According to San Antonio police officials, a man was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after the man’s car ran off a local highway in the pre-dawn hours of last Thursday morning. The wreck occurred on the Northeast Side of the city at about 2:30 a.m. when the driver went off Interstate 35 down an incline and into a ditch but did not stop there. Police say that the vehicle then launched over a cross street into another ditch, then somehow accelerated again before crashing into a grass-covered median and coming to a stop.
Reports indicate that the driver was evaluated at the scene and arrested for DWI. A male passenger was reportedly transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Police indicated that an investigation into the crash was ongoing.
Collecting Compensation as an Injured Passenger in a DWI Crash
When a person accepts a ride from a driver who is intoxicated, that person is putting himself or herself in danger. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell that the driver is intoxicated until it is too late. However, if the intoxicated driver causes a crash in which the passenger is injured, it is still possible for the injured party to recover compensation—even though he or she got in the car with someone who was drunk.
In order to collect compensation, the injured passenger will need to show that the driver acted negligently. Over the years, Texas courts have determined that a person who is found to have been driving while intoxicated is presumed to have acted negligently and, therefore, may be held liable for any damage or injuries caused as a result of driving while intoxicated. The good news, however, is that a conviction on DWI charges is not necessarily needed in order to recover damages. If it can be shown that the driver was negligent, he or she will typically be held financially responsible.
What If the Driver is a Friend?
If you were hurt in a drunk driving crash caused by a friend, you might have conflicted feelings about filing a personal injury claim against him or her. After all, you might not want to ruin the friendship—especially if you were not severely injured. However, it is important to remember that you may be entitled to reimbursement for your medical treatment, any time away from work, and any other losses that you sustained as a result of your injuries.
Keep in mind, also, that your claim would most likely be filed against your friend’s insurance company, not your friend individually. Unfortunately, however, you may run into obstacles to collecting full compensation. For example, your relationship to the driver, whether you knew the driver was drunk before getting in the car, and whether you had another option for a ride could all affect the insurance company’s response to your claim. For this reason, it is critical to work with a qualified personal injury attorney from the very beginning.
Call a Comal County Injury Lawyer
To learn more about your options for recovering compensation for injuries sustained as a passenger in a drunk driving crash, contact a New Braunfels car crash attorney at The Bettersworth Law Firm. Call 830-443-9193 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.