With a population of 5.1 million people in a metropolitan area where the main mode of transportation is driving, Atlanta is a city where we see a lot of car accidents, including drunk driving accidents. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are still common, even with the increased use of rideshare services. Drunk driving accidents are not the same as any automobile wreck; they can be extremely dangerous and cause catastrophic injuries.
In this blog post, we will discuss how victims of drunk driving accidents in Georgia can recover compensation for their injuries.
Drunk Driving Accidents
In addition to being entitled to compensation for their injuries, Georgia victims of drunk driving motor vehicle accidents may seek what are known as “punitive damages” in Georgia. “Punitive” means “intended as punishment,” and a victim of a drunk driving accident is allowed to ask for monetary compensation designed to punish a drunk driver who causes an accident.
How To Prove A Drunk Driving Accident Case
A drunk driving accident claim still requires the victim to prove the following elements of law in order to obtain compensation under Georgia law:
- Duty: This requires showing that the at-fault drunk driver has a duty to act safely while driving on the road. All Georgia drivers have a duty to drive safely on the road.
- Negligence: This requires a showing that the at-fault driver acted “negligently” or carelessly. Violating the rules of the road and drunk driving laws is considered negligent. Where a drunk driver receives a ticket and/or is arrested and convicted of driving drunk, that is sufficient to prove negligence.
- Liability/Causation: This requires showing that the negligent or careless act (such as driving while intoxicated or following too closely or speeding) caused the car accident and the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: This requires a showing that the victim was injured, incurred medical bills, lost wages, and other losses as a result of the wreck.
- Punitive Damages: This requires a showing that the drunk driver acted purposefully, recklessly, had no regard for the safety of others, and was indifferent to the consequences of driving drunk. The amount of punitive damages depends on what a jury thinks. There’s no magic formula but there is a cap on the amount of punitive damages that can be recovered in Georgia–$250,000.00.
The Value of a Drunk Driving Case
Like any case, the amount of compensation a victim of a drunk driving accident can
recover depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. Some factors that influence value include:
- The severity of the victim’s injuries and the amount of the victim’s medical bills.
- The egregiousness of the drunk driver’s actions. Is it the driver’s first DUI or is it the driver’s third DUI? Does the drunk driver only drive under the influence or did the driver also leave the scene of the accident? Does the drunk driver lie to the police officer on the scene? Is the drunk driver also on his or her cell phone at the time of the crash?
- How impaired is the driver? Is the driver’s blood alcohol concentration on the lower or higher end?
- The severity of the wreck. Is the crash a fender bender or is it a serious head-on collision?
Proving drunk driving cases the expertise of an attorney who is familiar with Georgia law and how to investigate and build a case. The initial investigation of these types of cases is important to preserving evidence for trial. A good personal injury lawyer knows what steps to take to investigate the case, talk to witnesses, obtain evidence, and get a case in a strong position to settle or to take to trial.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorney at Davis Injury Firm today to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact the skilled team at Davis Injury Firm right away by calling (404) 647-0722. If you prefer, you can also fill out the online contact form, and someone from our team will reach out to you right away.