Did you get hurt in a drunk driving or drugged driving accident? Do you need an experienced Houston personal injury attorney to help you pursue compensation from the negligent driver? If so, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury and speak with one of our Houston drunk or impaired driving car accident lawyers.
Drunk drivers put everyone around them at risk of harm. Alcohol and drug impairment is a serious problem that can result in severe injuries and fatalities. When an impaired driver injures you, you can hold them accountable for their actions by filing a lawsuit against them.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury can assist you with your drunk driving accident case and ensure you get the justice you deserve. We know you suffered something traumatic. When you hire us, we’ll work efficiently to resolve your case so you can move forward and put this horrible experience behind you.
Drunk and Impaired Driving Statistics
Impaired driving is illegal. When someone gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, they have a slower reaction time, blurry vision, poor decision-making skills, and the inability to focus on the road ahead. When they collide with another vehicle, the likely result is physical harm to other drivers.
One person dies every 50 minutes in the United States from an alcohol-related car accident. Around 16% of motor vehicle crashes involve impairment by legal or illegal drugs.
According to surveys performed by The Zebra:
- 35.8% believe millennials are most likely to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, followed by 31% of Generation Z
- 18.9% of people surveyed said they drove feeling buzzed and 2.1% admitted to driving while high on drugs
- 37.4% of college students said they were in good condition to drive after consuming 3 or 4 alcoholic beverages
- 20.1% of people in the survey between the ages of 35 and 44 said they know someone who died in a drunk driving crash
- 50.2% of individuals between 18 and 24 years old said they always use a rideshare service after a night of drinking, but 55.9% of people of all ages admitted to never using rideshare
What Is Impaired Driving?
Impaired driving occurs when someone operates a motor vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol. It’s illegal to drive when there’s anything in your system that could impair your judgment.
Alcohol isn’t the only substance that can inhibit a person’s ability to drive their car safely. Drugs, even simple over the counter medications, can also affect someone physically and mentally.
Impaired driving may include the following substances:
- Prescription drugs
- Illegal narcotics/controlled substances
- Over the counter medicines
When someone drinks alcohol or takes drugs before getting into their vehicle, they could experience any of the following:
- Reduced reaction time
- Blurry vision
- Decreased judgment
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Drowsiness or falling asleep at the wheel
- Reduced coordination
- Decreased depth perception
How to Handle a Drunk or Impaired Driving Car Crash
Whether the other person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you deserve financial compensation for the injuries you sustained in a drunk or impaired driving car crash. You can file an insurance claim with their liability auto insurance company and seek the maximum settlement available.
All drivers in Texas have a legal responsibility to hold liability insurance with coverage for bodily injury and property damage. The fault system automatically gives the injured victim the right to recover compensation from the driver who caused the accident.
When you file a liability insurance claim, you can pursue a financial award covering your economic and non-economic damages, which are losses related to an accident and injury. They include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement or disability
- Car repair or replacement
- Rental vehicle
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
Even though it’s the law for drivers to have liability insurance, many drive around without it. If you suffer an injury in a drunk or impaired driving accident and discover the negligent driver doesn’t hold insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company.
UM, uninsured/underinsured motorist, insurance covers the victim of a car crash when the at-fault driver doesn’t carry liability insurance, or their policy doesn’t have enough coverage for all the damages. UM can provide reimbursement of the following damages:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
PIP is another option for seeking compensation. Although, it doesn’t reimburse you for your damages when you settle your case. Instead, it works like health insurance by paying for your medical treatment up front. You can continue to submit your medical bills to the PIP adjuster until the coverage runs out. Most people choose $10,000 in coverage for PIP. The minimum is $2,500.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury Can Help You Collect Evidence
It’s not enough to say the other driver was drunk, and that’s why you got hurt in the car crash. You need to have sufficient evidence that proves it. Insurance companies look for any reason to deny a claim or offer a low settlement amount. If your injury is something you suffered before the accident, they could say that you have a preexisting condition and that the crash didn’t cause it.
When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we will thoroughly investigate what happened and find evidence that shows you deserve compensation from the drunk or impaired driver. Some of the evidence we’ll collect includes:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- The other driver’s BAC and toxicology reports
- Evidence from any ongoing criminal case against the negligent motorist
- Video surveillance footage
- Photos of the accident scene
- Copies of your medical records
- Repair estimates and bills for all vehicles involved
We know the procedures we need to follow to ensure the case we build for you is solid. Our extensive resources allow us to locate crucial evidence that can back up your claim and prove that the other driver’s impairment was the reason you suffered an injury. We will fight hard to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Texas Statute of Limitations for Drunk and Impaired Driving Cases
Whether the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can file a lawsuit against them. If you believe an insurance claim isn’t enough, you can take them to court to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of punishment against a liable party for their careless actions.
To sue the impaired driver for compensation, you have to follow a two-year statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a deadline for bringing legal action against another party. If you get hurt, you will only have two years from the crash to seek a financial award from the other motorist for their negligent behavior.
How Modified Comparative Negligence Affects the Value of a Case
Although Texas follows the standard fault system that automatically allows injured victims to hold the at-fault driver financially responsible, there’s another rule that could decrease the amount of compensation available.
The modified comparative negligence rule reduces the monetary award by the percentage of blame the victim shares. Let’s say the drunk driver was 90% at fault for the crash, but a jury decides you share 10% of the blame because you were texting behind the wheel. If you incurred a total of $100,000 in damages, the maximum compensation you could pursue is $90,000. Your 10% fault would get subtracted from your $100,000 in damages.
Following are answers to common questions we receive about drunk and impaired driving accidents that might be helpful.
How much does a Houston drunk or impaired driving car accident lawyer cost?
Gibson Hill Personal Injury doesn’t charge clients upfront for legal services. When you hire us, you won’t owe us any fees or costs initially. We don’t expect payment unless we recover an insurance settlement or financial award from a lawsuit. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.
Do I have to pay for a consultation?
No. We offer a free initial consultation to prospective clients. If you suffered an injury in a car accident caused by an impaired driver, we’ll meet with you for free to discuss the details. We’ll provide legal advice and help you decide the best option for recovering compensation.
How will you determine the value of my case?
Economic damages come with a billing statement, receipt, or invoice. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, don’t. The following factors could contribute to the appropriate amount of compensation for an accident victim:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Body part affected and how it impacts daily life
- Length of medically necessary treatment
- Diagnosis of a permanent disability
- Visible disfigurement or scarring from the injury
- Total economic damages
- Insurance coverages available
- Relevant evidence collected
- The other driver’s BAC level, drug testing, and impaired driving history
Choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury to Advocate for Your Rights
Our Houston car accident attorneys will dedicate our time and attention to fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve. A drunk or impaired driving accident is a traumatic experience. The stress of recovering from injuries and trying to handle a legal case is overwhelming. When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we’ll handle everything for you. You should only focus on attending doctor appointments and healing.