Drunk Driver Accident Injury Lawyers in Georgia
Personal Injury Claims Due to Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers in Georgia
Drunk driving accidents continue to be a prevalent problem throughout Georgia. While distracted driving accidents that involve texting, talking on the phone, or using a phone for social media postings are most certainly significant problems that cause many accidents, unfortunately people also continue to drive under the influence of alcohol. When drunk driving accidents result in significant injuries or death, the drunk driver can normally be held accountable for the victims’ damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, Pain and Suffering, punitive damages and more.
As in every state, an individual who has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol can suffer consequences in the form of jail time, hefty fines, a tarnished criminal record, and perhaps the inability to drive again in the future. However, there are additional consequences if their actions affect others. For instance, if a drunk driver injures or kills a person while behind the wheel, he or she may not only be found criminally liable but may also civilly liable to the victim and his or her family.
What You Should Know if You Are the Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident in Georgia
If you or a family member has been in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact our attorneys today to learn about your legal rights as well as what steps that can be taken to protect those rights. Any potential personal injury or wrongful death claim against a drunk driver can also be affected by the investigation into the criminal case.
For example, the following information would be helpful to an injured person's claim against a drunk driver:
- The driver’s conduct and demeanor after being pulled over, such as swaying, being off-balance, slurred speech, failing a field sobriety test, aggression towards the officer, glazed or red eyes, and other physical signs of intoxication;
- Blood alcohol content (BAC) results, either from a breathalyzer or blood test; and
- A drunk driver's guilty plea or verdict, which can help prove a personal injury claim.
It is also always a good idea for anyone who has been injured in a drunk driving accident to fully cooperate with law enforcement officials in order to help the state to impose criminal penalties against the defendant for his or her conduct. Moreover, doing so can also assist you in pursuing your claims for damages because the evidence that is revealed in the criminal case can also be used to prove civil liability.
Punitive Damages in Drunk Driving Accidents in Georgia
Another reason why it is so important to obtain evidence of criminal conduct is because an injured person can assert that the driver is liable for punitive damages, which are damages intended to punish and deter the same type of conduct in the future. Punitive damages are often awarded when a jury believes a defendant's conduct is so egregious that an additional form of punishment is necessary. Drunk driving is certainly the type of conduct that may be considered punitive in nature, and a jury would need evidence of that driver's behavior to decide whether or not punitive damages should be awarded to an injured plaintiff or a deceased victim’s family.
Claims Against Others for the Conduct of Drunk Drivers
Additionally, in situations where a drunk driver was working at the time the accident happened, or who was driving another person’s car, it can be especially important to work alongside an attorney. An employer can be held responsible under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior for the conduct of a drunk driver if the driver was acting in the scope of employment at the time of the accident. Moreover, an owner of the vehicle driven by the drunk driver can also be held responsible for allowing a drunk driver to use the car in situations where the owner knew or should have known of the driver’s reckless conduct or propensity to drive while intoxicated. Such a legal claim against a car owner is called “negligent entrustment.”
Georgia also allows injured victims to impose liability against those who knowingly sell, furnish or serve alcoholic beverages to underage drinkers or noticeably intoxicated individuals while knowing that such people will soon be driving. Since there are so many ways other people or companies can be liable for the actions of drunk drivers, our attorneys work tirelessly on behalf of each injured client in order to ascertain all possible defendants responsible and obtain for them badly needed compensation for their injuries.
What You Should Know About Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
A concern that many people have if they are injured in a car accident is whether or not the other driver has car insurance, or even when they do, whether there is enough insurance to fully compensate them for their injuries. While Georgia law requires that all drivers have liability coverage, there are many drivers out there that still operate vehicles without insurance in violation of Georgia law. Very often, drunk drivers may also be driving vehicles that are covered by minimum auto insurance, which in Georgia is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence. As such, most car insurance policies have what is called uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM/UIM”) coverage. Such coverage is intended to help an injured victim obtain necessary compensation from his or her own insurance policy because there is either no other insurance or not enough insurance to fully compensate the victim.
UM/UIM coverage can be necessary in a variety of situations, such as when the drunk driver flees the scene and cannot be found, if the insurance on the drunk driver’s vehicle denies coverage due to an exclusion in the policy, if the drunk driver has no insurance or not have enough insurance, and other circumstances. Our attorneys at Montlick & Associates work to locate ALL possible avenues of recovery, including other insurance policies, in order to maximize the value of our clients’ cases under Georgia law.
The consequences of drunk driving accidents can be catastrophic and end the life of an innocent person in an instant. Anyone injured in a drunk driving accident should consider how a Georgia Car Accident Attorney at Montlick & Associates may be able to help so that the responsible drunk driver can be held accountable for his or her actions. We fight hard to protect each and every client, striving to obtain for them and their families the maximum compensation to which they are entitled under the law.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 38 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!
If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 38 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. Our car accident lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia are here to advise you on your legal rights as well as what steps should be taken to protect those rights.
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.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333