Drunk Driving Accidents in Denton
Despite the risks of drunk driving being well known, many people choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol. Unfortunately, this decision commonly results in drunk driving accidents in Denton.
Due to this, the state allows people who have been harmed by an intoxicated motorist to seek restitution in the form of financial compensation. If you or a loved one were struck by an impaired driver, our experienced injury attorneys could provide you with reliable legal guidance throughout the litigation process.
Unique Aspects of Intoxicated Driver Accidents
There are many aspects of a drunk driver collision that are different than the standard motor vehicle accident in the area. To begin, if a person is intoxicated while driving and causes a wreck that harms another person, that is a criminal offense. That means, the intoxicated driver will likely face two different cases at the same time: one on the criminal law and one in civil law. In some cases, a guilty verdict or plea in a criminal case can be used as evidence in the separate civil case.
Another thing that makes these accidents different from other wrecks is the prospect of getting punitive or exemplary damages. Very often, when a defendant violates the law, such as by driving while intoxicated, a Denton attorney could make an argument for the gross negligence standard. These damages go above the compensatory losses the claimant suffered in the wreck and aim to punish the defendant driver.
What Damages Can be Sought from a Drunk Motorist?
As in most personal injury cases, someone harmed by a drunk driver can seek compensatory damages to cover their economic and non-economic losses suffered in the crash. Economic damages account for the financial, tangible losses a claimant suffered and include:
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
On the other hand, are non-economic damages. These aim to compensate someone injured in a vehicle wreck for their intangible, human losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Decreased quality of life
A lawyer well-practiced in the Denton area could also help a claimant calculate their future losses that were caused by the drunk driving accident. This can be done through gathering sufficient evidence of losses as well as speaking with experts.
Impact of Comparative Negligence in Denton
The state of Texas follows a modified comparative negligence standard. Under this theory, a court must analyze the actions of all involved parties and assign each a percentage of liability.
If a claimant is deemed 50 percent or less responsible for the collision that caused them harm, they can still seek restitution from the other at-fault person. However, if they are determined to be over 50 percent responsible, the claimant is barred from recovery entirely.
Additionally, while a claimant still may be able to recover compensation if they are partially at-fault, this compensation will be greatly limited. The recoverable damage award will be reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault. As intoxicated motorist accidents in Denton can be especially catastrophic, any reduction of recovery could have a substantial impact on a claimant.
Discuss Drunk Driving Accidents with a Skilled Denton Attorney
People involved in drunk driving accidents in Denton are likely to be dealing with serious physical, mental, and financial losses. Fortunately, the state allows you to seek financial recourse from the party responsible for your wreck.
If you were struck by an intoxicated driver either as a fellow motorist, pedestrian, or biker, you could have grounds for a civil claim. Call our team of hardworking injury attorneys to discuss your legal options.