Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Parker
Drunk drivers in Texas kill or injure someone every twenty seconds, according to state Department of Transportation estimates. Despite strict laws prohibiting driving while under the influence of intoxicants, it remains a depressingly common occurrence.
If you have sustained injuries in a drunk driving car accident in Parker, significant monetary damages might be available to compensate you for your losses and punish the offender. Consulting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident could help ensure you get the fair settlement you deserve.
Could a DWI Be Used as Evidence in a Separate Car Wreck Injury Case?
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) refers to operating a vehicle while the reflexes and cognitive functions are influenced by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 is evidence of DWI, but a driver can be charged even if they test under the legal limit, if alcohol or drugs impairs their ability to operate a motor vehicle.
When a car accident victim seeks damages from a motorist charged with DWI resulting from the collision, proving the driver’s negligence could potentially be easier. If a law enforcement official found reason to bring the charge, this is evidence that the driver did not have full control of their mental and physical functioning when the accident happened. A local lawyer could interview the charging officer and subpoena relevant test results to bolster an injured party’s claim that their losses resulted from the other driver’s intoxication.
A DWI charge supports a victim’s claim for damages even if the criminal case against the offender does not end in conviction or a guilty plea. A prosecutor must prove criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard. A case seeking damages for personal injuries sustained in a vehicle collision is brought in civil court, where the applicable standard is proof by a preponderance of evidence, which is easier to meet if the defendant driver was found drunk by a Parker officer.
Available Damages in Intoxicated Motorist Accident Cases
To recover financial restitution, an injured party must prove that the defendant was responsible for the accident due to their negligent or reckless conduct. If the defendant driver faced a DWI charge originating from the auto accident, a Parker lawyer could present the charge as a clear indication that the driver was more negligent than the claimant.
Compensatory damages aim to compensate an injured party for their losses. Actual out-of-pocket costs like medical expenses; vehicle rental, repair, or replacement; lost wages, and therapy to deal with the emotional trauma are all compensable as economic damages. Human losses such as loss of consortium, loss of ability to enjoy life, pain and suffering, also may be included in an award of monetary compensation called non-economic damages.
If the other driver was convicted of DWI or pled guilty to the charge, a claimant could ask for exemplary damages, also called punitive damages. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.003(a) permits a claimant to seek punitive damages when a person’s behavior was recklessly negligent, egregious, or malicious.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is often grounds for exemplary damages in local accident cases. A claimant could seek exemplary damages even if the driver does not have a DWI conviction by proving that the impaired driver should have known that their level of intoxication posed an unreasonable risk to other vehicles on the road.
Discuss Drunk Driving Car Accidents with a Parker Attorney
If you are recovering from an accident involving a drunk driver, you should seek guidance from an experienced attorney who could help you recover the compensation you deserve. Teaming up with a hardworking advocate as soon as possible after the accident could help strengthen your case and improve your chances of a positive resolution. Call today and schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about drunk driving car accidents in Parker.