Even though driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs is prohibited in every state, it is still among the most common causes of auto accidents nationwide. Even worse, proving that someone else was intoxicated behind the wheel and caused a crash can be harder in practice than you might expect, especially if they were not cited and/or arrested for DUI by a police officer.
No matter how obvious it seems that another person’s intoxication was to blame for your injuries and losses, you should think twice before trying to file suit by yourself over a drunk driving car accident in Waco. Support from an experienced car crash attorney can be key not just to maximizing the amount of money you can recover for your crash-related losses, but often to getting any money through the civil litigation process at all.
State law makes it a crime to drive any kind of motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08 percent or while “impaired” to any degree by alcohol or drugs. Since drunk driving is against the law, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol breaches the duty of care that all drivers have to act lawfully and responsibly behind the wheel. Therefore, anyone who causes a crash resulting in injury by driving under the influence can be considered legally negligent and held liable for ensuing damages.
Sometimes, proving drunk driving led to a car accident in Waco is as simple as referencing a police report stating that someone involved in the wreck was charged with DUI afterwards. In other situations, though, evidence like photos of the accident scene, empty beer cans inside a vehicle, witness testimony, purchase records from bars or liquor stores, and even surveillance or dashboard camera footage may be necessary to establish that drunk driving was the main cause of the incident. A detail-oriented lawyer can help with obtaining any relevant evidence and strengthening a drunk driving accident case.
Even if another drunk driver was primarily to blame for causing a car crash, there are situations where an injured plaintiff can still be found partially responsible for the accident. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §§33.001 through 33.017, any percentage of “comparative fault” assigned to someone injured by a drunk driver could be held against them as a proportional reduction from the total value of their final settlement. For example, if a plaintiff was speeding through an intersection at the same time that a drunk driver ran a red light, both parties might be found partially accountable for the incident.
It is key for accident plaintiffs to understand that TX Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §16.003 gives most people a maximum of two years after sustaining injury through someone else’s negligence to file suit against that negligent person. Failing to start the litigation process within this deadline may leave that injured person without any hope of getting compensated for their damages, even if someone else was obviously at fault for it. A proactive Waco lawyer can help with respecting this tight deadline and ensuring a claimant gets what they deserve after a drunk driving car wreck.
Getting hurt because someone was driving drunk can be a uniquely aggravating and potentially life-altering experience, especially if your injuries are expected to last for years after your accident. Fortunately, you have help available from tenacious legal professionals who know how to fight and win on behalf of people like you.
Drunk driving car accidents in Waco can be the basis for substantial civil recovery, but only if you are able to effectively enforce your rights under state law. Call today to learn how our dedicated legal team can help.