Were you injured in an accident caused by a drunk truck driver? If so, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury, and our Austin drunk driver accident lawyers will help you seek justice. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around thirty motorists die in an alcohol-related crash each day. Despite constant warnings of the dangerous effects of impaired driving, people continue to do it.
If a drunk driver caused your injuries, you deserve financial compensation from them. Whether you pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit, we’ll guide you through the legal process every step of the way. You won’t have to go through this traumatic experience alone. Our team of Austin drunk driver accident lawyers will advise you on your options, handle all the legal legwork on your behalf, and fight vigorously to get you the maximum compensation available.
Our compassionate attorneys will work tirelessly to secure the financial reward you deserve, and we’ll provide you with personalized attention throughout your case. We’re proud that our strong work ethic, high standards, and successful outcomes have earned us the respect and praise of our past clients, and we’ll leverage all of our experience and resources for your case, as well.
To find out more about our services and how we can assist you with your drunk driving truck accident case, call (737) 249-6300 and schedule a free consultation.
You Have Rights After a Drunk Driver Truck Accident
Even when alcohol isn’t involved, the person responsible for a collision becomes financially liable for resulting injuries. When the driver gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, the situation becomes more serious. Truck drivers are supposed to hold liability insurance that covers the expenses of crash victims. If you sustained an injury that required medical treatment, you could file a claim with their liability insurance to collect compensation.
DUI and DWI are crimes in the state of Texas. Even if the at-fault trucker doesn’t get arrested or charged with an offense, you can still pursue a financial award by filing a claim or lawsuit.
If you choose to file a claim, you could receive up to the limit listed on the truck driver’s liability policy. There are limits for bodily injury, which covers expenses related to the injury and limits for property damage, which covers the costs of repairing your vehicle. Your settlement amount will depend on the coverage available, and the extent of your injuries.
If you decide you want to sue the truck driver for their careless actions, that’s your right to do so. You’ll have to collect sufficient evidence that proves they were drunk, and that’s what led to the crash. Driving drunk is extremely negligent, and you deserve compensation for the reckless decision the truck driver made.
Steps to Take If You Get Hurt in an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver
To prove the truck driver was drunk and at fault for the crash, there are crucial steps you should take following your accident to protect your health and your rights. These include:
- Call 911. Drunk driving accidents often result in debilitating injuries and fatalities. If you got hurt, you should wait for law enforcement to arrive at the scene and perform an investigation. They will write up a crash report, and when it’s available, you can request a copy to use as evidence.
- Take pictures. If you can move around, take photos of the accident scene, including damage to your car, the commercial truck, and other vehicles involved. If there’s debris on the road or damage to other objects, such as a street sign, take pictures of that.
- Exchange insurance information. Write down the truck driver’s name and insurance information. You’ll need it to file your claim with the liability insurance company. If your injury prevents you from doing this, you can obtain the trucker’s insurance information from the police report.
- Go to the hospital. You likely sustained injuries from the crash. You should undergo a medical evaluation so your doctor can create a treatment plan. Follow up with doctors they refer you to and continue treating your injuries until they release you or inform you that you reached MMI (maximum medical improvement).
- Hire an Austin drunk driver accident lawyer. Cases like this are complicated. They require crucial evidence, investigation skills, and adhering to strict deadlines. We’ll take care of each step for you to ensure everything gets handled correctly.
Along with following the steps above, you should never do certain things after a drunk driving truck accident. Some actions could result in a denied insurance claim or dismissed lawsuit. If you do or say the wrong thing, you could lose all your rights to compensation from the at-fault truck driver.
- Don’t admit fault for the crash. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule that reduces the compensation an injured victim can receive based on the percentage of blame they share.
- Don’t submit to a recorded statement with the truck driver’s insurance company.
- Don’t sign any forms.
- Don’t agree to a settlement amount before you finish treating with your doctors.
- Don’t speak to the insurance company. Your lawyer will speak to them on your behalf.
- Don’t get rid of evidence, such as personal items damaged in the crash or car parts that broke off your vehicle.
How to Prove Negligence in a Drunk Driving Truck Accident
The legal basis for most cases is the theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when someone fails to exercise a reasonable degree of care to prevent injury to another person. There are elements of negligence you must show existed at the time of the truck accident if you want to hold the drunk driver accountable:
- Duty: The truck driver owed you a duty of care to behave in a way that wouldn’t result in injuries;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty by failing to do something or not doing something;
- Cause in fact: Their breach was, in fact, the cause of your injury;
- Proximate cause: The truck driver should have known that driving drunk would result in harm to another person; and
- Damages: You incurred damages because of the injury you sustained.
What Are Damages?
Everyone knows drunk driving is dangerous. Someone impaired by alcohol has a reduced reaction time, poor decision-making skills, and can fall asleep at the wheel. Getting hurt in this type of crash is a devastating experience. Many people end up with long-term physical and emotional effects. It can cause PTSD and injuries that require ongoing treatment to manage pain and symptoms.
The expenses you incur while trying to recover from your injuries are called economic damages. They are the expenses related to an accident and are supposed to make the victim whole. Economic damages you could pursue compensation for in a claim or lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Rental car
- Out of pocket costs
There are also non-economic damages, which are intangible losses you can’t calculate. They include things like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or psychological trauma
- Loss of household services, companionship, or consortium
- Permanent disability, disfigurement, or impairment
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are supposed to punish the person responsible for another person’s injury. They don’t compensate the victim for their expenses and other losses but come as a financial award that aims to hold the negligent party liable.
You can only receive punitive damages if the truck driver’s actions were malicious, fraudulent, or grossly negligent. Gross negligence is reckless conduct, and the deliberate disregard of another’s safety, rights, and life. Drunk driving is gross negligence, and you could pursue punitive damages from the truck driver.
You Should Hire an Austin Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer to Help You
It’s within your rights to pursue a case without a lawyer. However, it will be a difficult process for you. You should seek legal representation, so you don’t have to worry about investigating the accident or obtaining evidence yourself. When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we’ll take care of every step and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
We have experience and resources to handle the following aspects of a drunk driving truck accident case:
- Complete an investigation
- Gather evidence
- Speak to witnesses to get their statements
- Request copies of your medical records
- Determine liability coverage available
- Obtain details of any criminal case against the truck driver
- Prove negligence
- File an insurance claim or lawsuit
- Submit evidence to the insurance company or civil courts
You Don’t Have to Spend Money for Quality Legal Services
You can meet with one of our Austin drunk driver accident lawyers for a free consultation. We’ll discuss the information related to the crash and the injuries you sustained. We can provide the advice you need to make an informed decision about how to move forward and seek compensation.
We also take cases on contingency. You won’t have to pay us up front to represent you in your case. We won’t expect any legal fees unless we recover compensation. If we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.
Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury If You Were the Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident
We care about our clients. We’ll always treat you with respect and compassion. You can depend on us to work hard for the maximum compensation you deserve. We advocate for our client’s rights and seek justice against negligent parties.
If you got hurt in a drunk driving truck accident, contact our Austin truck accident attorneys by calling (737) 249-6300 or send us a message online.