Drunk Driving Accidents
When people drink and get behind the wheel, they put themselves and others at risk. While drunk driving laws are put into place to protect the public, the sad reality is that these laws are often ignored. If your loved one or you were struck by a drunk driver on I-20 or a smaller road, it is important to consult an Abilene drunk driving accident lawyer. At the Galbreath Law Firm, we are committed to making sure that we do everything in our power to help you secure the compensation that you deserve for your harm. We understand that this is a stressful time in your life, and we will handle your claim with diligence and care.Bringing a Claim Based on a Drunk Driving Accident
Unfortunately, drunk driving is a major problem in Texas and throughout the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 28 people in the United States die each day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This translates to one death every 53 minutes. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT), 3,773 people died in traffic accidents across Texas in 2016, out of which 26 percent were caused by drunk driving. Sadly, TDOT estimates that someone is hurt or killed in Texas by a drunk driver every 20 minutes.
Victims of drunk driving accidents may be able to recover damages through a civil claim against the at-fault driver based on negligence. Negligence occurs when a driver causes injuries or death by failing to use the level of care and caution that a reasonably prudent driver would have used under the same or similar circumstances. Meeting the legal definition of negligence requires a drunk driving accident attorney in Abilene to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant violated the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by drinking and getting behind the wheel;
- The defendant’s drunk driving was a direct and proximate cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered compensable injuries or property damage, either of which is known as damages.
If negligence is established, a plaintiff can recover a variety of damages under Texas law. Examples of these damages include but are not limited to medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other losses stemming from the accident. Each case is unique, and the exact amount of compensation that a person will be entitled to obtain will vary based on the specifics of the case.
Surviving family members of someone who has been killed in a drunk driving accident may be able to recover damages with the assistance of an Abilene drunk driving accident attorney through a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, the compensation can help you deal with the bills that often pile up after such an incident. Wrongful death damages typically include medical bills incurred prior to the death, pain and suffering, funeral and burial costs, loss of future earning capacity, loss of consortium, and more.
Drunk driving lawsuits, like distracted driving lawsuits or other car accident cases, must be filed within a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, both personal injury claims and wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Failing to file within this time frame could mean being barred from filing a claim and recovering compensation altogether.Contact a Knowledgeable Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Abilene
Despite the data and the awareness campaigns surrounding the dangers of drunk driving, it continues to be rampant in Texas and across the country. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by a drunk driver who failed to yield or otherwise failed to act safely, we can help. At the Galbreath Law Firm, we can examine your case and help you figure out your next steps. We represent victims in Abilene, Breckinridge, Brownwood, Cisco, Eastland, Clyde, Baird, Sweetwater, Snyder, Colorado City, Rosco, Anso, Albany, Haskel, Hamlin, Coleman, and Ranger Hill. To learn more, call us at 325-437-7000 or contact us online. In case of emergency, call 325-829-8000.