Your Rights When You Are Hurt in a Drunk Driving Accident
A driver in Houston has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after he hit a worker in early October. The accident occurred just before 2 p.m. and police believe the driver was intoxicated at the time. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents that lead to serious injuries and deaths are all too common in Texas. Less than two weeks earlier a woman was killed in Harris County after a suspected intoxicated driver ran a red light and hit her vehicle head-on. This driver will also likely face intoxication manslaughter charges.
Alcohol-Related Crashes in Texas
Despite driving while drunk or impaired by drugs being illegal In Texas and throughout the U.S., many people still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking or taking controlled substances. These actions led to more than 10,000 alcohol-related crashes in Texas in 2015, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Of these accidents, 861 were fatal that year, killing a total of 960 individual. Another 2,187 people suffered incapacitating injuries.
Your Right to a Personal Injury Claim
If you were hit by an impaired driver, you have the right to recover for both the actual costs of your injuries and your non-monetary suffering. In some situations, you will be fully compensated by insurance. However, the drunk driver may not have had any or enough insurance. Depending on the at-fault driver’s policy, it may not cover injuries caused by drunk driving. Numerous issues can lead you to have to file a personal injury claim in court. You should work with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney who will aggressively represent you in court. You can seek to recover:
- Medical expenses;
- Medical-related travel expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of normal life;
- Disfigurement; and/or
- Pain and suffering.
If the individual you are taking to court was found guilty of a DUI, this will help you prove their responsibility in court. However, if the criminal trial is not over yet or the person was not ultimately convicted, this does not mean you cannot recover what you deserve through your personal injury case.
Punitive Damages Are Possible
If you and your attorney can show that the other driver was grossly negligent or acting maliciously, then you may be able to win punitive damages. This type of recovery is expressly meant to punish the at-fault party, not compensate you for your injuries. There is a limit to the amount of punitive damages you can receive. Punitive damages cannot exceed:
- Two times the amount of economic damages and the amount of non-economic damages up to $750,000; or
- Damages up to $200,000.
The Bettersworth Law Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a drunk driving incident, you should call a lawyer immediately. Here at The Bettersworth Law Firm, our passionate New Braunfels personal injury attorneys are ready to investigate your situation, analyze your case, and help you win the recovery you deserve. Whether you need help filing claims with insurance or filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, we will have your back every step of the way. For more information on your rights after being hurt by a drunk driver, call The Bettersworth Law Firm at 888-392-0039.