When someone makes the careless and irresponsible decision to drink and drive, often a family is left to suffer through the emotional turmoil of having to deal with injuries or even death as a result of a collision caused by the driver’s reckless decision. We represent victims of drunk driving and their families all over San Antonio.
Texas records the highest number of DWI, driving while intoxicated, cases in the nation. In fact, Alcohol-Impaired-Driving fatalities make up 40% of vehicle accidents in Texas.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility continues to lobby for more stringent legislation relating to consequences for those found guilty of driving under the influence. Those that choose to drive while drunk, need to be held accountable for their dangerous actions.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that every day for the past 19 years someone has lost a spouse, child, friend, or neighbor on our state roads,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass.
These are alarming statistics. If a Drunk Driver hits you in San Antonio do you know what to do next?
5 Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident in San Antonio, Texas
Step 1: Stay calm
Alert the police you have been in an accident and of your suspicion that the other driver may be under the influence. That knowledge will activate law enforcement processes like a field sobriety test. Not only will they conduct the necessary tests, but they will also log a report of the event.
Step 2:Be alert
Notice any efforts to hide or destroy evidence such as beer bottles or any other proof that might help register their condition. Avoid saying anything that might impact your case, including apologizing.
Step 3: Record Information
Make sure you record the information of the other driver, including any witnesses’ information like,
- Contact Details
- License Plate Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Insurance Company & Policy Number
Step 4: Record What You See
Record what you can see at the scene like,
- The Location of The Accident
- The Surroundings
- Visible Debris
- Injuries Sustained by You and Any Others Present
Step 5: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact one of our San Antonio personal injury lawyers. The intoxicated driver is likely to contest allegations. They will face the criminal justice system, and you will want to have an experienced lawyer on your team to fight for you and your loved ones and seek the justice you deserve. The lawyers at Patterson Law Group are very experienced in guiding victims of drunk driving through the process to make sure our clients receive the justice they deserve.
Drunk Driving Accident FAQs:
Who is Responsible in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Texas’ comparative negligence law or at-fault law awards proportionate responsibility to each driver. An impaired driver is negligent and will carry some, if not all, the liability. Deliberate negligence is cause for claiming punitive damages devised to punish gross negligence.
If the drunk driver was not convicted or charged, you are still able to claim damages? Under “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning if there is more than 50% chance based on all reasonable evidence that the person was under the influence, you will still have a possible claim to be made.
There may be other avenues of responsibility in some instances. Texas’s The Dram Shop Act can place some liability on an establishment selling alcohol if proven that staff may have served alcohol to an “obviously intoxicated” person. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help identify where the driver was coming from and where they may have consumed alcohol to collect the necessary information to hold the facility that overserved the driver responsible as well. This evidence must be preserved so it is important to get San Antonio lawyer from Patterson Law Group involved as quickly as possible.
How Impaired Must a Driver Be Under The Law To Be Found Guilty of DUI?
Driving while intoxicated is a felony offense. Texas Penal Code Section §49.01 describes an impaired driver as:
“not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”
By doing a breath, blood, or urine test establishes the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The alcohol content is the concentration of alcohol 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 years, having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more as intoxicated. DWI fatal crashes are most common in persons aged 21 – 25, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Different limits apply to Commercial and younger drivers. Commercial driver’s BAC limit is 0.04%. Those younger than 21 can have NO blood alcohol concentration at any time.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Priority one following a Drunk Driving Accident is focusing on your recovery.
But, be aware there is a time limit on filing a claim. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003(a) operates a statute of limitations. It allows you only two years to settle a claim or file a lawsuit against an at-fault party. Once this time limit expires, you will be unable to try the case in court.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Accident Claim
Patterson Law Group has over 80 years of experience in Personal Injury law. We pride ourselves in knowing the ins and outs of the Texas legal system. We have helped countless clients find solace after a traumatic accident.
We care about you and the journey of recovery you are on. Allow us to lighten the emotional load, help with things like getting your car fixed, and filing an insurance claim for personal injury protection (“PIP”) or Med Pay.
Take our hand and let us walk with you to justice. Schedule a free case evaluation with the team at Patterson Law Group, call (817) 784-2000, or contact us here.