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Driving while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and can cause serious accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers continue to get behind the wheel after drinking.
The Austin drunk driving accident lawyers at Lovins Trosclair, PLLC have helped countless victims and their families recover compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured. If a drunk driver caused your car accident, call us today at 512-535-1649. We can discuss your case and go over the options you have to recover damages for your injuries.
Will insurance provide me with compensation?
Insurance may be able to compensate you for the damages you suffered, but often times their settlement offers from insurance companies are not enough to pay for everything you endured. Also, the drunk driver might not have sufficient insurance to cover all of your damages since Texas law requires drivers to only carry liability insurance in the amount of $30,000 in coverage per person and $60,000 in coverage per accident, as well as $25,000 in property damage coverage. Unfortunately, this minimum coverage may not be enough to cover your costly medical bills and months of lost wages. That’s why our lawyers will explore all available options, including a possible dram shop liability claim against a bar or other establishment that served the drunk driver.
If the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured, it can complicate the claims process. In these cases, you may be able to recover the damages you deserve by filing a claim with your insurer based on uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM or UIM) or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Talk to one of our attorneys to find out the best way to recover the damages you deserve.
Should I file suit against the drunk driver?
You should file a lawsuit if the other driver’s insurance company fails to provide you adequate compensation for your injuries. Filing a lawsuit in civil court against the drunk driver who caused your car accident will require us to prove their liability for the crash. Proving liability in a car accident rests on establishing fault. If we can prove that the driver was at fault for your injuries, you will likely recover compensation. In drunk driving cases, establishing fault is usually not very difficult.
Nonetheless, we will have to prove several factors to establish negligence.
- Duty: We have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. All motorists generally have a duty to other motorists to adhere to safety regulations and behave responsibly behind the wheel.
- Breach of duty: Our attorneys will have to show that the other driver breached this duty of care by driving under the influence. In addition to drunk driving, many drunk drivers engage in other negligent activities behind the wheel, such as swerving or speeding. Police reports, blood alcohol test results, photographs or video from the scene, witness testimony, and other evidence can establish that the driver was acting recklessly at the time of the accident.
- Causation: Next, we will have to show that the driver’s behavior caused your accident. Driving with a BAC over .08% is against state law, so blood alcohol test results will provide crucial evidence for our case. We will also obtain the police report from the scene, accident reconstruction reports, expert testimony, and any other information to show that if not for the driver’s actions, no accident would have occurred.
- Damages: Lastly, we will have to show that you suffered damages as a result of the drunk driver’s actions. We can use medical records, pay stubs, and property damage repair bills to prove this. Properly evaluating and presenting your damages to the insurance company and, if necessary, the Court is the most important service we provide in these types of automobile accidents.
What compensation can I receive?
One person’s irresponsible actions can impact the rest of your life. Drunk driving accidents can affect victims and their families emotionally, physically, and financially. If we successfully establish your claim for negligence in civil court, you are likely to win damages to help with all three of those areas.
The court awards economic damages to pay for some of the tangible costs of a drunk driving accident. Some of these costs include:
- Past and future medical expenses, including payment for hospital stays, doctor visits, ambulance services, surgeries, medication, medical accessories, and treatments;
- Past and future rehabilitation, physical therapy, and psychological treatment;
- In-home care services;
- Permanent disability; and
- Lost wages for time missed from work.
Sometimes the worst injuries from an accident are not physical. Many victims experience difficulties resuming life after the accident. Some have a hard time with their relationships or suffer from severe anxiety as a result of the experience. The court awards non-economic damages to cover some of these less-concrete expenses, including:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional trauma or mental anguish;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of companionship or affection for the injured spouse.
Our attorneys can calculate a fair amount of compensation based on these damages. We will back up our claim with hard evidence, including medical bills and employment records, and will argue your right to compensation for your pain and suffering.
How can I speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer about my case?
If you were in a drunk driving accident, you deserve compensation for your horrible experience. At Lovins Trosclair, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of experience dealing with cases just like yours. Call 512-535-1649 to discuss your legal options today.