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DUI & Drunk Driving Accidents

Cases involving drunk drivers can be complex and difficult. Often the drunk driver’s criminal case—which is separate from, but related to, the civil case—takes precedent. This allows the drunk driver to refuse to testify in a civil deposition until the criminal case is resolved. if you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving crash, it is important to hire experienced injury lawyers who have a history of recovering for clients in similar situations.

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DUI & Drunk Driving Accidents

Cases involving drunk drivers can be complex and difficult. Often the drunk driver’s criminal case—which is separate from, but related to, the civil case—takes precedent. This allows the drunk driver to refuse to testify in a civil deposition until the criminal case is resolved. if you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving crash, it is important to hire experienced injury lawyers who have a history of recovering for clients in similar situations.

Another reason drunk driving cases can be complex is there are often multiple injured parties, and there can also be multiple parties responsible. A set of laws known as Dram Shop allows a person who has been injured by a drunk driver to sue not only the drunk driver to recover for their injuries and damages but also the bar or establishment that served the drunk driver before he or she got behind the wheel.

Mothers against drunk driving (MADD) have posted alarming statistics with respect to drunk driving in the United States. According to MADD:

  • Almost half of all drivers who were killed in crashes and tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system.
  • About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol are repeat offenders.
  • Adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010 – that is almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day.

If you were injured in an accident involving drunk driving, you should promptly seek the help of a personal injury attorney with experience in representing the victims of drunk driving accidents. A skilled drunk driving accident attorney can help to ensure that you receive the best possible medical care and maximum compensation for your injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident regardless of where you live, we will be happy to evaluate your potential case through a free consultation.

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    Glasheen, Valles & Inderman has significant experience in suing drunk drivers and the bars who serve them. Call today for a free phone or in-person consultation. There is no risk

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    Our Team is Here to Help

    Below is a list of some of the most-frequently-asked questions by our clients and prospective clients. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.

    • If I am hit by a drunk driver, can I sue the bar where they got drunk?

      Yes, but it is very important that you hire an experienced and aggressive dram shop attorney right away. The Dram Shop Act is very specific. It applies to bars, restaurants, night clubs and any other business that serves alcohol. Generally, there is no “social host” liability in Texas for serving adults, only commercial vendors of alcohol can be liable. (A “social host” can be liable for serving alcohol to minors.) If a business decides to keep serving beer or alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person and that person causes a motor vehicle accident, the business can be found liable for injuries caused by the intoxicated person.

    • What if I am involved in a collision with a drunk driver?

      Assuming that the drunk driver is covered by liability insurance, you have a very good claim against the drunk driver and his insurance company because under the law in Texas an accident victim is able to recover punitive damages from the drunk driver and his insurance company. It is for this reason that accidents with drunk drivers are can be very valuable claims.

    • When is a driver considered intoxicated under the law?

      The legal definition for intoxication for adults in Texas is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Also, in Texas there is a “zero tolerance” that penalizes persons under twenty-one (21) years of age who operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a BAC concentration below the .08 level. Additionally, any level of alcohol in a driver’s system may help prove that they were driving while impaired and therefore, may be negligent.

    • What if the other driver left the accident scene without stopping?

      Try to write down the license plate of the other vehicle. With that information we can attempt to track down the vehicle’s owner and obtain the insurance information on that vehicle. If we can get the insurance information, then the claim will proceed like any other type of motor vehicle accident claim.However, if it is not possible to track down the other driver’s information then we have to look at the client’s insurance coverage to see if they are covered by uninsured motorist coverage. If the client does not have uninsured motorist coverage it can be somewhat difficult to obtain any recovery for the client.

    • Why should I hire an attorney?

      Potential defendants are usually covered by insurance. The insurance companies are notified immediately when an accident occurs, and they usually hire attorneys and expert witnesses to investigate the claim. It is important that witnesses be interviewed as soon as possible and evidence be preserved. Witnesses will often be more difficult to locate or will have a poor memory if they are interviewed much later after the accident has occurred. Evidence such as machinery parts or skid marks on the highway will disappear unless preserved quickly. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who will contact you and try to be friendly. You should not trust the statements that insurance adjusters make to you. They are not working for you and will sometimes make misleading statements in an effort to trick you into resolving your case. Insurance adjusters also might record your conversations with them and use your statements against you in order to try to save money for the insurance companies.

      The main thing we try to impress upon people is that it’s never too early to talk to an attorney, and it’s always too late. By that we mean that speaking with an attorney very soon after a crash or other accident in no way will harm you. Along the same lines, the longer you try to handle a claim on your own or delay hiring competent counsel, irreparable damage can be done in the form of recorded statements given to the insurance companies and evidence not being preserved. There is no risk or fee for speaking with an attorney and arranging an initial consultation.