Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is extremely dangerous, which is why it is illegal in Texas and throughout the country. Consuming alcohol causes drivers to have impaired inhibition, coordination, and reaction time. This weakened function often leads to accidents.
To help deter drunk driving, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has set the legal blood alcohol limit in Texas at 0.08%. This refers to the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Drivers who get pulled over or cause an accident with a BAC at or above this limit face hefty consequences. It could lead to jail time, fines, and civil lawsuits filed by the victims for their damages.
What to Do After Being Arrested for a DWI
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DWI, you have a right to hire a DWI lawyer for your defense. The attorney can help you understand your rights and how to protect them. Legal proceedings can be overwhelming, and it can be easy for the person facing DWI charges to misrepresent themselves. The quicker you hire a DWI attorney, the more time they’ll have to prepare a strong defense to fight the charges against you.
Once you have hired an attorney, they will explore the options for building your case. For example, make sure you tell your lawyer about any medical conditions and medications that do not impair your driving but might make it difficult to perform the field sobriety test.
After meeting with the attorney, they will get to work. Your lawyer will help you keep track of court dates, deadlines, strategies, and options you have throughout the legal process.
For a free legal consultation, call (972) 535-6377
What to Do After a Collision With a Drunk Driver
After an accident, the first thing you should do is check yourself for injuries. If you are not seriously injured, check the passengers in your car and any other vehicles involved. Once you have inspected everyone, move the vehicle to the side of the road if it can still drive. If not, get out of the car and move to safety.
After everyone is safe, call the police. Do not talk to the other drivers or passengers about the accident or who was at fault. Even a sincere apology can be taken as an admission of guilt. The police will come and talk to witnesses and collect evidence to create a police report.
Take pictures of the accident and all vehicles involved if you can, and seek medical attention for any injuries you or your passengers suffered. Once you and the others involved in the collision are taken care of, you can hire an attorney to help you claim compensation.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you could file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. The drunk driver and those who served the person alcohol may be responsible for your injuries. When you hire an attorney from our firm to handle your case, we can identify all liable parties and build cases against them.
Am I Eligible for Compensation?
Victims of a drunk driving accident and surviving family members are eligible for compensation as long as they can prove the drunk driver’s carelessness was the cause of the accident. Victims can receive compensation in three areas:
Economic damages are monetary losses from the accident. For example, these can include medical bills and lost wages due to recovery time.
Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses related to the injuries. These could include pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the driver rather than compensate the accident victim. In Texas, punitive damages cannot exceed $200,000, or twice the number of economic damages plus non-economic damages. In the latter case, the total settlement cannot exceed $750,000.
Punitive damages are rare, but they may be available in DWI accident cases if the jury deems that the plaintiff acted with gross negligence. One example would be if the drunk driver caused extreme bodily harm to the accident victim.
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Our Team at the Underwood Law Office Can Help
Our associates at Underwood Law Office are ready to help clients understand their cases and advocate for their rights. We have helped many clients throughout difficult legal proceedings, including those involving DWI. Driving under the influence of any amount of alcohol can be dangerous, but those caught with a BAC above the legal limit in Texas face severe criminal and civil penalties.
Having a DWI attorney at your side can bring you peace of mind as you move through any legal proceedings. If you or someone you love was in a drunk driving accident in Texas, contact Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377 for your free consultation.