Drunk Driver Accident Victim Lawyer in Columbus, Georgia
DUI Accident Injury Lawyers in Columbus, Georgia
When motorists decide to sit behind the wheel of their vehicle after spending an evening drinking in a nightclub or at a sporting event, their conduct endangers the safety of pedestrians, motorcyclists, and vehicle occupants. Significant meaures have been implemented during recent years to curb the dangerous practice of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. However, DUI offenses remain pervasive despite alcohol awareness compaigns, harsher DUI penalties, and increased monetary expenditures to enforce roadway safety. Our dedicated Columbus drunk driving accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates work diligently to pursue the fullest compensation under the law for those who experience serious injury or the premature loss of a loved one due to the reckless indifference of intoxicated motorists.
Although the vast majority of people have friends or family whose lives were changed by alcohol-impaired drivers, the number of drunk drivers and their impact on others remains unacceptably high. A few statistics paint a disturbing portrait:
- Drunk drivers caused a fatality every fifty (50) minutes in the U.S. during a recent one year period. [Insurance Information Institute (III)].
- The FBI estimates that 1,017,808 motorists were arrested for driving under the infleunce of drugs or alcohol during the same period. (III).
- Intoxicated driving accidents also exact an enormous financial toll that has been estimated to amount to $44 billion annually by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Civil and Criminal Liability of Drunk Drivers in Columbus, GA
Georgia law imposes criminal penalties and exposure to punitive damages in civil court on motorists who cause injury while intoxicated. A first offense criminal conviction for DUI in Georgia can carry a sentence that includes up to a year in jail, a fine up to $1000, a driver’s license suspension, and significant fines. When the intoxicated driver causes serious bodily injury, the offender could be charged with a felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment.
Although the criminal case carries penalties that might facilitate punishment of the drunk driver, this part of the judicial process offers limited to no financial relief to the victim. Serious accidents often saddle a DUI injury victim with spiraling medical bills, lost income, vehicle repair bills, and other hardships. Financial compensation must be sought primarily through insurance and civil lawsuit claims.
Along with these types of compensatory damages, drunk driving victims also normally have the right to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for conduct more egregious than “ordinary negligence.” Our experienced Columbus drunk driving accident lawyers have extensive familiarity with the legal standard for obtaining punitive damages, and in the appropriate cases, we gather relevant evidence, which includes field sobriety tests (FSTs), supplemental arrest reports, chemical blood tests, officer observations, and other relevant information.
Third Party & Uninsured Motorist Claims in Columbus, Georgia
An intoxicated motorist who causes a collision that results in bodily injury could be liable for punitive damages, but proof of liability does not guarantee a recovery. Crashes involving intoxicated drivers involve an increased probability that the offending driver will commit a hit- and-run or operate a vehicle without insurance. Drivers willing to disregard laws prohibiting drinking and driving might be inclined to violate other laws. Drunk drivers also have a strong incentive to flee the scene of a crash to avoid criminal and civil liability. Since most alcohol-impaired drivers who cause crashes are repeat offenders, these motorists often lack a driver’s license and insurance coverage.
When a driver flees the scene or lacks liability coverage, our attorneys assist our clients in identifying other viable sources of financial recovery. Our law firm routinely investigates the potential liability of third parties depending on the facts and circumstances, such as:
- Other motorists
- The drunk driver’s employer
- The manufacturer of a part, system, or vehicle
- A business that serves a customer who is obviously intoxicated or underage
If no viable third party defendant can be identified, our lawyers might pursue a claim against our client’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Although policyholders might anticipate cooperation from their insurance carrier, insurers focused on maximizing shareholder profits might lowball or deny a valid claim. Our Columbus drunk driving accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates provide high-quality representation and fight hardobtain the fullest compensation for our clients.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years of Experience to Work For You
Know your legal rights! If you or someone you love has been injured in a Columbus bike accident, our experienced Columbus personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates are committed to seeking the best possible outcome for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your Columbus car accident claim. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.
Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.