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Injured by a Drunk Driver

Texas has one of the highest numbers of DUI accidents in the country. If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver accident in Houston, it is critical to understand your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You should reach out to an experienced Houston drunk driving attorney as soon as possible.  

What Is Considered Drunk Driving in Houston?

In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and can be charged with drunk driving if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher or do not have the normal use of their mental or physical facilities due to alcohol or some other drug. If you are under 21, it is illegal to have any amount of alcohol in your system and operate a vehicle in Houston.

What Should I Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Houston?

If you were injured in an accident caused by a suspected drunk driver in Houston, you should take the following action:

  • Call the police. Police documentation that the other driver was intoxicated is crucial evidence for an insurance claim and civil lawsuit. When the officer arrives, you should explain why you think the other driver is intoxicated (red eyes, slurred speech, an alcoholic smell, etc.). This statement could help the Houston police officer establish the necessary grounds to administer a field sobriety test or take other measures to determine whether the driver is under the influence.
  • Document the accident. You should take photographs and video of the accident scene, noting weather conditions, skid marks, etc. You should also gather the insurance and contact information of the other driver when the police arrive. It is safest to talk as little as possible to the drunk driver; you do not want to instigate a person under the influence. If there were any eyewitnesses, you should gather their contact information.
  • Get medical treatment. It is critical to get proper medical treatment for your injuries. You should get evaluated, even if you feel okay immediately after the accident. Sometimes adrenaline can mask pain. You should keep copies of your medical records and bills.
  • Call an experienced drunk driving accident attorney. Drunk driving accidents are different than typical car accidents. You should reach out to a qualified Houston drunk driving attorney as soon as possible. If you were injured, there is a high likelihood that you will be entitled to compensation. You should never settle with the insurance company before speaking with an attorney. It is a common tactic for insurance companies to offer quick low-ball offers to unrepresented drivers. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and file a lawsuit, if necessary.

What is Dram Shop Liability in Texas?

 Texas has dram shop laws that hold vendors and businesses who sell alcohol liable for their actions. This law makes it illegal for restaurants, bars, or vendors to sell alcohol to underage individuals and those already intoxicated. They could be held legally responsible if they overserve a visibly intoxicated individual who then drives and gets in a drunk driving accident.

What Compensation Should I Expect If I am Hurt by a Drunk Driver in Houston?

The compensation that you will receive will depend on the unique circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the cause of the accident. Possible damages that you may be granted include:

  • Past and future medical expenses,
  • Lost earning capacity,
  • Lost wages,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life,
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement, and
  • Funeral expenses.

In addition, you could be entitled to punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the individual at fault and create a deterrent. They are awarded if the defendant acted intentionally or with gross negligence. In Houston, driving under the influence often constitutes gross negligence.

Your damages may be reduced if you were also at fault for the accident. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you will be prohibited from recovering any damages.

How Long Do I Have to Sue a Drunk Driver in Houston?

In general, you have two years from the date of the accident to sue a drunk driver in Houston. If you wait until the statute of limitations passes, you will be barred from filing.

Your Houston Drunk Driver Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, call the Paxton Law Firm. We have represented injured persons involved in drunk driving accidents for nearly twenty years.

Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. The Paxton Law Firm believes in taking the stress of dealing with your legal battles and turning a negative situation into the best possible outcome lady justice allows. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you.

Contact Us (281) 978-2244