In Texas, a person is hurt or killed in an accident involving alcohol every 10 minutes. These accidents are entirely preventable. After drinking alcohol, it is each person’s responsibility to know when they’ve had too much to drive. Drinking and driving is not only irresponsible, it is illegal. According to Texas law, being intoxicated while driving means you have a BAC of .08 or higher. However, regardless of a person’s BAC, they are considered intoxicated and driving under the influence if they are impaired in any way.
Have you or someone you love been a victim of a drunk driver? The attorney’s at Fielding Law firmly believe that drunk drivers should be held accountable for the damage they cause. Fill out the online evaluation form or call us today to arrange a free consultation.
Driving involves a fast paced, rapidly changing environment. It requires you to use your hands, feet, and eyes to control the vehicle. You need complete mental faculties to be focused, alert, and ready to make split second decisions. The following information shows how even just a small amount of alcohol can impair a person’s driving ability.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) .02%
BAC of .05%
BAC of .08%
Studies have shown that with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 a person’s reaction time increases from 1.5 seconds to 3 seconds. Those 1.5 seconds might seem insignificant, but they can mean the difference between life and death. For instance, if a vehicle, person, or animal is in the roadway and you need to stop suddenly, if you are driving at a speed of 60 mph, you will travel 130 feet in 1.5 seconds. So if you’ve been drinking and have a BAC of .08, that’ll be an extra 130 feet you will travel before stopping.
Seek medical attention. This is always your first priority after an accident. If you’re injured call 911. If you’re not injured check on the other parties involved in the accident and assess if they need medical attention. Unless there is a hazard, don’t move an injured party if they have neck or back pain, this could worsen their injuries.
Initially after the accident you might feel that you are ok. It might take days or weeks before you note the full effects of your injuries. Even if you feel like you are fine immediately after the accident, it’s a good idea to go to the hospital to get examined. A doctor’s report detailing the injuries you sustained will be helpful to your case later on.
Call the police. This is an essential step to take after being involved in any sort of accident. It is even more important if you believe the other driver was drunk. Police can perform sobriety checks, breathalyzers and use other means to determine if the driver was over the legal limit. If the police determine that they are, they will likely arrest them. This proof that the driver was drunk can help you in the future when you’re pursuing financial compensation.
Exchange information with witnesses. Gather the names, numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information of all parties involved in the crash. Speak to anyone who witnessed the accident, and gather their contact information as well.
When speaking to the parties involved in the accident, be careful not to unintentionally admit blame. For instance, if you were to say “I’m so sorry I wasn’t paying attention and ran that stop light”, you might imply that you were legally liable for the accident.
Take photos. It is recommended to photograph any damage to your vehicle. This is helpful when filing a claim with the insurance company. Photograph property damage, your injuries and damage to the other vehicles involved in the accident. Also take pictures showing the weather and road conditions.
Drivers. A person who is impaird by alcohol and gets behind the wheel is legally responsible for any damage that they cause. A DUI charge is not only restricted to the consumption of alcohol but includes any mind-altering substance that impairs a person’s driving. Included in this is marajuana, cocaine, heroin, any other illegal drugs, and certain prescription drugs.
Hosts. A person that holds a party or event where alcohol is served can be held liable if a guest causes a drunk driving accident. This especially holds true if the host served them alcohol after they were visibly intoxicated.
Bar/Restaurant Owners and employees. Under Texas dram shop act, establishments can be held liable for serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons. Anyone with a liquor license is legally required to make sure they are not endangering the lives of their patrons or others in the community by serving people past the point of obvious intoxication. The dram shop law allows victims of drunk drivers to sue the owners of establishments for over-serving, holding them liable for their part in the accident.
The attorneys at Fielding Law understand that after a DUI accident, victims are not only recovering from physical injuries but they’re recovering emotionally as well. DUI victims may feel anxious, helpless, and enraged at the injustice of what happened to them. We firmly believe that drunk drivers should be held responsible for their actions. Depending on your individual case you may be eligible to collect damages for:
In drunk driving cases, “punitive” damages may be sought as well. Punitive damages serve to punish a driver who is guilty of gross negligence and serves as a warning to deter them and others from ever driving while intoxicated again.
The DUI laws in Texas are complex. Pursuing damages is even more complicated if the liable driver is facing criminal charges. Our experienced DUI attorneys will investigate the accident and any factors that contributed to it. Then we will fight to get you compensation for damages related to your accident.
Don’t delay to get the help that you deserve for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Fill out the online case evaluation form or call our office today to set up a free consultation.
What Clients Say About Us:
“After the auto accident, we could not have done better than to have Mitchell Fielding represent us. He is knowledgeable and does the research. He will talk to you any time and lets you know that he is there to help with anything. This man will go the extra mile and then some. I hope we never have another situation like this, but if we did, Mitch is our go to guy.” -Debra White