Hit by a Drunk Driver in Austin… Know Your Rights
Drunk driving is a national problem, but it’s even bigger in Texas. Nationally, 1.9 percent of people drive after having too much to drink. That number climbs to 2.1 percent in Texas, according to the CDC. If you’ve been injured due to the carelessness of a drunk driver, you might be eligible to collect damages. Learn more about your legal rights after an accident.
Do You Need to File a Claim If the State Charges the Driver?
The state can press charges against the drunk driver. If the court finds the driver, they might be subject to jail time, fines, and other penalties. However, you likely won’t receive compensation. Instead, you’ll have to file a civil claim against the driver. Your Austin, TX, car accident lawyer will collect evidence and present a case to help you recover damages. Because of the nature of drunk driving, you might even be eligible to collect punitive damages.
What If the Driver Wasn’t Arrested?
You can still pursue a civil case even if the driver wasn’t arrested and charged. Your attorney will gather evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault and caused damages. Your attorney will then help you collect damages to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
What If the Driver’s BAC Was Under 0.08 Percent?
Drivers are legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent higher. However, a court can still convict someone of a DWI with a lower BAC. The police will charge the person with a DWI if they are impaired, even if their BAC is within the legal limits.
How Long Do You Have to Sue?
It’s a good idea to take swift action whenever you have a personal injury claim. However, you have a full two years from the time of the accident to file a claim. If you wait longer than two years, you won’t be eligible to collect damages.
How Do You Prove Fault?
There are generally four elements involved in proving fault in a personal injury case. You usually have to prove the person had a duty of care, breached it, and caused the accident. You also have to prove that you suffered damages. However, there are only two elements involved in a drunk driving case. You must prove that you suffered damages due to the defendant’s actions.
Get Help with Your Austin, TX, Drunk Driving Claim
Even though drunk driving accidents don’t have the same burden of proof as other personal injury claims do, it’s still wise to retain counsel. Your Austin, TX, personal injury attorney, Steven C. Lee, will research your case and act as your advocate while pursuing damages. Steven C. Lee & Associates will fight to collect damages directly from the insurance company without going to court. However, if your case must go to court, Steven C. Lee has over 30 years of legal defense experience. His team of legal professionals have won millions of dollars for their clients.
Steven C. Lee is a personal injury lawyer in Austin, Texas specializing in truck accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, drunk driving accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction site accidents and wrongful death cases.
Steven C. Lee is a member of the Texas Bar, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Texas Trial Lawyers Association and a member of the BBB in Austin, TX. You can view Steven C. Lee’s LinkedIn Profile here.