When drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they significantly increase the chances that they will cause a motor vehicle collision since alcohol is a depressant that slows down a person’s central nervous system (CNS) functioning. A person who is under the influence of alcohol, therefore, may not have sufficient awareness of what is going on around him or her. Consequently, the driver might bring about a collision with another vehicle.
If you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident that a drunk driver caused, you have legal options available to you. The knowledgeable Brownsville drunk driving accident lawyers at Kenny Perez Law can help you explore those options and help you decide upon the best course of action for you and your case. Please speak with us today for more information about how we could assist you with your Brownsville drunk driving accident case.
The Standard for Drunk Driving in Texas
Drunk driving accidents can occur just about anywhere in the Brownsville region. From busy state highways like Highway 4 and Highway 48 to rural country roads, drunk driving accidents can be equally devastating no matter where they happen.
The state of Texas recognizes that intoxicated motor vehicle operation presents a hazard to all drivers who are on the road. Consequently, there are standards for alcohol intoxication in Texas. A person could be criminally charged with and convicted of drunk driving if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher (zero-tolerance for drivers who are under the age of 21). Moreover, if the driver appears to be intoxicated, such as by their mannerisms, gait, or speech, the driver could be arrested for drunk driving, even if their BAC is below 0.08 percent.
A person convicted of drunk driving will likely face serious criminal penalties. For example, the driver could serve jail time, pay fines, or deal with administrative penalties, such as the loss of a driver’s license. In addition, the offending driver might need to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.
Moreover, if the drunk driver causes an accident that leads to injuries, the accident victim could file a civil claim against the drunk driver seeking monetary damages for those injuries. If you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident that a drunk driver caused, the skilled legal team at Kenny Perez Law can pursue a claim for damages on your behalf, seeking the compensation that you need for your injuries.
How Alcohol Intoxication Alters Perception
Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the functioning of a person’s central nervous system. As a result, a driver who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol may suffer from altered perception and blurry vision. In addition, the driver may experience a significant delay in reaction time, making them stop their vehicle in time to avoid a collision with another vehicle.
When a motor vehicle operator drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they increase the chances that a serious accident will result. Moreover, since these accidents often take place at high rates of speed, seriously injured accident victims can result. Those injuries often include traumatic head and brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
If you or a person you love has suffered one or more of these injuries in a drunk driving accident, you may have legal options available to you. Specifically, your attorney could file a claim or lawsuit against the drunk driver and their insurance company, seeking the damages that you need for your injuries. The knowledgeable Brownsville drunk driving accident lawyers at Kenny Perez Law can help you throughout the claims process and with pursuing the damages that you need.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against a Drunk Driver
Texas is a fault-based state. Therefore, if a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else left you injured, you are eligible to file a claim or lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver and their motor vehicle insurance company. In motor vehicle accident claims, the accident victim has the legal burden of proof. If it is clear that drunk driving was the cause of the accident, then the at-fault driver’s insurance company might go ahead and concede to liability in the case. However, in that instance, the accident victim will still need to demonstrate that they suffered injuries in the accident and that the injuries directly resulted from the accident.
In cases where the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts liability for the motor vehicle crash, the insurance company might make an offer to resolve the case. However, these initial offers are usually far below the actual settlement or verdict value of the case. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company in hopes of obtaining a more favorable offer on your behalf.
However, if the insurance company is not willing to offer you full and fair compensation for your injuries, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver and litigating your case in court. Even after your attorney files a lawsuit, they can continue negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and possibly settle.
As the accident victim, you have the ultimate power to decide whether you will take your case to trial. Your lawyer might also recommend some type of alternative dispute resolution proceeding, such as mediation or arbitration, in your case. The knowledgeable team of drunk driving accident attorneys at Kenny Perez Law can file a claim on your behalf. Our legal team can also recommend the best course of action for proceeding forward with your case and can assist you throughout the settlement and litigation processes.
A Brownsville Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Answers Your Questions
Getting into an accident with a drunk driver in Brownsville can leave you grasping for answers to important questions about your legal and financial rights. To help you understand your options for seeking compensation from the drunk driver and others who may owe you damages, we have answered some of our most frequently asked questions below.
Can’t find the answers you are looking for? Contact an experienced Brownsville car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
Can I sue for the injuries I sustained in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Brownsville?
In Texas, anyone who causes a motor vehicle accident by engaging in unreasonably dangerous actions (such as drunk driving) will generally owe damages to injured accident victims. So, if a drunk driver caused a crash that hurt you, then you could have a claim to make against the drunk driver, and possibly others, for compensation.
Who else might I sue, besides the drunk driver?
The drunk driver usually bears at least some, and often most, of the blame for causing a drunk driving accident. However, others may share that fault, making them liable for your injuries as well.
- Texas law authorizes a lawsuit against a bar or restaurant that served an obviously intoxicated patron, or knowingly served a minor, if that patron goes on to cause injuries in a drunk driving accident.
- A social host, such as an adult hosting a spring break party on South Padre Island, may also owe damages for serving alcohol to a minor who subsequently causes injuries in a Brownsville drunk driving crash.
- An employer of a drunk driver may face liability to crash victims if the driver caused a crash in the course of performing work duties.
- Other motorists, besides the drunk driver, may also have made bad choices behind the wheel that contributed to the cause of a drunk driving crash.
The best way to find out who may owe you damages for your Brownsville drunk driving accident injuries is to speak with an experienced attorney who can dig into the facts and identify the at-fault parties.
What if the drunk driver who injured me was uninsured?
Most Texas drivers carry insurance to cover their potential financial obligations for causing a crash. However, some do not, leaving their victims without a source of payment for damages (assuming the drunk driver does not have personal assets that a lawyer could seize as payment). In those cases, drunk driving accident victims in Brownsville have other options for payment. They may, for instance, carry their own uninsured motorist insurance coverage, which protects them against exactly this type of situation. They may also have the ability to sue someone other than the drunk driver for their injuries and losses, as described in the answer above.
Do not simply assume that you cannot get compensation if the drunk driver was uninsured. An experienced Brownsville lawyer can help you explore your alternative options.
Can I sue if the drunk driver went to jail?
The criminal consequences the drunk driver faces for causing the accident that harmed you do not affect your right to seek money damages. Practically speaking, in most cases the drunk driver’s insurance pays your damages, rather than the driver, so it does not really matter where the driver currently resides, even if that residence is a prison cell.
Can I sue if the drunk driver was not charged/convicted?
Yes. The same principle applies. The decision to prosecute a drunk driver belongs to the Cameron County District Attorney in most cases. That decision and its outcome do not directly affect your rights to pursue a civil legal action for damages. You may sue the at-fault driver in your crash for driving drunk, even if the state failed to charge them with drunk driving, or failed to secure a conviction. Parties in civil cases like yours have a lower burden of proof than prosecutors in criminal cases. Even if the evidence is insufficient to prove the driver guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt, it may still prove your claim for damages.
The district attorney wants me to be a witness in a criminal case against the drunk driver. Should I agree?
It is up to you, but it can help to talk over the issues with an experienced accident injury lawyer.
Prosecutors will often ask crime victims to give evidence in a case against a person who has been charged with a crime. Victims frequently agree, but sometimes they have personal reasons for not wanting to testify in court. Personal injury attorneys for injured DUI victims can give their clients clear advice about the choice to serve as a witness for the state. In either case, a personal injury attorney works hard to protect their client’s rights to seek compensation for their injuries and losses through a civil action in Brownsville courts.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for my case for damages?
It can cost you little or nothing unless your lawyer gets you results. Most drunk driving accident injury lawyers in Brownsville represent their clients on contingency. That is when lawyers do their work in exchange for a percentage of any money they obtain for their clients. Clients pay nothing upfront. The lawyer only gets paid attorney’s fees if the client gets paid.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Yes. A Brownsville lawyer for drunk driving accident victims like you can get to work securing top-dollar compensation for your injuries and losses so that you can focus your energies on healing from your injuries and returning to your life. In most cases, a lawyer can help secure more money for a drunk driving crash victim than the victim could obtain on their own.
Have additional questions? Contact a Brownsville drunk driving accident injury lawyer today.
Call a Knowledgeable Brownsville Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
The knowledgeable attorneys at Kenny Perez Law can assist you with every part of your drunk driving accident case. To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Brownsville drunk driving accident attorney, please call us at (956) 544-9292 or contact us online today for more information.
Kenny Perez Law
847 E. Elizabeth Street
Brownsville, Texas 78520
“Definitely a law firm that you can trust! Professional, reasonable, and knowledgeable. The legal team has great customer service skills. They were able to help and guide us every step of the way after our accident.” – Cynthia Barrera
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