Alcohol is a substance that decreases brain activity, affecting the thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination needed to operate a vehicle safely. Drunk driving is illegal and also puts everyone on the road at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk driving accidents.
So you might assume that anyone who drives while intoxicated is entirely accountable for any damage caused by accident. However, drunk drivers are not always responsible for the damages when they are involved in a car accident. By reading this article, you will learn from auto accident lawyers Douglasville that a drunk driver isn’t always at fault for a car accident.
Factors That Determine Fault
Establishing fault is the main problem in car accidents. A drunk driver is not always at fault for a car accident, and proving someone was intoxicated doesn’t ensure you win a case. The major cause of the collision may or may not have been their intoxication.
You must demonstrate that the drunk driver made a mistake while operating a vehicle that somehow contributed to the accident to establish a case against them. Under Georgia law, the responsible party covers the costs of the other victim’s damages through a civil lawsuit or insurance claim.
To establish liability, you may need to prove that:
The Drunk Driver Was Negligent
Drunk drivers often engage in many potentially dangerous behaviors, such as; speeding, aggressive driving, ignoring traffic rules, swerving over the road, causing an accident deliberately, and coercing other drivers (road rage) in a way that leads to a collision.
The drunk driver would be responsible for the crash if they engaged in any of these behaviors. The simple act of driving while intoxicated may result in a criminal conviction. Still, without engaging in risky or careless driving actions, the drunk driver may not be held accountable for the accident in a civil action.
The Action of the Drunk Driver Caused or Contributed to the Accident
An intoxicated driver may be careless without actually causing the collision. For instance, suppose the driver abruptly switches lanes while swerving across the road. Then another motorist runs a red light and crashes into the drunk driver. Despite the drunk driver’s illegally changing lanes, the driver who violated traffic rules will be responsible for the collision.
On the other hand, if the drunk driver caused or contributed to the accident through their actions, they may be held entirely or partially responsible for it.
Property Damage or Injuries in the Accident
You must prove that you suffered damages from the intoxicated driver’s negligence to claim them. Different types of damage are possible.
For example, you can make a property damage claim against that driver’s insurance. You can also get compensated fr lost income, medical bills, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, etc.
What Should You Do After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Some of the things you must do after a drunk driving accident are:
Check if other people are injured. Try to get the cars out of the way of the traffic. Alert other drivers to the accident if you cannot move any vehicles or people off the road.
Dial 911 to report the accident to the police to get them to the scene to investigate the crash. An officer can check the presence of alcohol on the other driver.
Obtain the Other Driver’s Contact Information
Obtain the other driver’s insurance information and contact details. You may collect the name and contact information of a witness if present. A witness can help you prove your claim in court.
Document the Drunk Driving Incident
Take pictures of the vehicle and your injury if you were hurt. Pictures can serve as evidence to demonstrate the extent of the harm you experienced. After that, you should visit a hospital to ascertain your injuries. Ensure to keep copies of your medical bills.
Contact a Lawyer
You should seek legal assistance after a drunk driving accident. A lawyer familiar with the procedure will help you seek the compensation you deserve and assist you with all the processes.
Auto Accident Lawyers Douglasville Explains Comparative Fault and Partial Fault in a Georgia Drunk Driving Accident
Usually, one driver is not at fault for car accidents. However, occasionally, the accident may have been caused in part by the partial negligence of several drivers.
Given the problems that come with driving under the influence, such as impaired decision-making, it is possible that the drunk driver caused the crash. For example, they may have crossed lanes or forgotten to use a turn signal. These are all elements that can factor in determining fault or partial fault.
Georgia law applies comparative negligence in these situations to calculate the comparative fault of each driver. According to the concept of comparative fault, both parties may share some of the blame, and the percentage of the fault must be up to 100. Therefore, comparative negligence might impact the amount of money awarded in a personal injury, wrongful death claim, or lawsuit if an accident victim’s activities led to their injuries.
According to Georgia’s modified comparative fault law, a person injured in a car accident can recover monetary damages if a court finds that the person claiming the injury was no more than 49% at-fault. However, the injured person cannot recover monetary damages if found to be 50% or more responsible for the accident.
The court will decide how much of the accident was the plaintiff’s responsibility if they were partially at fault for causing it. After a verdict, the judge will consider the victim’s share of the blame and deduct that amount from the monetary award of damages. So if you were 20% at fault, you would get only 80% of the sum awarded.
Contact Auto Accident Lawyers Douglasville for Expert Advice
We assist our clients with auto accident cases at Hartley, Rowe & Fowler. We can help you identify potential at-fault parties and determine how to hold them accountable.
You need to know your legal rights if you or a loved one has been subjected to physical harm due to the reckless actions of a drunk driver. Our auto accident lawyers have dealt with situations similar to yours before and can determine the potential value of your claim.
We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for the harm and losses you suffer. Don’t hesitate to contact Douglasville injury attorneys immediately for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis and are always ready to help you.