Drunk driving accidents in Sandy Springs are especially tragic, since they could easily be avoided by someone not getting behind the wheel while under the influence. For victims of a DUI accident, the aftermath can be painful, confusing, and frustrating. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a drunk driver, our Sandy Springs drunk driving accident lawyers can help you.
For over 20 years, our attorneys have been dedicated to helping drunk driving accident victims recover for what they suffered. We know how to win cases, and we’re always on your side. Plus, working with us is risk-free: you don’t pay unless we get you money. For a FREE consultation call with one of our experienced lawyers, call us today at 404-341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get started.
What counts as drunk driving in Sandy Springs?
In the state of Georgia, driving under the influence (DUI) applies to any substance that impairs a person’s ability to drive and follow the rules of the road. If someone’s blood alcohol level is at or above .08%, they’re considered to legally be driving drunk. But other substances that count a DUI can be:
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter drugs that can cause drowsiness, such as cough syrup
- Illegal drugs like heroin, crack, and cocaine
The substance does not have to be illegal to end in a DUI case. And even driving while “buzzed” is still drunk driving—since someone’s driving abilities can be affected, and an accident can occur, any time they consume alcohol. In civil cases, someone doesn’t have to have a blood alcohol count of .08% to be considered a drunk driver.
Is the drunk driver always “at fault” for an accident?
In most situations, the driver is the party at fault for the DUI accident. They’re usually the first person considered following an accident—and for good reason. They decided to get in their car and drive on the road with other people while they were intoxicated on a substance. No matter the other circumstances, DUI is a reckless and negligence choice, and it’s recognized as so by the law.
However, there are cases where the driver isn’t at fault for the accident. Other parties who can sometimes be at fault include:
- Restaurants or bars. Under Georgia’s Dram Shop Act, restaurants, bars, and establishments that sell and serve alcohol are liable for customers who are over-served. If they continue to serve a customer alcohol and let them get in a car after it’s clear they are visibly drunk, the establishment can be legally liable for a drunk driving accident that results with that person.
- Someone giving alcohol to minors. If the drunk driver was under the age of 21 and under the influence when the accident happened, the business or person who gave that minor the alcohol can sometimes be legally responsible for your damages—since the accident probably wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t provided alcohol for the minor. And Georgia has a “zero-tolerance” policy when it comes to people under 21: If they have any amount of alcohol in their system, it’s against the law and could lead to a criminal conviction.
- Party hosts. Just like restaurants and bars can be liable for people who get drunk at their establishment and drive, hosts of parties can be responsible for a drunk driving accident. If the host provides alcohol at their party and then allows a guest to leave their house drunk, the host can hold liability for injuries you suffered in the DUI accident.
When it comes to determining who is at fault in a drunk driving accident, the location of the driver just before the accident is important information.
It’s also important to know that if a driver is proven to have been driving drunk, that doesn’t automatically put them at fault for a car accident. A good drunk driving accident lawyer will still need to help you prove the driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries.
Can I still recover money if I was in the car with the drunk driver?
If you were a passenger (either in the drunk driver’s car or the car of someone else involved in the accident) and were injured in the accident, you are still entitled to financial recovery for your injuries. This is because, as a passenger, you couldn’t have been at fault for the accident happening—whether you knew the drunk driver was intoxicated or not.
However, there can be challenges when seeking damages in this situation. Although it is the law for you to be entitled to money, the courts and insurance companies may treat you differently as a passenger. For example:
If you knew the driver was drunk, the insurer may not offer you as much money.
The court may not order punitive damages, meaning you may receive a smaller total amount.
That being said, if you were a passenger in the accident, you were still a victim and you still deserve financial recovery. Working with the right drunk driving accident lawyer can help you pursue money to cover what you deserve following the accident.
How much money can I recover in a drunk driving accident claim in Sandy Springs?
The amount you can recover depends on your damages. If you were hit by a drunk driver and were injured in the accident, you can probably recover for:
- All your medical costs
- Property damages to your vehicle
- Money you lost for time taken off work (or less of earning potential)
- Punitive damages
- Sometimes pain and suffering or other personal losses
If you lost a loved one in a DUI accident, the family of the victim may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical costs and funeral expenses
- Money for loss of income due to losing a loved one who worked
- Punitive damages meant to punish the driver for negligence behavior
- Pain and suffering
Talk to a Sandy Springs Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Drunk driving accidents can lead to a long road of physical and emotional consequences for those involved. If you or someone you loved was hurt in a drunk driving accident, our attorneys are here to help. Let us give you a FREE consultation to get started. Call us at 404-341-6555 or fill out the form to the right today.