There are two types of motor vehicle accidents that are much more serious than the others. One would be a head-on collision. It’s very rare that people walk away from this kind of accident without injuries. The other type of serious accident is a drunk driving accident. The problem with drunk driving accidents is the person who’s driving drunk has no idea that they’re behaving recklessly. They could be going 20 miles above the speed limit and have no idea. Or they could be riding on someone’s bumper not realizing how close they are to a red light. Sometimes people who are driving drunk weave in and out of lanes of traffic and end up hitting somebody head-on. Our Marietta accident lawyers have handled more than their fair share of drunk driving cases. They are typically the saddest and most difficult cases to handle.
Not only are the injuries typically very serious, but the accident victims are angry. These are accidents that absolutely could have been avoided. This is one of the reasons why judges are more willing to grant punitive damages in drunk driving accident cases. Here, we will discuss the various types of damages your Georgia injury attorney can demand in your drunk driving accident lawsuit. We will also explain when punitive damages are granted and whether we think you’ll have a chance to collect them. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your own drunk driving accident case, contact our office right away. You can schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our Marietta accident lawyers over the phone or through our website.
Your Marietta Accident Lawyer Must Still Prove Fault In a Drunk Driving Case
Even if the other driver was arrested for drunk driving at the accident scene, your Marietta accident lawyer still has to prove fault. For example, the other driver could be stopped at a red light, and you smash into the back of their car. In a case like that, it would be difficult to argue that the defendant’s being drunk had anything to do with the crash. In most drunk driving accident cases, however, it’s rather clear which party was at fault.
In order to prove fault, you’re Georgia injury attorney is going to have to demonstrate negligence. Negligence has four elements, and you have to prove all four if you want to collect damages. These elements are:
- Your attorney will have to demonstrate that the other driver owed you a duty of care – This is never difficult in any motor vehicle accident case. When people agree to drive on the roads in Georgia, they agreed to follow all the local traffic laws. This includes the laws against drinking and driving.
- You will have to prove that the other driver breached their duty of care – The best way to do this is by submitting evidence that the defendant was arrested and charged with drunk driving at the scene. However, if the defendant was acquitted, you will need other evidence to support your claim.
- Obviously, you must show that you were injured – One of the hardest things our Georgia injury attorneys have to explain to clients is that it’s not enough that you were involved in an accident. If you can’t show that you were hurt, you’re not going to have a claim for damages.
- Finally, you must show that your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. For example, if you had a broken leg before the accident, you can’t argue that the accident caused your broken leg. But for the most part, as long as you go to the emergency room immediately after your accident, your attorney will not have a hard time proving causation.
Once your Marietta accident lawyer proves negligence, then they can move on to proving your damages.
Your Georgia Injury Attorney Will Demand the Same Damages as Any Other Car Accident Lawsuit
As with any other car accident lawsuit, your Marietta accident lawyer will demand certain damages. In most of the cases we handle, especially drunk driving cases, we demand the following types of damages on behalf of our clients:
- Medical bills-The defendant will be responsible for any medical bills you incurred as a result of the drunk driving crash. This includes bills for hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy. They will also be liable for any future medical care you need.
- Property damage – If your car was damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident, you can demand compensation. If your car was totaled, you’ll be entitled to the fair market value of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
- Lost wages – If you miss more than a couple of weeks from work as a result of the crash, you can demand compensation for lost wages. You can also demand damages for lost future income if you’re no longer able to do the same kind of job you did prior to the accident.
- Pain and suffering – These damages are intended to compensate you for any physical or mental anguish you suffered as a result of the accident. The more serious your injuries, the more money you’ll be able to demand in pain and suffering. In most drunk driving cases that our Marriott accident lawyers handle, the amount that we demand for pain and suffering is quite high.
- Punitive damages-It is very rare that a judge would order punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the reason they do impose punitive damages is to teach the defendant a lesson. They also want to send a message to the public. Since drunk driving is still a major problem in Georgia, there is a chance the judge will grant your request for punitive damages.
Your Best Option is to Retain an Experienced Marietta Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you or your loved one were injured in a drunk driving accident, you should contact our office right away. Take the time to sit down with the Georgia injury attorney and discuss your case. They can let you know what your options are and give you an idea of what your case may be worth. Since we do offer all clients a free, initial consultation, you have nothing to lose.