Drunk drivers continue to pose a serious danger to themselves and others by creating hazardous conditions on the road. They may be engaging in unpredictable driving behaviors like swerving in and out of lanes, running red lights and stop signs, or otherwise violating traffic laws. That’s why speaking with El Paso drunk driving car accident lawyers is important.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an intoxicated driver, call the experienced El Paso car accident attorneys from Zinda Law Group for a free consultation. You will not owe us anything if we don’t win your case.
Drunk Driving Statistics in El Paso
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 prohibits driving while intoxicated (DWI) and provides that drivers may not operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more. However, El Paso consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous counties in Texas for drunk driving accidents.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 829 accidents in El Paso County in 2021 which involved alcohol. Of these, 25 alcohol-related crashes resulted in fatalities, and there were approximately 242 injuries resulting from alcohol-related collisions.
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For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving El Paso, call 800-863-5312
Why Drunk Driving Can Be So Dangerous
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol endangers the driver and everyone else using the road. Intoxicated drivers are much more likely to cause an accident involving severe injuries or death. They may suffer from:
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may cause a driver to behave impulsively, such as by running a red light, failing to stop at a railroad crossing, speeding, or passing others without waiting for a safe opportunity.
Intoxicated drivers may also suffer from an impaired ability to safely divide their attention between the necessary actions involved in safely operating a vehicle, such as maintaining a safe speed while obeying traffic signs and maintaining the proper distance from other vehicles on the road.
Alcohol or drug use may often severely impair a driver’s senses, especially their coordination. Intoxicated drivers may suffer impaired muscle control, affecting their ability to safely steer and brake the vehicle.
Intoxicated drivers may often be unable to see clearly. Alcohol or drug use may also make it difficult for the intoxicated driver to focus or track moving objects on the road around them. Impaired vision may cause the driver to fail to see pedestrians, objects, vehicles on the road, or other dangerous conditions that could lead to an alcohol-related collision.
Slow Reaction Time
Finally, many drivers impaired by alcohol or drug use may also suffer bad reaction times. Intoxication may cause delays in the driver’s ability to process or act upon sensory information quickly enough to respond to changing road conditions. As a result, this impaired reaction time may leave the intoxicated driver unable to react in time to avoid a crash.
Drunk Driving Accident in El Paso lawyers near me 800-863-5312
Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents have the potential to cause devastating and life-altering injuries. When a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, their cognitive and physical abilities become significantly impaired, which increases the likelihood of collisions. High-speed crashes and head-on collisions often result in catastrophic injuries.
Drunk driving crashes can result in severe or even life-threatening injuries, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bruises or lacerations
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Internal injuries
If you were involved in a collision with a drunk driver, seek medical care as soon as possible. While your injuries may not be immediately apparent, a doctor can diagnose them and suggest a treatment plan to help you recover.
Back and Leg Injuries
Motor Vehicle Collision
Motor Vehicle Collision
Motor Vehicle Collision
You Could Qualify for Damages After a Drunk Driving Crash in El Paso
A drunk driving accident could have a devastating financial impact on the victim. The injuries sustained in such crashes often require immediate medical attention. These medical expenses can quickly accumulate, placing a significant burden on you and your family. Also, you will likely experience additional losses.
Depending on the details of your case, you could recover the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical bills
- The cost of future medical care
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
As your lawyers, we will calculate all your accident-related expenses and estimate any future costs so you can get fully compensated.
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What to Do After an Accident With a Potential Drunk Driver
All drivers should be aware of the steps to take following a collision that involves an alcohol-impaired driver. Taking the right steps increases the chances of a successful outcome for your case.
Call the Police
Contacting law enforcement authorities as soon as possible after the accident is crucial, even if it does not appear to be serious. It is important for law enforcement officers to respond quickly and preserve evidence at the scene (such as the driver’s BAC).
Having law enforcement officers on the scene as soon as possible will also allow potential witnesses to recall the details of the collision better while it is still fresh in their minds.
Witnesses should be encouraged to remain on the scene until law enforcement arrives. They may have noticed that the other driver was driving erratically before or following the crash.
Get the Contact Details of Witnesses
Try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. If they took photographs or video recordings of the crash, ask them for copies. However, if you have a camera or phone, and it’s safe for you to get up and walk around, use it to document the scene.
Other Important Steps to Take
In addition to calling the police, all the steps you would take following a typical car accident apply here. Those include:
- Getting the driver’s information
- Taking photos
- Looking for additional evidence, including names and contact information of witnesses
- Saving your medical records or receipts
- Consult a drunk driving car accident lawyer in El Paso, TX
How to Prove Liability in Drunk Driving Car Accident Cases
Liability in a drunk driving crash case is crucial to determining who is legally responsible for the damages. In such cases, the impaired driver who caused the accident is typically liable for their negligent actions.
Generally, a car wreck victim must prove four general elements of negligence when pursuing a drunk driving lawsuit in El Paso:
- The intoxicated driver owed a duty of care to the victim
- The intoxicated driver breached this duty of care
- The victim suffered injuries or damages in the accident
- The intoxicated driver’s breach caused the victim’s injuries or damages
Duty of Care
Generally, proving the other driver owed a duty of care to you is fairly straightforward. Every driver generally owes a duty of care to everyone on the roadway to drive reasonably under the circumstances and avoid accidents.
Breach of Duty of Care
Further, proving a driver breached this duty of care may be simpler than in other car accident cases once you can prove the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Your drunk driving injury lawyer in El Paso may prove the other driver’s intoxication by obtaining results of any breathalyzer tests, field sobriety tests, or blood tests administered by law enforcement after the accident.
Your attorney may also present witness testimony of the driver’s erratic behavior shortly before the crash and any evidence the driver consumed drinks before getting behind the wheel.
You Suffered Injuries
Next, you must demonstrate the extent of your injuries or damages suffered in the accident. This evidence may include any diagnoses, medical bills for necessary treatment, vehicle damage, lost wages, or non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
The Drunk Driver Caused Your Injuries
Finally, you will have to prove your injuries and damages were caused by the other driver’s negligent behavior. In the case of drunk driving accidents, your lawyer may provide evidence of the other driver’s intoxication and demonstrate this led to the collision in which you were injured.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO
How Drunk Driving Accidents Are Different than a Standard Car Wreck
If you have been injured in a drunk driving crash in El Paso, filing a lawsuit may include some differences from a car accident claim that does not involve an intoxicated driver.
The Issue of Proving Negligence
First, if the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, this may make it easier for your attorney to prove they breached their duty of care by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Because Texas, like every other state, prohibits driving while intoxicated, any person who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is likely to be held at least partially liable for damages.
Thus, if your lawyer establishes that the other driver was intoxicated, the first two elements of a drunk driving accident claim of duty and breach may be automatically met as proof that the DWI constitutes “negligence per se” under Texas law.
You Could Qualify for Punitive Damages
Further, because of the degree of negligence involved in drunk driving, punitive damages may be available in some cases. Punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault driver while discouraging others from engaging in the same dangerous behavior.
Courts generally only award punitive damages if the at-fault driver acted with gross negligence or intentionally caused the accident. Under Texas law, driving while intoxicated typically constitutes gross negligence, which may allow you to pursue punitive damages to discourage other drivers from getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
How Long Will My Case Take?
The length of time that any personal injury case takes will depend on the facts of the case. Every client experiences something different, so until we know more, it’s very hard to give a definitive answer. Call us today for a free consult, and with some more information about your case, we can discuss a timeline.
What Is My Case Worth?
As in the question above, each case is different, so you must speak to an attorney to properly estimate the value of your case. Don’t trust anyone who tells you what your case is worth without having done an investigation first.
Why You Should Hire an El Paso Lawyer for a Case Involving a Drunk Driver
Hiring an experienced attorney may often be the difference in successfully pursuing a drunk driving accident lawsuit in El Paso. These collisions can often lead to severe injuries or even death, especially in the case of head-on collisions.
Many victims may face serious physical or emotional trauma after the accident. Your attorney may handle your case while you recover from the effects of the crash. An El Paso personal injury lawyer will present your options and create a plan to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
As you recover, your lawyer may investigate the accident and gather any evidence necessary to support your claim, such as police reports establishing the other driver’s intoxication. Your lawyer may handle every step of your claim, from filing the personal injury lawsuit to investigating the crash, negotiating with the insurer on your behalf, to taking your case to trial if necessary.
How an El Paso Drunk Driving Lawyer Can Help You Negotiate With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of victims after an accident. You should never speak to an insurance company without the assistance of a lawyer. Insurance companies work to pay as little as possible and may attempt to trick you into making statements that could weaken your claim.
The insurer may call you soon after the accident promising to help you or speed along a potential settlement while often looking to trick you into admitting some responsibility for the event. The insurer may then attempt to use these statements to reduce or eliminate any compensation you may be entitled to after the crash.
An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in El Paso, TX, may communicate with the insurer on your behalf to protect your interests and begin negotiating a potential settlement. Your lawyer may negotiate with the drunk driver’s insurance agent by making an initial offer to settle your claim.
Your attorney may present evidence proving the extent of your injuries and the drunk driver’s liability for the crash. The insurance company may use its teams of lawyers and adjusters to dispute your claim or the extent of your injuries. During these negotiations, a lawyer may work to obtain a satisfactory drunk driving settlement for you.
Get Help from a Zinda Law Group Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in El Paso
Our El Paso car accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group may assist you with your claim. We have years of experience helping our clients seek the maximum compensation for their El Paso drunk driving crash claims.
Call us today for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. You will not pay anything unless we can win your El Paso drunk driving injury case. That’s our no-win, no-fee guarantee.
You can also call us to make an appointment to visit our El Paso office located at 2300 George Dieter Dr, El Paso, TX 79936.
Please note that in-office visits are by appointment only.