civil Court
If your accident was caused by a drunk driver, the at-fault driver will likely have been arrested and charged with DWI. However, this is a criminal case. The victims of the drunk driving accident may also be able to file a civil claim against the driver on the basis of negligence. The plaintiff's attorney must successfully prove that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident, which, in turn, caused injuries. Lawsuits may also be filed against drinking establishments (i.e. bars or restaurants) for giving a person alcohol knowing that they were going to be driving or after seeing that they were excessively intoxicated per dram shop liability laws.
Seeking Punitive Damages
Also important to discuss when it evaluating a drunk driving accident is punitive damages. This is typically reserved for very serious accidents in which the victim was severely injured. Punitive damages act as a penalty for the negligent party (drunk driver) and are paid to the plaintiff (victim). These damages are paid on top of the compensation that a victim should already be receiving to cover the cost of their injuries and property damage.
Can I Sue if Hit By a Drunk Driver?
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you will need to know what legal options you have when hit by a drunk driver. Keep in mind that you do have a good chance of winning a lawsuit when you are the victim of a drunk driving accident. The first thing you should know is that you deserve to be adequately compensated for your injuries.
It is important, however, to make sure that you do your research before filing a lawsuit. Drivers are required to carry a certain level of car insurance. Your best bet will be to use this fact to your advantage. Work with an attorney who can help you file a third-party claim against the drunk driver’s car insurance carrier!
Whose Car Insurance Covers Drunk Driving Accidents?
The at-fault driver’s car insurance carrier will be responsible for covering the damages associated with the accident. Texas is a “fault” state. This means that the insurance company will determine fault in an accident before coverage is provided. Once liability is determined, your attorney can go after the best possible settlement available from the insurance carrier. When you work with a professional, the settlement you receive may be beneficial to your future.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit
What about the cases involving a victim who dies as a result of a drunk driver accident? In these cases, the surviving family members of the victim can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver for their grossly negligent actions.
A wrongful death lawsuit can cover:
- A certain amount of funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of future earning capacity (if unable to work)
- Loss of consortium
- And more
In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident. To learn more about the wrongful death statute in Texas, view Title 4, Chapter 71, Subchapter A.
There are some cases in which a wrongful death lawsuit cannot be filed. According to § 71.003 of the Texas statutes, only those people who would have been able to bring a civil action against the at-fault party should they have survived the accident can have their families qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit. Even if the wrongful death occurred outside of the state of Texas, this statute can still apply.
Call (877) 661-9900 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.
At Stern Law Group, our top-notch Houston DWI accident attorneys have handled numerous personal injury & wrongful death claims involving drunk driving. We are prepared to handle your personal injury claim intelligently and aggressively.
Texas DWI Laws
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs should never be tolerated. Under Texas law, the legal limit for which a person can be considered intoxicated is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Any amount of drugs can also subject a driver to DWI charges. For truck drivers, their responsibility to safely operate large vehicles means that they are held to stricter DWI laws, including a 0.04% BAC limit. In order to place liability on drunk drivers and hold them responsible, our attorneys can work with law enforcement agencies to collect documentation and records that will strongly support your claim.
Speak With a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Houston Today
If you or someone you love was injured in any type of car accident involving a drunk or drugged driver, our legal team is available to help as soon as you reach out to us. Drunk driving is a negligent and careless act, and drivers should be held fully accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted.
By choosing to work with our attorneys, you can gain the benefit of seasoned legal representation that strives to make a real difference in the lives of our clients. Additionally, we’re:
- Available 24/7
- Equipped with over 150 years of experience
- Proven lawyers who have recovered more than $700 million in compensation
To learn more about your legal rights and how we can help, contact us today for a FREE consultation.