Even though a single DUI conviction could result in fines, lengthy license suspensions, and even jail or prison time, far too many drivers in Texas still choose to get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding the legal limit. Unfortunately, this irresponsible behavior leads to hundreds of traffic accidents each year, many of which have life-altering consequences for the people involved.
If you suffered an injury that required professional medical care because a drunk driver hit your vehicle, a personal injury lawsuit against that driver could allow you to seek compensation for all the losses you experienced as a result. A seasoned car accident lawyer could explain during a private consultation how litigation based on drunk driving car accidents in Temple works in practice and what your odds of success with your claim may be.
Despite the criminal consequences associated with driving under the influence, drunk driving car accident lawsuits in Temple work more or less the same as any other personal injury case. In order to recover for their damages, the filing plaintiff must prove that those damages stemmed directly from the negligent—or in this case, expressly illegal—actions of the defendant named in their lawsuit.
Since a responsible driver would not take to the road while impaired by alcohol or drugs, anyone cited for DUI immediately after a traffic accident would almost certainly be found civilly liable for the consequences of that wreck. However, proving negligence in a civil court or a private settlement negotiation may still require significant evidence of fault, especially if the driver in question was not cited for drunk driving at the scene of the crash.
Other relevant evidence that a car accident attorney could help track down may include photographic evidence from the scene—especially of open containers and debris in the allegedly negligent party’s vehicle—as well as video footage taken from traffic cameras or nearby surveillance footage. It may also be helpful to track down testimony from witnesses to the accident, family members of the defendant, and restaurant or bar owners who may have overserved the defendant prior to the incident.
Even if a drunk driver was primarily responsible for causing a traffic accident, that fact does not automatically absolve an injured party of any share of fault they bear themselves. Under Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code §33.012, any plaintiff found partially but not primarily at fault for their damages may have their recoverable compensation reduced by their percentage of fault, no matter what form of negligence the defendant in their case engaged in.
Furthermore, the statutory filing deadline set by TX Civ. Prac. § Rem. Code §16.003 applies to drunk driving car accidents in Temple just as much as any other cause of a personal injury. If an injured party or their lawyer fails to file suit within two years of when they first discovered their injuries, they will likely be time-barred from recovering anything at all through any means.
Although a DUI ticket can often serve as conclusive proof of fault for a car accident, you should not assume that recovering for your damages will be a simple process regardless of what led to your wreck. Civil litigation can be complicated under any circumstances, and even intoxication by another party does not necessarily prevent your own negligence from limiting the total restitution available to you.
If you want to effectively seek a favorable case result following a drunk driving car accident in Temple, retaining a skilled legal representative is a virtual necessity. Call today to discuss your legal options.