Georgia Auto Accident Attorneys Explain Drunk Driving Can Justify Punitive Damage Awards in Georgia

When you experience serious injuries in a car accident, you might be confronted with intense pain, significant emotional distress, a grueling course of rehabilitation, and permanent disability. The angst associated with overcoming these hardships can be much more intense when your injuries result from a preventable accident caused by a drunk driver. While the danger posed by driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated might be widely acknowledged, alcohol-impaired drivers continue to constitute the leading cause of traffic-related fatalities. Drunk drivers continue to cause over 10,000 deaths per year while causing serious injury to millions more. In this blog article, our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys in Georgia analyze the special issues in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving intoxicated drivers.

Drunk Drivers Pose Serious Threat to Roadway Safety in Georgia

Despite stiffer drunk driving sentences, aggressive enforcement of DUI/DWI and public awareness campaigns, alcohol-impaired drivers continue to endanger vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every day 28 people die in collisions involving intoxicated drivers, which amounts to a fatality every 53 minutes. The CDC also reports that the cumulative cost of drunk driving accidents amounts to $44 billion annually. Although alcohol-impaired car crashes are entirely preventable, drunk drivers continue to account for nearly one in every three traffic fatalities. Millions of people are injured in these collisions which is hardly surprising given that 121 million people admit engaging in this unsafe driving practice.

Preserving an Alcohol-Impaired Driving Accident Claim

If you are injured in a crash with a driver who might be under the influence of alcohol, you should summon law enforcement to the accident scene. An injury victim should inform the investigating officer of any evidence that the other driver is intoxicated, which might include an unsteady gait, slurred speech, impaired coordination, the odor of alcohol, or bloodshot eyes. While these signs do not necessarily establish that the other driver has been drinking, you are providing the officer with information that can be used to establish “reasonable suspicion” to initiate a DWI/DUI investigation. This investigation might include field sobriety tests (FSTs) and chemical testing of blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the other driver made statements that suggest he or she has been drinking, these statements also need to be reported to the officer.

Liability for Punitive Damages in DUI Cases

Although victims of careless drivers are entitled to compensatory damages for tangible losses like medical bills and lost wages along with intangible damages like pain and suffering, DUI cases often justify punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to punish particularly egregious conduct and discourage such conduct in the future.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, we welcome you to contact our experienced legal team so that we can evaluate your claim and advise you of your rights and options.

Put Our Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with an experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Agusta, Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

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