Drunk drivers are unfortunately a familiar sight along Texas roads and highways. Drunk and impaired driving are illegal in our state, but that does not stop thousands of drivers from making the terrible decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence. In the United States, 28 people are killed in a drunk driving related accident every day. That means one person loses their life in a completely preventable accident every 52 minutes. Being hit by a drunk driver can be devastating. Many drivers and passengers traveling on the roads lose their lives, which no family should have to go through. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driving accident, we are here to help. Drunk driving victims face expensive bills, hospitalizations, lost wages, wrecked vehicles, and devastating financial loss. It is hard to focus on recovering from the accident when you have to worry about insurance companies and making sure the offending driver is held accountable for their actions. Contact the drunk driving accident team at Ezequiel Reyna, Jr Law Office today for a free case consultation.
Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Being in a car accident, no matter how minor, can cause physical harm, but being hit by a drunk driver almost always causes serious injuries. Drunk drivers do not have full control of their senses and are unable to react quickly to changes on the road ahead. They may drive at dangerous speeds or fail to brake in time before rear-ending the car in front of them. Many drunk drivers run red lights and stop signs because they are unable to pay attention and thus hit another vehicle at full speed. These high-speed collisions cause a strong impact that can quickly lead to serious injuries and death.
Some common injuries seen in drunk driving accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, lacerations, and permanent scarring
- Slipped discs / herniated discs
- Soft tissue damage including bruising and contusions
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Body disfigurement
- Body part dismemberment
- Partial or total disability
- Emotional distress and PTSD
- Wrongful death
Many of these injuries may not appear immediately after the drunk driving hits you. With your body in shock from the accident, injuries can remain hidden until a couple of days to a week later. Any and all injuries matter to our team as we want to make sure you are able to fully recover from the traumatic experience of being hit by a drunk driver. Seek medical attention immediately after a car accident even if you do not feel as though you are injured.
What to Do if You Have Been Hit by a Drunk Driver
The first step to take after being hit by a drunk driver is to seek immediate medical attention. If emergency services have not been called and you are physically able to do so, call 911 and let them know about the motor vehicle accident. Emergency medical services and a police officer should arrive shortly. If you are unable to move, wait for emergency services to arrive to help you. If your injuries do not appear immediately serious and you are able to get out of your car and walk around the scene of the accident safely, do your best to obtain identifying information from the driver that hit you. You will want to ask for their driver’s license and insurance card. If they are unable to give you this information or they are displaying unsafe behavior, wait until the police arrive to obtain it.
When you speak to the police, make sure to let them know if you noticed any odd behavior of the vehicle that hit you. If the driver smelled of any intoxicating substances when you attempted to exchange information or if they were acting intoxicated, let the police officer know. The police must be made aware that the at-fault driver who caused the auto accident was driving while drunk. If there were any witnesses to the crash, obtaining their contact information will be very useful to your case. Politely ask if they saw what happened and exchange contact information, including name, phone number, and email address. While the accident is still fresh in your mind, try to write down all the details you can remember. You can record a video or voice memo on your phone to preserve your thoughts of what happened. Do your best to safely take pictures and video of the scene of the accident, including the positions of the cars involved, road signs nearby, traffic lights, etc.
If the drunk driver who hit you attempts to flee the scene, do not chase after them. Try to remember as many details about the vehicle and person driving it that you can. This includes the color of the car, license plate number if you saw it, if the driver was male or female, what the make and model of the vehicle is, and any stickers or special features of the vehicle that could help with identification. Tell the police this information as quickly as possible to give them the best chance of catching the driver who hit you.
Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuits
Texas takes drunk driving incredibly seriously and drivers who are caught driving under the influence may face criminal charges. Those charges, however, do not help injury victims recover financial damages. In order to ensure you are compensated for injuries you sustained and the damage to your vehicle, you will need to contact an experienced drunk driving accident attorney who will make sure the responsible party pays for your damages. The purpose of a civil drunk driving lawsuit is to establish a fair amount of financial compensation to help pay for the costs you will incur from your recovery as well as any lost wages and trauma you have experienced.
Common damages awarded:
- Medical Costs: Being treated for injuries suffered in a drunk driving accident can be incredibly expensive. Medical costs may include emergency room visits, ambulance rides, doctor visits, prescription medications, surgery, physical therapy, medical equipment, and more. There may be ongoing medical care required and we will ensure the financial compensation we ask for will cover the cost of that treatment.
- Lost Wages: While you are recovering from a drunk driving accident, you may have to miss work which means losing pay during that time period. If you have lost financial support for your family due to lost wages, we will sue to recover the amount you would have been paid. We will also sue for any negative impact your absence at work has caused you, including being passed over for promotion, having your hours cut, or even being fired.
- Pain and Suffering: On top of the physical injuries sustained during a drunk driving accident, you may also experience emotional trauma. Post traumatic stress disorder is experienced by many victims of drunk driving accidents and can leave you feeling scared to drive, anxious about the future, and depressed. We will make sure to include your pain and suffering when seeking financial compensation on your behalf.
South Texas Car Accident Lawyers
Drunk driving accidents can be extremely stressful and can cause serious injuries or even death. Taking on insurance companies and the drunk driver who hit you is a stressful process that you should not have to do alone. By selecting experienced legal representation, you won’t have to worry about your next steps because you will have the guidance and support of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact the Weslaco car accident lawyers at Ezequiel Reyna, Jr. Law Office today to discuss your case. There is limited time to act following a Texas car accident, so don’t delay.