Often times, when someone makes the negligent and irresponsible decision to drink and drive, a family suffers from the emotional turmoil associated with injury or even death as a result of a collision due to the driver’s reckless choice. We represent drunk driving victims and their families across San Antonio.
Texas has the highest number of DWI cases in the nation driving drunk. In fact, deaths from alcohol-impaired driving account for 40% of vehicle accidents in Texas.
The Alcohol Responsibility Foundation continues to advocate stricter laws regarding the consequences for those found guilty under the influence of driving. Those who drive drunk must be held accountable for their dangerous actions.
“It is heartbreaking to know that every day for the past 19 years someone has lost a spouse, child, friend or neighbor on our state highways,” said James Bass, Executive Director of TxDOT.
These are alarming statistics. If you are met by a drunk driver in San Antonio, do you know what to do next?
5 steps to follow in a drunk traffic accident in San Antonio, Texas
Step 1: keep calm
Make the police aware that you have had an accident and that you suspect the other driver may be under the influence. This knowledge will enable law enforcement processes such as a field sobriety test. In addition to performing the necessary tests, you will also log a report of the event.
Step 2: be vigilant
Be aware of any efforts to hide or destroy evidence such as beer bottles or other evidence that could help register their condition. Avoid saying anything that could affect your case, including an apology.
Step 3: record information
Make sure you record the other driver’s information, including information from witnesses such as:
- Contact details
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company & insurance number
Step 4: write down what you see
Record as you can see in the scene:
- The place of the accident
- The environment
- Visible rubble
- Injuries suffered by you and others present
Step 5: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact one of our personal injury attorneys in San Antonio. The drunk driver is likely to contest allegations. You are going to face the criminal justice system and you want to have an experienced lawyer on your team who will fight for you and your loved ones and seek the justice you deserve. Patterson Law Group’s attorneys are highly skilled at guiding drunk driving victims through the process to ensure our clients get the justice they deserve.
Drunk Driving Accident FAQs:
Who is responsible in the event of a drunk driving accident?
The Texas Law of Comparative Negligence or Law of Fault gives each driver reasonable responsibility. A disabled driver is negligent and bears some, if not all, of the liability. Willful negligence is a reason for claiming punitive damages, which is intended to punish gross negligence.
If the drunk driver has not been convicted or charged, can you still claim damages? Under “preponderance of evidence,” where there is more than a 50% chance of all reasonable evidence that the person was under the influence, you still have a possible claim.
In some cases there may be other avenues of responsibility. The Dram Shop Act of Texas can hold an establishment that sells alcohol liable if there is evidence that staff served alcohol to an “obviously drunk” person. A skilled personal injury attorney can help determine where the driver came from and where they may have consumed alcohol in order to gather the information necessary to hold the entity that oversaw the driver accountable as well. This evidence needs to be retained, so it is important to involve the San Antonio attorney from the Patterson Law Group as soon as possible.
How impaired does the law require a driver to be to be found guilty?
Driving while intoxicated is a criminal offense. Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code describes a disabled driver as:
“Not the normal use of mental or physical abilities due to the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of these substances, or any other substance into the body.”
The blood alcohol content (BAC) is determined by a breath, blood or urine test. The alcohol content is the alcohol concentration in grams per:
- 210 liters of breath;
- 100 milliliters of blood; or
- (C) 67 milliliters of urine.
The Texas Penal Code Section 49.01 (2) (b) defines a person over the age of 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more as intoxicated. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, DWI fatal accidents are most common among people aged 21-25.
Different limit values apply to commercial and younger drivers. The BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%. Anyone under the age of 21 may NOT have a blood alcohol concentration at any time.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Priority one after a drunk driving accident is focused on your recovery.
Note, however, that filing a claim is limited in time. The Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003 (a) includes a statute of limitations. You only have two years to settle a lawsuit or file a lawsuit against a culpable party. After this period you can no longer hear the case in court.
Talk to a knowledgeable attorney to handle your accidental damage
Patterson Law Group has over 80 years of personal injury law experience. We pride ourselves on knowing the specifics of the Texas legal system. We have helped countless customers find solace after a traumatic accident.
We care about you and the path of recovery you are on. Allow us to ease the emotional burden, help repair your car, and file a Personal Injury Insurance Claim (“PIP”) or Med Pay.
Take our hand and let’s go to court with you. To schedule a free case assessment with the Patterson Law Group team, call (817) 784-2000 or contact us here.