When an individual decides to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, they endanger everyone around them. DUI accidents often lead to severe injuries or fatalities. In the U.S., nearly one person dies every 50 minutes in a drunk driving crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you were the victim of a car accident caused by an impaired driver, and you suffered injuries as a result, the seasoned DUI attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can represent you in your case. DUI cases are taken very seriously in Georgia and throughout the nation, and we’ll leverage the full measure of the law to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.
Our Fayetteville DUI accident lawyers will help you seek justice and hold the driver responsible for their recklessness. We know you’re facing a financial burden due to the expenses associated with the crash. You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of another person’s poor decisions.
DUI cases are complex, but a skilled attorney can guide you skillfully through every step of the legal proceedings, and we’ll always be there to answer your questions and address your concerns. Call us at 770-205-2231 to find out more about how we can help you with your case.
Why Drunk Driving Is So Dangerous
DUI stands for driving under the influence. In Georgia, you could face a DUI charge if you’re operating a motor vehicle and:
- You have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher;
- A urine or blood test detects marijuana or illegal drugs in your system; or
- You’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances.
Someone who chooses to consume alcohol or take drugs before driving has an increased risk of being in a car accident. It’s difficult to have complete control of their vehicle or react appropriately to dangerous situations. Driving under the influence can cause some of the following symptoms:
- Reduced reaction time
- Poor decision-making skills
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Decreased alertness
Sometimes, you’re unable to spot a drunk driver on the road. However, if you notice someone driving erratically, you should get out of their way. The most noticeable sign that someone’s under the influence of drugs or alcohol is swerving. If they’re behind you, pull over and let them pass. Be sure to keep enough distance between your cars so you can maneuver away from theirs, if necessary. If you’re worried about the safety of others, call 911 to report them to the police.
How to Handle a DUI Car Accident
If a drunk driver caused your car accident, you should follow the steps below. There’s crucial evidence you’ll need to collect and a procedure to follow so you’re able to recover the maximum compensation available.
- Call 911 and wait for law enforcement to arrive. Georgia law requires reporting car accidents that cause injury, fatality, or more than $500 in property damage. The officer will investigate the scene and write a traffic crash report. You can request a copy when it becomes available.
- Collect some information from the other driver, such as:
- Phone number
- Auto insurance carrier and policy number
- Talk to people who saw the crash occur. Write down their names and contact information. They could provide witness statements for the insurance company if there’s doubt about who caused the accident.
- Take pictures of your visible injuries, damage to all cars involved, debris on the road, skid marks, and other relevant evidence.
- Seek medical attention promptly. Don’t wait for days or weeks before going to the doctor. A gap in treatment gives an insurance company a reason to reduce your settlement offer or deny your claim entirely.
- Keep a copy of medical records, physician notes, car repair estimates, insurance information, and any documents associated with the case.
- Hire a Fayetteville DUI accident lawyer from Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. We’ll take care of your case for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
File an Insurance Claim to Pursue a Settlement
It’s a legal requirement in Georgia for all drivers to have auto insurance with liability coverage. If a car accident occurs, the liability coverage provides compensation for the injured party’s medical treatment and other associated costs. Under the fault system, the driver that caused the accident is automatically liable for the injuries and resulting damages, typically through their insurance company.
Damages are the total losses an accident victim suffers. There are two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, and non-economic damages are intangible losses. They may include the following:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional trauma
- Car repair costs
If you find out that the impaired driver doesn’t carry liability insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is optional coverage all auto insurance companies must offer to their policyholders. It’s available to car accident victims when the at-fault driver doesn’t hold insurance, or the coverage isn’t high enough to cover all damages.
You can seek the following damages in a UM claim:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket costs
If you successfully negotiate a settlement with your UM insurance adjuster, the amount would depend on various factors, including the coverage listed on your policy and your total medical costs. Other contributing factors could include:
- The severity of the injury
- Time spent recovering
- Type of medical treatment needed
- Evidence proving fault
- Permanent damage caused by the accident
- Emotional suffering endured
- Impact of the injury on daily life
How to Pursue Compensation in a Lawsuit
If the other driver is facing a DUI charge, you may consider filing a civil lawsuit. The result of their criminal case could affect the compensation that a jury awards you. Penalties range from fines, community service, and time behind bars. If you want to use their conviction as leverage, you might be able to increase your case’s value.
If you want to file a lawsuit in Georgia, you must follow a statute of limitations, which is the deadline for bringing a legal case against another party. The statute of limitations for car accidents is two years. You’ll have two years from the crash date to sue the impaired driver for financial compensation.
Two years might seem like plenty of time to prepare for a lawsuit. However, many issues could arise that delays the progress of your case. Even if your goal is to negotiate an insurance settlement, you should still keep your options open. If, for some reason, the insurance company denies your claim, you’ll need to file a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations already passed, you’ll lose the opportunity to pursue compensation for this matter.
A lawsuit is more complicated to handle than an insurance claim. The procedure is complex and confusing, especially for people who never went through it before. It would be in your best interest to hire a Fayetteville DUI accident lawyer to assist you. If you try to build your case without seeking legal representation, you could end up with much less money than you deserve.
The legal team at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. understands the state laws we need to comply with to protect our clients’ rights and ensure they receive the maximum monetary award available.
Collecting Evidence After a DUI Accident
If there isn’t proof that the other driver was at fault for your crash, as well as under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash, it may be difficult convincing an insurance company or jury that you deserve full compensation for your damages. When you hire us, we’ll launch a thorough investigation and uncover all the necessary details that prove negligence.
During our investigation, we’ll obtain relevant evidence, such as:
- Police report
- At-fault driver’s bar/restaurant receipts from that day
- Video surveillance footage
- Copies of your medical records
- Results of alcohol and drug testing
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Car repair estimates
- Documents from the criminal DUI case
- Eyewitness statements
You won’t have to handle the legal aspects of your case. We’ll take care of it for you. Your main job during this process should be to show up for your medical treatment so you can recover.
You won’t have to worry about the added burden of locating evidence or arguing with the insurance company for a fair settlement. Our experienced Fayetteville DUI accident lawyers can do everything for you.
Choose Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
We know you’re in pain and struggling financially. DUI accidents typically cause severe injuries that require extensive medical care. We don’t want to create more stress, which is why we take cases on a contingency-fee-basis. We don’t charge upfront fees or costs to represent clients in Fayetteville. We won’t expect payment unless we win your case.
We take the time to get to know our clients so we can provide personalized attention. When you hire us, we’ll review the details of your car accident and create a plan that reaches your goals. We know you want to move forward with your life as soon as possible. You can depend on our legal team to work hard and resolve your case efficiently.
If someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs caused your car accident, call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today at 770-205-2231. We’ll schedule a free consultation with one of our Fayetteville car accident lawyers to review the details of your case and determine the legal options available.