Drunk Driving Accidents
Texas takes drunk driving seriously. The lives of a family may be shattered after this type of accident, which is completely avoidable. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a drunk driver, you can potentially sue the individual as well as a provider that served him alcohol after he was already drunk. Victims usually are more likely to receive a better settlement offer from an insurer when they are represented by an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to help Dallas residents assert their rights. This is true even in a drunk driving case where liability is clear. The attorneys at Feizy Law Office can represent you in seeking the compensation to which you may be entitled.Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas
Drunk driving accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Although getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime, a defendant can escape a conviction in a criminal case and still be held accountable for personal injury damages in civil court. The standard of proof in criminal cases is very high—"beyond a reasonable doubt"—but it is lower in personal injury cases.
A victim will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it is more likely than not true, that the defendant had a duty of care, breached the duty, caused an accident as a result, and forced the plaintiff to incur actual damages. Drunk driving is usually found to be a breach of the duty to use reasonable care. To prove causation, the victim must show that the crash would not have happened if the defendant had been sober and otherwise driving carefully. It also must be a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s intoxication.
Texas has a Dram Shop Act that allows a plaintiff to recover damages from a bar or other liquor provider by proving that, when the alcohol was given to the drunk driver, the driver was obviously so intoxicated he presented a clear danger to himself and others, and the drunk driving was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's damages. Under Texas Alcohol Beverage Code section 106.14, a provider is shielded from liability for an employee’s actions if the provider required the employee to attend the training offered by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the employee went to the training, and the provider never encouraged the employee to violate the Alcoholic Beverage Code.
If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, you can potentially recover a broad range of compensation for your harm, including both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are tangible costs such as medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, and vocational rehabilitation. Noneconomic damages can be different depending on the subjective assessments of the jury. They may include mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of activities.
Drunk driving accidents often involve gross negligence. If a jury finds gross negligence, a plaintiff may be able to recover punitive damages. These are damages calculated to deter future similar conduct and to punish the drunk driver. If jurors see the drunk driving as an offense that is committed against the community, this perception can sometimes result in substantial punitive damages being awarded to the victim.Seek the Guidance of a Plano Attorney for Your Injury Claim
An experienced injury lawyer can help make sure you seek the full amount of compensation you need after an accident in the Plano area. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or set up a meeting with us through our online form. We represent car accident victims throughout the Dallas region, including in Fort Worth, Irving, Garland, and Arlington.