If a drunk driver caused your accident in Alpharetta, contact the car accident lawyers of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., and we’ll help you seek justice and the financial recovery you need for the injuries you suffered. The decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol is irresponsible and reckless. It puts everyone at risk of harm. If an accident occurs, it can result in life-threatening injuries and even death.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our attorneys have the experience, skillset, and drive to hold the other driver liable for their actions and secure the full compensation you deserve. Your injuries might have led to expensive medical treatment and prevented you from returning to work, and the financial burden likely feels overwhelming. You shouldn’t have to pay for the costs associated with the accident – the responsible party should.
Call us at (770) 205-8827 if you were the victim of a DUI accident and want to speak with an experienced, award-winning Alpharetta DUI accident lawyer from the law offices of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. We’ll stand up for your rights.
The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence
Someone who drives under the influence (DUI) of alcohol doesn’t have complete control over their vehicle. It’s difficult for them to make good decisions or react quickly to danger. When someone attempts to drive while impaired, they could experience the following:
- Slowed reaction time
- Loss of judgment
- Altered mood
- Poor muscle coordination
- Deterioration of control
- Reduced alertness
- Loss of consciousness
In Georgia, drivers are breaking DUI laws while driving or in control of a car under at least one of the following circumstances:
- Under the influence of drug, alcohol, or controlled substance;
- A blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08% (If the driver is under 21 years of age, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .04% or more); or
- Any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs detected by a urine or blood test.
It’s difficult to avoid a drunk driver when you’re on the road; however, you could do things to prevent an auto crash if you suspect someone is driving under the influence. The most noticeable sign is swerving. If you see another driver who can’t stay in between the lines, pull over and let them pass you. Create enough distance between you and them to avoid colliding with their vehicle if they stop suddenly or cause an accident with someone else. When you’re pulled over, call 911 and report them to law enforcement.
What You Should Do After a DUI Accident
If you get hurt in an accident and discover the other driver was under the influence, follow the steps below to protect your rights to financial compensation.
- Call 911 to report the accident. Wait for an officer to arrive at the scene and perform an investigation. They will write a traffic crash report to document their findings and indicate who they believe caused the crash. You can request a copy of the report when it becomes available.
- Speak to other drivers involved in the accident and anyone who saw what happened. Write down their names and phone numbers. They could provide eyewitness statements to support your version of events.
- Write down the other driver’s name, contact information, and auto insurance details.
- Take photos of the crash site, car damage, and other evidence to prove what happened.
- Seek medical attention as soon as you leave the accident scene. Get an initial evaluation of your injuries and follow your doctor’s orders for additional treatment with medical providers. Continue seeing them until they release you from their care.
- Maintain records of everything related to the DUI accident. Keep copies of your medical records, insurance company correspondence, car repair estimates, and other documentation.
- Hire an Alpharetta DUI accident lawyer to assist you in filing a liability insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Pursuing a Settlement from an Auto Insurance Claim
Georgia law requires all motorists to purchase auto insurance with minimum liability limits for bodily injury and property damage. Georgia’s fault system automatically allows victims to hold the at-fault driver financially responsible for injuries and damage resulting from a motor vehicle accident.
Your skilled attorneys will work to gather evidence to show that the driver was at fault for your accident and under the influence, so that you can file a liability claim for compensation of your damages. Damages are the losses associated with an accident or injury. There are two types of damages you could seek: economic damages, which are actual expenses, and non-economic damages, which are intangible losses.
Examples of the damages available in a DUI accident claim include:
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket costs
- Lost wages and lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs
- Rental car expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
If you discover that the other driver doesn’t have liability insurance, you could file a claim with your insurance company. UM, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, provides compensation for the injured party’s damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t hold auto insurance or their liability limits aren’t high enough to cover everything.
When you file a UM claim, you can pursue the following damages:
- Cost of past and future medical bills
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the Drunk Driver?
Yes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in Georgia. The penalties range from fines to time behind bars. If you sustained injuries in an auto accident that a drunk driver caused, you could file a lawsuit against them.
You must follow a strict deadline if you want to sue the other driver for the economic and non-economic damages you incurred. It’s known as a statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for car accidents that result in injuries is two years. That means you have two years from the crash date to pursue legal action in the civil court system.
Special circumstances allow the clock to stop temporarily. If the at-fault driver is facing a DUI conviction, the statute of limitations will get delayed. Once the criminal case is over, the clock will begin again.
You shouldn’t settle your insurance claim until the criminal case gets resolved. If the jury reaches a guilty verdict, you could use that as leverage in your settlement negotiations. The insurance company will be more likely to settle for a high amount if their insured driver is facing DUI penalties.
Besides pursuing compensation for economic and non-economic damages in a lawsuit, you could also seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are not intended to make up for your expenses or the suffering you endured from the accident. They’re intended to punish the driver and deter them from committing similar acts in the future. Although rare, a jury might award an injured victim punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were grossly negligent, reckless, malicious, or wanton.
Hire Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to Help You Prepare Your Case
It’s crucial that you have evidence that the impaired driver’s actions caused your accident and injuries. If there’s no proof that they caused your accident, it will be challenging to convince an insurance company that you deserve financial compensation. Insurance companies will always try to get out of paying a claim. If you don’t have legal representation, they might try to take advantage of that by providing a low settlement offer and intimidating you into accepting it.
When you hire one of our Alpharetta DUI accident lawyers, we will open a complete investigation and locate key evidence that shows the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that’s what led to the crash. Examples of evidence we’ll obtain include:
- Traffic crash report
- Chemical test results
- Video surveillance
- Photos of the accident scene
- Copies of your medical records
- At-fault drivers’ restaurant or bar receipts from the day/night of the crash
- Documents from their criminal DUI case
- Eyewitness statements
- Vehicle repair estimates
- Auto insurance policy information
We have experience building DUI accident cases for our clients. We know the deadlines we must comply with and procedures to follow. We’ll take care of all the legal aspects so you can focus on what’s most important: recovering. We’ll fight hard to ensure the opposing parties treat you fairly and pay the compensation you deserve.
You shouldn’t have to go through this devastating experience alone. We’ll be by your side and guide you through the entire process. We know you want to put this ordeal behind you as soon as possible. That’s what we want, too. We’ll work efficiently to resolve your case so you can move forward with your life.
Choose Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
If you were the victim of a DUI accident, contact our Alpharetta DUI accident lawyers. At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we care about our clients. You’ll be our priority when you hire us. Our legal team will provide excellent customer service while you’re case is ongoing. We’ll be here to answer your questions and provide legal advice.
We know you’re struggling and facing financial hardships from the crash. That’s why we work on a contingency-fee-basis. That means we don’t require upfront fees to work on our clients’ cases. We won’t expect payment until we secure an insurance settlement or favorable jury verdict. If we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us.
To find out more about our services or to schedule your free consultation with our Alpharetta DUI accident attorneys, call (770) 205-8827 today.