DUI Crash Lawyer Atlanta Georgia
Despite the fact that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Georgia and every other state in the country, millions of drivers choose to drive while drunk, anyway. According to national statistics, almost 30 people die every day in this country in car accidents that are alcohol-related. There are many more who suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact an Atlanta Georgia DUI crash lawyer from the law office of The Lynch Law Group.
In most car accidents, the victim and their attorney must prove that the other driver behaved in a reckless or negligent manner that resulted in the crash and the victim’s injuries. In the majority of drunk driving accidents, the at-fault driver faces criminal DUI charges. These charges can be used as a presumption that the driver was negligent. The driver drank, got drunk, got behind the wheel of their car, crashed into the victim’s vehicle and was arrested. This is pretty strong evidence of the driver’s negligence.
The legal doctrine for this is “res ipsa loquitor” which is Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” Under this doctrine, instead of an Atlanta Georgia DUI crash lawyer having the burden to prove the other driver acted negligently, they can instead put forth circumstantial facts (the driver’s drunk driving arrest) and it then becomes the other driver’s burden to prove they did not act negligently.
Once it has been proven who was at fault for the accident, a drunk driving accident lawyer Atlanta, GA offers will then prove what the victim’s damages were. Damages are the financial compensation that victims are awarded in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. A victim can be awarded damages for:
- Medical treatments, emergency treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and medical devices
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
If the victim is killed in the crash, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue damages for funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and compensation for other losses the family has suffered.
There may be other parties that a victim or their family can sue for the drunk driving crash. Many states, including Georgia, have dram shop laws. Dram shop laws state that if a drunk person causes death or injury, the place (bars, restaurants, etc.) that provided the drunk driver alcohol may be legally liable for the victim’s losses. This is because it is illegal to serve or sell alcohol to a person who is visibly drunk. An Atlanta Georgia DUI lawyer can determine which business is liable.
Dram shop laws also apply to social hosts that have parties or other types of social event where alcohol is served. If a social host serves alcohol to someone who is driving and that guest leaves and crashes their vehicle, the host is legally liable for victims’ losses.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, call the law office of The Lynch Law Group to meet with a DUI crash lawyer Atlanta Georgia clients recommend.
First-Time DUI Offenders
Dealing with a DUI charge for the first time can be terrifying and confusing. That’s why you need an experienced DUI crash lawyer in Atlanta,GA to fight back and clear your name.
If your DUI incident did not involve an accident or a blood alcohol content above 0.15, chances are you’ll be facing a misdemeanor charge, which generally has more lenient consequences.
However, if your blood alcohol content was above 0.15, and/or you were involved in an accident, you could be facing some serious penalties, including jail time. Going into the Atlanta DUI court process without representation can be one of the fastest ways to wind up behind bars.
Remember, just because it is your first offense does not mean that the court will go easy on you. The Lynch Law Group will fight your conviction and help you hold onto both your driver’s license and your freedom.
What Should I Do After a Crash?
You should seek medical attention immediately following an accident regardless of whether you believe you have been injured. Injuries or indications of an injury, as diagnosed by your physician, can have a direct impact on the amount of compensation you may be awarded in your drunk driving lawsuit.
Following your medical evaluation, it is important to find a lawyer to handle your lawsuit. When seeking representation, it is vital that you choose an experienced lawyer who regularly handles drunk driving cases. Our DUI crush lawyers Atlanta, GA at The Lynch Law group understand the differences between drunk driving and other car accident cases and the proper way to present your case to the jury.
Punitive Damages in Drunk Driving Lawsuits
In Georgia, drunk driving accident victims are permitted to seek punitive damages. Awarded in addition to compensable damages (i.e. medical bills, lost wages), punitive damages are intended to punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior and to deter similar behavior in the future. It is important to note that punitive damages apply exclusively to personal injury cases and may not be awarded in wrongful death claims.
Punitive damages are not awarded in all cases. The jury has discretion in awarding these damages. The decision will generally depend on the severity of the accident and resulting injuries, the blood alcohol of the drunk driver, and whether third parties may have contributed to the accident in some way.
Third Party Liability
Drunk drivers are not the only parties that can be held liable in the event of an accident.
Dram Shop: A bar or restaurant may be liable for the drunk driver’s actions if they sold alcohol to a minor or provided alcohol to a “noticeably intoxicated” adult who drove while intoxicated.
Social Host: Individual(s) (e.g. clubs, employers, fraternities, sororities) providing alcohol to those underage or serving a noticeably intoxicated guest may be liable for damages caused by the drunk driver.
Negligent Entrustment: A vehicle owner who negligently permits an individual who they knew or should have known was intoxicated may also be responsible for damage caused by the driver.
Seek Legal Advice
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, the law may be able to help you. To learn how our DUI crash Lawyers Atlanta, GA can help you hold the drunk driver accountable, contact The Lynch Law Group today.