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Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers > Blog > Car Accidents > Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

DrunkDriver2

The majority of car accidents are the result of driver error, which can include everything from speeding or violating a traffic law to swerving or falling asleep at the wheel. One of the most frustrating and avoidable causes of car accidents, however, is drunk driving. Despite decades of public awareness campaigns and increasingly severe penalties for driving under the influence, drunk driving accidents can and do continue to occur. Unfortunately, the injuries and property damage resulting from these kinds of accidents are almost always severe, leaving victims to suffer from painful injuries, forced to reckon with mounting medical bills, and required to pay for the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicles. In these cases, recovering compensation from the at-fault party is one of the best ways to hold drunk drivers accountable, while also ensuring that victims can pay for their medical treatment while they recover.

Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents 

Accident victims can recover compensation for their crash-related losses if they can prove that their collision was the result of someone else’s negligence. In many cases, this takes the form of establishing that another driver was on his or her cell phone at the time of an accident, was speeding, or ran a red light. In other situations, however, it may involve proving that the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This could require obtaining a copy of the police report submitted after the crash and collecting other evidence, like arrest records, BAC testing results, video recordings from traffic or security cameras, and speaking with eyewitnesses. In some cases, it may even be possible to hold a restaurant or bar partially liable for an accident if they over-served the at-fault driver. This in turn will require proving that an employee knew or should have known that a driver was inebriated, but continued to serve them anyway.

Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents

Accident victims who can prove that their crash was caused by a drunk driver are entitled to financial compensation in the form of damages. This could include reimbursement for:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Lost wages and benefits; and
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs.

Besides these monetary losses, accident victims could also recover compensation for non-economic damages, like physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, and permanent disability. Courts can also award punitive damages to punish at-fault drivers for particularly reckless behavior, which includes drunk driving. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages seek not to compensate the victim, but to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. In the tragic cases of a fatal drunk driving accident, the victim’s surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver, seeking compensation for their loved one’s companionship, guidance, services, and financial support.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident by a drunk driver, you may be facing mounting medical debt, lost wages, and a lot of confusion about your legal options. Call us at 404-593-0020 to schedule a consultation with one of the dedicated Marietta car accident attorneys at Shiver Hamilton Campbell today.

 Sources: 

nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

law.cornell.edu/wex/punitive_damages

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