Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous motorist behaviors in Marietta and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving accounts for one out of every four traffic-related fatalities. Many victims suffer debilitating and life-altering injuries in collisions with intoxicated drivers.
If you suffered injuries in a collision with an intoxicated motorist, you deserve to seek compensation. Given the added complication of a potential criminal case, these injury cases can be challenging. To proceed with your claim, call (404) 888-8888 for a free consultation with a team member from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. A Marietta drunk driving accident lawyer from our firm could help you pursue your case from start to finish.
Criminal and Civil Cases After a Drunk Driving Accident
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense under Georgia law. However, it is important to understand that drunk driving could have civil consequences as well.
A criminal charge is one that carries the potential for jail time and fines. These charges are typically broken down into misdemeanor and felony offenses. While DUI charges are often misdemeanors for first-time offenders, repeat offenders can face felony charges. A criminal offense is considered a threat to society in general.
The prosecutor serves as the advocate for the people in these cases by seeking to hold a drunk driver accountable. A person injured in a crash with a drunk driver has no say in whether the intoxicated motorist faces criminal charges or not.
An accident with a drunk driver could also lead to a civil lawsuit. Unlike a criminal offense, civil suits are designed to provide compensation to individuals who were harmed by someone else. A person injured in a drunk driving accident has the right to decide whether they pursue a claim against the intoxicated motorist, and the government plays no role in these cases. The end result of a civil case is a monetary award as opposed to jail time or fines.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Marietta, call (404) 888-8888
Intoxication and Blood Alcohol Concentration
Central to these cases is a determination of whether or not the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. There are multiple approaches available for determining intoxication.
Most drunk driving cases center around the motorist’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. A driver’s BAC is the measure of the amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. As the driver consumes more alcohol, their BAC level will go up. Over time, the BAC will fall as the alcohol in the driver’s system dissipates.
A BAC test result is a lagging indicator, meaning it will not immediately reflect the consumption of alcohol. It can take several minutes for the body to metabolize alcohol and cause a BAC reading to increase.
There are three common ways of obtaining a chemical sample that can illustrate a driver’s BAC. These options involve testing a driver’s breath, blood, or urine. Breathalyzer tests are the most common form of BAC testing options. These tests are typically conducted by the police following an arrest. The officers could alternatively collect a blood or urine sample that must be evaluated by a laboratory.
It is possible to pursue a claim against a drunk driver even without a viable BAC result. These cases can be more challenging, however. Without objective evidence of intoxication, a Marietta drunk driving accident lawyer will have to develop a strategy to show the jury that the other driver was intoxicated. This could include admissions by the offender, evidence of failed field sobriety tests, or witness testimony.
The team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers understands how to hold drunk drivers accountable. To learn how we can guide you through your personal injury claim, call (404) 888-8888.
Marietta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
Negligence in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Before you can recover compensation for your injuries in a drunk driving accident, you will have to make a compelling case that the other driver was negligent. In order to prove negligence occurred, your case must meet four elements. These include the following:
- Duty of Care. The basic building block of a personal injury case is one’s duty of care. To establish negligence, you must first show that the other party owed you a duty of care. This is often straightforward in vehicle accidents, as all motorists have a duty to each other to drive safely.
- Breach of duty of care. The next step is proving the other party breached their duty of care. Any careless or reckless act that injures another person could constitute a breach of their duty of care. Proving that the other driver involved in the accident was intoxicated is strong evidence of negligence.
- Causation. Before you can recover compensation for your injuries, you must first show there were consequences to the other party breaching their duty of care. This step is known as causation.
- Damages. The final step in the process requires evidence of damages. Your damages could include anything from vehicle repair costs to medical bills.
While meeting these elements might sound simple in a drunk driving accident case, you and your lawyer must establish that the other driver was intoxicated. An attorney can build a case that demonstrates these elements for you.
Seek Compensation Following a Drunk Driving Accident
If you sustained injuries in a collision with a drunk driver, the driver could face a variety of consequences. In addition to the possibility of an arrest, the drunk driver could also face a civil case following your injuries.
Let a Marietta drunk driving accident lawyer from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers oversee your accident claim from start to finish. We understand the nuances of establishing intoxication in a civil proceeding, and we are proud to serve as advocates for the victims of drunk driving. Dial (404) 888-8888 for a free consultation with a team member today.