Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer Serving Albany Georgia
ALBANY DRUNK DRIVER ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
Alcohol Impaired Driving Accident Lawyers in Albany
Although lawmakers, public safety experts, and the media have long recognized the devastating impact of drunk drivers on those with whom they share the roadways, a multitude of strategies have failed to keep drunk drivers off our streets and highways. Strategies like enhanced law enforcement, stricter sentencing, and zero tolerance policies for teen drivers have fallen short for several reasons. Many irresponsible motorists that cause DUI-related crashes that result in personal injury or wrongful death are both habitual drinkers and repeat offenders, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Conventional approaches to curbing alcohol-impaired driving havebeen least effective at curtailing drinking and driving by alcoholics.
The Devastating Toll of the Drunk Driving Epidemic in Georgia
Statistics reveal that drunk drivers still pose an enormous risk to roadway safety. Approximately 300,000 people drink and drive in the U.S. every day according to FBI data. Shockingly, law enforcement reports indicate that only 2,800 of these drivers are arrested for DUI or DWI. The massive number of alcohol-impaired motorists results in an intoxication-related injury accident every two minutes and a fatality every fifty minutes in the U.S. Habitual drinkers constitute a particularly serious problem because motorists drive a motor vehicle when drunk over eighty times before they experience their first arrest. The financial cost associated with alcohol-impaired driving has been estimated to average approximately $500 for every adult in the U.S.
Proving Alcohol-Impaired Driving in Albany, Georgia
When the police arrest a driver for DUI, DWI or a related alcohol-related traffic offense following a crash, the officer will investigate, which might include field sobriety tests (FSTs), chemical testing of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and observations of the driver. While the information gathered by law enforcement can be effective evidence in a civil case, our law firm monitorsthe criminal case because a conviction of DUI or DWI can help with establishing the liability of the drunk driver.
Despite these common advantages in acquiring evidence, the drunk driver might be “judgment proof.” This term refers to a defendant who lacks the insurance coverage or assets to satisfy a settlement or verdict. Since many drunk drivers are repeat offenders, they might be driving on a suspended or revoked drivers license and without insurance. If the drunk driver also does not have significant equity in a home or other assets, our Albany car accident lawyers explore other potential defendants. Individuals who might be viable defendants include:
- The owner of the other vehicle
- A person or entity who served alcohol to the driver knowing he/she was about to drive
- The companies that designed or manufactured one of the vehicles
- Owners who entrust a vehicle to an incompetent driver
- Service centers who improperly repair a vehicle
- Third-party drivers whose driving contributes to the collision
- The injury victim’s own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage
Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorist coverage is an optional form of insurance that many injury victims carry that can provide needed financial relief when motorists are involved in collisions with uninsured or underinsured drivers. Because Georgia law mandates that your insurer inform you about UM/UIM coverage, you might have such coverage unless you opted out in writing.
If you have “excess” or “added-on” UM coverage, the entire amount of the coverage will be available to you in addition to the at-fault driver’s insurance to reimburse the cost of your injuries. The available UM/UIM coverage will be reduced by the amount of the liability coverage of the other driver if you have “traditional” or “reduced” UM/UIM coverage.
For example, assume that an injured driver has a case against a DUI driver that is worth $100,000, and that the injured person has $75,000 in UM/UIM coverage while the at-fault driver has the Georgia minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury. With an “excess” UM/UIM policy, the $75,000 in UM/UIM would “add on” to the at-fault driver’s $25,000 policy, making it possible to recover up to $100,000.
However, if the plaintiff has “reduced” or “traditional” UM/UIM, the amount of the UM/UIM coverage is normally reduced by the amount of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. In other words, the liability and UM/UIM coverage would only provide a net amount of $75,000. The reason for this is because the UM/UIM carrier would get to “reduce” its limits of $75,000 by the amount the plaintiff recovers in liability coverage – $25,000. So, in such a scenario, the plaintiff would recover $25,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, and $50,000 from the UM/UIM carrier, assuming the case is worth $75,000 or more.
In our experience, drunk drivers are normally covered by some type of auto insurance policy, mostly because it is illegal to drive in Georgia without one. Our attorneys understand how seriously a person’s life can be affected when injured because of a drunk driver, resulting in costly medical care, lost income, Pain and Suffering, disability and other hardships. Additionally, our Albany attorneys fight hard to recover punitive damages for our clients in these types of cases because of the egregiousness of the drunk drivers’ conduct.
Montlick and Associates has been working diligently to pursue the maximum recovery in settlements and verdicts for clients since 1984. This includes investigating alternative defendants, theories of liability, and insurance sources when representing victims of drunk drivers, so contact us today to see how we can help.
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If you or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, the Albany Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. For over 36 years, our law firm has medical malpractice victims throughout Georgia and the Southeast.
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