Texas is a beautiful state, with endless coastlines, wide-open rugged interior landscapes, diverse cities, and a temperate climate. Sadly, Texas is also one of the top five states in the country for drunk driving accidents. Drunk drivers played a role in nearly one-quarter of all traffic accident deaths in the Lone Star State in 2021, a 9% increase over the previous year.
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you’ve probably suffered significant injuries and endured a painful recovery. You shouldn’t have to also suffer the financial consequences. By making the best possible decisions during the traumatic aftermath of a drunk driving accident, you can maximize your financial recovery while you focus on your physical and emotional well-being.
While the criminal court focuses on punishing the drunk driver, a car accident attorney addresses your entitlement to financial compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Protecting Yourself After an Accident With a Drunk Driver
After an accident, you may be able to do little other than wait in place for emergency services to arrive and help you. It isn’t always possible at the scene to determine that the other driver in an accident is intoxicated, but by taking the following steps you can protect your physical and financial future after an accident:
- Use your phone to call 911 to report the accident
- If you’re too injured to risk moving, ask an uninjured passenger or bystander to use your phone to take photos of the involved vehicles, your injuries, and the accident scene. If the driver is clearly intoxicated, use your phone to capture a video of their actions after the crash
- Collect the contact information of the other driver if possible and of any nearby eyewitnesses
- Tell the police immediately if you suspect the other driver is drunk
- Accept EMS transport to a hospital and undergo a complete evaluation and treatment of your injuries
- Tell the doctor about all of your symptoms and ask for a detailed medical report
- Keep all medical bills and invoices
- Ask for a copy of the police report
- Gather all relevant documents and call a Texas personal injury attorney.
Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas
Not only is drunk driving a crime in Texas, punishable by law enforcement and criminal court, but it also leaves the defendant liable for your property and personal injury damages. Still, liability depends on your attorney proving that the drunk driver caused the accident and your damages. This requires demonstrating the following legal points of liability:
- The at-fault driver had a duty to protect motorists on the roadway by following traffic laws and taking other reasonable precautions
- That the driver breached this duty by acting recklessly or with purposeful wrongdoing by driving while intoxicated
- That the breach directly caused the accident and your injuries
- That you’ve suffered significant damages as a result of your injuries
When a drunk driver is clearly found liable for your damages you can recover full compensation for your financial and physical suffering.
What Damages Are Available After a Texas Drunk Driving Accident?
A successful claim against an at-fault drunk driver can gain compensation for damages from the driver’s insurance policy. Damages are paid out either through a settlement or court award for the following:
- Your past and future medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost income
- Future lost income or lowered earning capacity due to disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma, PTSD, and other appropriate non-economic damages
When someone else’s reckless behavior behind the wheel causes you to suffer significant harm, you deserve full compensation. Monetary compensation opens doors to the best medical care and alleviates financial burdens while you recover.