Legal Support For Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Nothing is more devastating than opening the door to a police officer who explains that your loved one isn’t coming home. What’s more, their death resulted from someone’s poor decision to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. At Wells and McElwee P.C., we are here as your counselors and dedicated legal advocates as your family deals with the aftermath of a drunk or impaired driving accident.
Contact us in Athens, Georgia, to discuss bringing a personal injury or wrongful death case against a drunk driver.
As experienced personal injury attorneys, we will diligently handle any insurance issues involved in holding the drunk driver responsible for your injuries or losses. However, the driver’s negligence is often only one aspect of your personal injury or wrongful death case. Having each represented Georgia accident victims for over 40 years, we are well-versed in Georgia’s liquor liability laws. This may prove to be an integral part of your drunk driving accident case.
Georgia Dram Shop Act: Liability For Overservice Of Alcohol
Georgia bars, restaurants, and other liquor establishments have a duty to sell and serve alcohol responsibly. Georgia liquor liability laws prohibit the sale or service of alcohol to minors or individuals who are already visibly intoxicated. When negligent service of alcohol leads to an intoxicated individual getting behind the wheel, the bar or liquor establishment that overserved the individual may be held financially responsible for any injuries or fatalities that result from a drunk driving accident.
Whether you are dealing with a serious neck or spinal cord injury or are coping with the sudden death of a loved one, you shouldn’t have to worry about the legal aspects of your case or how you will support your family. Our reputation as strong litigators and the defense’s knowledge of how a jury views drunk driving negligence will often lead to a fair settlement. However, when we believe you are entitled to far more than you have been offered, we will not hesitate to aggressively represent your interests before a jury.
How Do Criminal And Civil Cases Impact Each Other
A DUI can be both a civil and a criminal offense. Criminal offenses are violations of law, while civil cases are disputes between two or more parties. The criminal case is brought by the government against the defendant. In contrast, the victim brings a civil case against the defendant.
The criminal case is much more serious than the civil case. The defendant can be sentenced to jail or prison, while the plaintiff in the civil case can only recover damages. The burden of proof is also much higher in the criminal case than in the civil case. The defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, while the plaintiff in the civil case only needs to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.
The criminal case does not have too much of an impact on the civil case. The civil case can proceed even if the defendant is found not guilty in the criminal case. The plaintiff in the civil case can also recover damages even if the defendant is found not guilty or the charges are dismissed.
Both cases can be ongoing at the same time. The criminal case will usually be resolved first. Still, the civil case can continue even after the conclusion of the criminal case.
Not All DUI Accidents Involve Alcohol
Driving under the influence (DUI) does not always mean the driver was intoxicated with alcohol. Drug impairment, whether illegal drugs or prescription medication, can significantly impact a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. This is because drugs can affect a person’s reaction time, coordination, judgment and decision-making capabilities, making it extremely dangerous for them to be behind the wheel.
Victims of impaired driving accidents often suffer severe physical and emotional injuries that can last a lifetime. They may experience chronic pain, disability and psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, victims’ families and loved ones may suffer emotional and financial hardships, such as loss of income and medical expenses. Impaired driving accidents can have devastating consequences, which is why it is crucial for individuals to never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Ask An Athens Personal Injury Lawyer For Help
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, or if a loved one died in a fatal drunk driving accident, call us at 706-510-2815 or fill out our short form for a free consultation with a northeastern Georgia personal injury attorney.
We take personal injury cases involving drunk driving on a contingent fee basis. We will not charge a fee unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.