Drunk drivers are a public safety threat to every member of the Dallas community that uses our roadways.
No one is safe from a drunk driver when they are on the road. Drunk drivers are unpredictable, dangerous, and reckless.
If You Are a Victim of a Drunk Driver, Contact Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers
When you are a drunk driving accident victim, your life can turn upside down in just a few terrifying moments on the road. Another driver’s unfortunate choices and negligence can cause you painful injuries and unexpected expenses and losses.
Our legal team at Steward J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers wants to help the survivors of Dallas drunk driving accidents get the compensation they deserve when they are a victim of a driver under the influence.
What Are the Risks and Dangers of Drunk Driving in Dallas?
An extensive and bustling city like Dallas is home to many residents and visitors that travel along the roadways. Drunk drivers can appear at any time, but there are certain times of the day, events, and city areas where one is more likely to encounter a drunk driver behind the wheel.
Football games and nightlife are popular in and around Dallas. Unfortunately, fun and entertainment are commonly tied to the overconsumption of alcohol. For these reasons, you can be at a higher risk of involvement in a drunk driving accident during the times when these activities are most frequent.
Weekends, holidays, and overnight hours are the most common periods when there is an increase of drunk drivers on the road and a higher chance of a drunk driving accident occurring in Dallas. Alcohol is a common thread amongst many accidents that result in fatalities on the road.
Drunk drivers cause injuries and fatalities to thousands of victims each year along Texas roadways. The NHTSA estimates that nearly 40 percent of traffic fatalities in Texas every year are due to alcohol impairment.
How Does Drinking Affect a Driver’s Capabilities?
Alcohol and driving are a deadly combination. Alcohol gradually impairs the functions and abilities of an individual, and when a person is behind the wheel, the effects can cause destructive accidents involving other vehicles and victims.
People often think of drunk drivers as those who surpass the blood alcohol limits set by the state where a driver is charged with DUI. The reality is that even occasional drinkers that may think they are breaking the laws can still be under the effects of alcohol, which can affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Driving while under the influence affects multiple body functions, which is dangerous when a driver needs to be on alert and always focused on the road. Depending on the individual, any amount of alcohol can cause a drunk driving accident.
The higher the amount of alcohol in the system of an individual, the higher the effects of impairment, but alcohol can affect everyone differently.
If an individual with a low tolerance for alcohol gets behind the wheel of a car, they can still cause an accident and harm others.
- Slower physical reactions – Alcohol can cause a driver’s body to be sluggish and for their reactions to slow significantly. A driver cannot react as quickly to sudden obstacles in the road or hazards. Stopping, changing lanes, or maneuvering out of the way is a slower process when alcohol is in a motor vehicle driver’s system. When seconds can mean the difference between a collision and a near accident, these slower reactions increase the likelihood the driver will cause an accident.
- Delay in decision-making – Beyond the physical delays, a driver with alcohol in their system will also delay their ability to make decisions. When there is congestion on the roadways, the series of events leading to an accident will happen instantly. A driver’s ability to make quick decisions can help them avoid an accident. Still, when their decision-making ability is slower or impaired, there is a higher risk a collision will occur.
- Impact on senses – To drive safely, a driver must see and hear what is happening around them. Alcohol causes impairments to an individual’s senses. Blurry vision is a common symptom of drunkenness. Surprisingly, hearing is also at risk when an individual is under the influence. While a person is still likely to hear, they will have a slower time processing what they hear, which can put them and others on the roadways near them in danger.
- Lack of impulse control – Alcohol affects the speed of the decision-making ability of a driver and the soundness of those decisions. Alcohol can inhibit an individual’s ability to control their impulses or judgment. This can make a driver make reckless decisions or engage in dangerous behaviors such as speeding or racing on the roads.
- Loss of focus – Driving requires a combination of actions from sight to a driver’s ability to steer, brake, and identify traffic signals and dangers on the road. This requires a driver to focus and concentrate on engaging in these skills successfully. Alcohol disrupts a driver’s ability to maintain focus and concentration. Any lapse in focus or taking their eyes off the road, even for a matter of seconds, can cause a severe accident.
- Drowsiness – Alcohol is a depressive substance in that it will slow the body’s functions and ability as a whole, which in turn can make a person feel very tired. Sleepiness and drowsiness are common after a person indulges in alcohol. Even just one drink can influence a person’s alertness, especially when in combination with lack of sleep, stress, and other factors. A drunk driver who falls asleep behind the wheel is sure to cause severe dangers on the road, ranging from losing control of their vehicle or a head-on collision with another driver.
What Are the Most Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents?
A drunk driver can cause many types of accidents. Depending on the conditions on the road, the traffic, and the layout of the street, many factors can influence the accident that a drunk driver can cause.
Other factors that can impact how a drunk driving accident will unfold are the driver’s blood alcohol levels and whether they lose control of their vehicle.
While any accident can be deadly, the location of impact on a vehicle can affect each driver and passenger victim differently in an accident and make them susceptible to different types of injuries.
- Rear-end crash – These crashes can catch a vehicle’s occupants by surprise and most commonly occur at red lights, stops, or in heavy traffic or congestion.
- Head-on collision – Drunk drivers can have difficulties maintaining their vehicles within their lane or remaining alert and awake. Head-on collisions are common when a drunk driver is behind the wheel and are also the most common cause of fatalities by drunk drivers.
- Sideswipe – Drifting from their lane and into nearby vehicles is possible when a drunk driver is on the road.
- Accident with a pedestrian or bicyclist – It is not just other motorists at risk when drunk drivers are on the road. Bicyclists, pedestrians, or other bystanders on nearby sidewalks or areas near the road are at risk of injury or death if a drunk driver is near. Drunk drivers can skip the curb, crash into buildings, people or objects by losing control of their vehicle or falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Traveling in the wrong direction on the road – Drunk drivers can fail to follow traffic signs and signals, leading them to make wrong turns and end up in the opposite driving direction as the traffic flow. This is a perilous situation that is likely to end with fatal consequences.
How to Prove Fault in a Drunk Driving Accident?
You may think that driving under the influence makes the decision of fault in a traffic accident easy. However, that is not always the case.
Texas does not change the requirements for proof of fault when a driver is under the influence of alcohol. While alcohol use is a solid piece of evidence that can influence a fault determination by an insurer or court, it is not conclusive. This is why it is always important to seek representation by a Dallas drunk driving attorney if you are the victim of a DUI accident.
An attorney can help you build your case against the defendant to prove they are the cause of the accident and your injuries due to their negligence and alcohol use. Under Texas law, the victim of an accident must show that all elements of negligence are present in the case to be eligible for compensation for your damages.
While driving under the influence is not a guarantee that fault will fall on the other party, if the drunk driver is held at fault for the accident, you may be eligible for additional damages in your case. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases. However, in certain drunk driving accidents, it may be appropriate to seek these damages against the party responsible.
What are the Most Common Injuries in a Drunk Driving Crash?
Drunk drivers can cause frightening motor vehicle accidents. In some cases, there can be multiple victims, and the type of accident that occurs can impact the type and severity of injuries.
Car crashes due to alcohol impairment can be devastating to victims, with a high chance of a fatality or serious injuries. Unfortunately, many drunk driving accidents happen along interstates and highways. This means higher speeds and more catastrophic wrecks resulting in severe injury or fatalities of the victims involved.
Injuries to victims of a drunk driver might include:
- Head injuries, including TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries)
- Back and neck injuries, including damage to the spinal cord
- Cuts and severe lacerations
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Amputation or the loss of a limb
What Compensation Can You Seek if You Are the Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident?
The damages available to a drunk driving victim will depend on the severity of your injuries and the losses you sustain. It may not always be clear how much your damages will be after an accident. Injuries can take time to heal, and the impact of the injuries on your life may not yet be fully clear.
To know just how compensation to pursue after an accident, you need a lawyer with an in-depth understanding of your injuries and how your injuries will affect you and your ability to function and fulfill your needs and duties, such as caring for your family, your responsibilities, and work. A drunk driving lawyer will help you consider each category of damages in your case and estimate the damages based on evidence of your injuries and experts’ opinions on the matter.
Damages for a drunk driving accident victim in Dallas can include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income and potential future income
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Property damage
- Wrongful death compensation in cases where a loved one dies
- In egregious cases of drunk driving, punitive damages may be possible if the case goes to trial
When Should You Contact a Dallas Drunk Driving Lawyer After an Accident?
If you are in a drunk driving collision, you will likely need to visit an ER for emergency care and/or a medical evaluation to look for any serious injuries. Your first thoughts and worries will revolve around your health and your recovery.
As soon as you physically can, contact a Dallas drunk driving lawyer at Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers. Do not contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company or discuss the accident with another party or an insurance representative. Limit all communications regarding the accident or your injuries and refer all inquiries to your attorney.
Each move you make and conversations you have after a drunk driving accident can be evidence in your case. Protect your rights and your interests after an accident with the guidance of our knowledgeable drunk driving attorneys.
The attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers are nationally recognized motor vehicle accident lawyers who have protected the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Dallas or anywhere else, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
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