Even though drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third over the last three decades, drunk driving still claims more than 10,000 lives every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With ready access to rideshare programs and a public that is well-educated on the dangers of drinking and driving, there is no excuse for drunk driving.
When a driver cares more about their next drink and injures you or callously takes the life of your loved one, you may have the right to receive compensation for the damages that you sustained. If you have questions about your claim, a drunk driving accident lawyer in Savannah from our team may be able to help.
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The Effects Alcohol Can Have on Driving
Alcohol impairs a person’s driving ability. The results are more pronounced the higher a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, but there are still many accidents that involve drivers with lower BACs. According to the NHTSA, some of the possible effects of alcohol consumption on the body include:
- Impaired thinking and reasoning
- Lowered inhibitions and decline in judgment
- Impaired muscle coordination and ability to steer the wheel
- Lowered visual functions and loss of eye focus
- Decline in the ability to perform multiple tasks at the same time
- Decreased alertness, greater relaxation, and greater likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel
- Altered mood that can increase aggressive driving behaviors
- Lack of concentration and reaction time
- Greater difficulty discerning hazards and reduced ability to respond to emergencies
- Short-term memory loss
- Reduced ability to stay in the same lane and brake appropriately
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Georgia’s Drunk Driving Laws
While Georgia’s legal limit of alcohol is set at a BAC of 0.08% like most other states, a person can be in violation of Georgia Code § 40-6-391 if they operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the point that it makes them less safe to drive. Georgia’s impaired driving law also criminalizes operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapors that make it unsafe to drive a vehicle.
Georgia Code § 51-1-40 allows victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers to hold the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol liable in two situations:
- The establishment served alcohol to a person under 21 and knew the person was underage and would soon be driving; or
- The establishment served alcohol to a person who was noticeably intoxicated, knowing the person would soon be driving.
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Potential Damages in Drunk Driving Accident Cases
Georgia personal injury law allows victims of motor vehicle accidents to seek compensation for the full extent of damages that they have suffered. Damages are different and determined on a case-by-case basis. Common damages that people suffer in drunk driving accident cases include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses for past and future medical treatment
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If you lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of services
- Loss of support
- Loss of consortium
A victim in a drunk driving accident in Georgia may also be able to recover punitive damages. While these damages are rarely awarded because they are reserved for particularly egregious behavior that demonstrates a lack of regard for human life and the safety of others, drunk driving cases sometimes warrant these damages.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, a Savannah drunk driving accident lawyer from our team may be able to help identify all potential legal claims and liable parties. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
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Our Savannah Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, our lawyers are standing by and ready to help. Our advocates care about protecting your rights and holding drunk drivers responsible for their reprehensible behavior. We can take all steps necessary to protect your claim, including:
- Ensuring that law enforcement fully investigates the accident scene and tests the at-fault driver for drugs or alcohol
- Gathering evidence to prove that the accident was likely caused by an impaired driver
- Reviewing your medical records and ensuring that they show a link between the accident and your injuries
- Requesting employment records, medical bills, vehicle repair bills, and other bills and receipts to fully account for your damages
- Working with experts when necessary to establish damages or causation
- Exploring all legal theories and potentially liable parties
- Handling communication with the insurance company
Insurance companies may try to cover up or deny a situation in which an accident was caused by a drunk driver whom they insure. This is why it is important to have a lawyer on your side who will advocate for your rights. Having a lawyer can also prevent you from accepting a lowball settlement from the insurance company when they are trying to quickly dispose of a claim before you fully understand the real extent of your damages.
Our lawyers will negotiate with the insurance company and fight for your fair compensation. Contact our team today to retain our services and to learn about how we can assist you throughout the claims process.
Contact Us Today for Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk driver, a Savannah drunk driving accident lawyer from our team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help. We will investigate your claim and explore all paths for financial recovery. You can rest assured that your case is in capable hands while you focus on your health.
We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay us no attorney fees unless we are able to secure compensation on your behalf. Call us today for your free case review.
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