Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers who drink and drive put other motorists’ lives at risk. Atlanta car accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune has been representing injured victims since 1997, and in the years since has helped many Georgians deal with the aftermath of drunk driving accidents. If you have been injured because another person chose to drink and get behind the wheel, call The Bethune Law Firm to learn how you can protect your legal rights and receive compensation for your injuries.
FULTON COUNTY LEADS GEORGIA IN DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety estimates that a quarter or more of all highway fatalities in Georgia are caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, and Fulton County has the highest number of alcohol-related auto fatalities in the state. Alcohol impairs a driver’s reaction times and critical thinking, making drunk drivers more likely to veer out of their lane or fail to yield the right of way. This can lead to accidents that cause serious injuries or even wrongful death.
VICTIMS OF DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS HAVE RIGHTS
Georgians injured by a drunk driver have legal protection under Georgia law. A drunk driving accident victim can file a negligence lawsuit against the drunk driver that seeks damages for personal, financial, and emotional injuries.
To win a drunk driving negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove:
- The drunk driver owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- The drunk driver breached his duty; and
- The plaintiff was injured as a result of the drunk driver’s actions.
Every driver on Georgia roads owes a duty to other drivers to behave in a reasonable manner. Choosing to drink and drive is a clear breach of that duty, and when a drunk driver injures another person, the victim can hold the drunk driver liable.
Victims of drunk driving accidents may also allege negligence per se. Such a lawsuit contends that the defendant was negligent as a matter of law because she violated a safety-related statute — in this case, the Georgia Driving While Intoxicated or Under the Influence Law. If the plaintiff can prove a violation of Georgia’s DUI Laws, the defendant is negligent as a matter of law, and all that is left to prove is proximate causation, or that the defendant’s actions were a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
DRUNK DRIVING PLAINTIFFS CAN SEEK COMPENSATORY AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES
People injured by a drunk driver’s negligent behavior are entitled to compensatory damages, which are meant to compensate the plaintiff for emotional distress, property damage, hospital bills, and lost wages. In drunk driving accidents, plaintiffs often seek punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant for particularly bad behavior.
Punitive damages in Georgia are usually capped; however, drunk driving accident cases are exempt from the statutory cap. Any lawsuit that arises out of an incident involving drug- or alcohol-impaired behavior is not subject to the cap. Be sure to ask Attorney Terrence R. Bethune about the damages to which you may be entitled for your drunk driving accident injuries.
AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY CAN PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
Drunk drivers have no excuse for their actions. Georgia law gives the victims of drunk driving accidents the power to hold drunk drivers accountable for their behavior. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, protect your rights by contacting Atlanta personal injury attorney Terrence R. Bethune. To schedule a free case evaluation with The Bethune Law Firm, call us now at 1-800-INJURED or visit our contact page.