Corpus Christi Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
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Victims of drunk driving accidents should not have to suffer the consequences of another person’s decision to drink and drive. These innocent victims are law-abiding drivers that are put into a scary and damaging situation through no fault of their own. If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our drunk driving accident lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you seek the maximum damages for your injuries.
Drunk Driving Statistics in the United States
Drunk driving is considered to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher. Although this is the legal limit, drivers can be impaired and their driving skills affected at any percentage of alcohol in their system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 30 people die every day as a result of a drunk driving accident. That is roughly the death of one person every 50 minutes. In 2018, there were 10,511 reported deaths from drunk driving crashes. The annual cost is over $59 billion for alcohol-related accidents.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, alcohol-related car accidents accounted for about 32.2% of deaths in 2013. More drunk driving accidents were reported during the hours of 2:00-3:00 am than any other time of day. More accidents were reported on a Saturday than on any other day. Amount the 3,398 traffic fatalities that were reported in Texas in 2012, about 38% of the accidents involved drunk drivers with a BAC of .08%, and 27 percent had a BAC of .12% or higher. In Texas, around 1,000 people are killed each year as a result of drunk driving.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Nueces County
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in Nueces County including Corpus Christi, 36.3% of vehicle accidents resulting in fatalities were alcohol-related. This is higher than the overall rate in Texas which is at 32.2%. In 2013, Nueces County reported 160 serious injuries and 132 other injuries from alcohol-related crashes. Corpus Christi reported 1,203 people were arrested for drunk driving in 2013, which was an increase from previous years.
What Kind of Injuries Result from Drunk Driving?
Victims can sometimes suffer from severe damages when hit by a drunk driver. This is often because the other driver, who has been drinking, is driving recklessly, either over the speed limit or swerving through lanes. Victims can suffer serious bodily injures such as:
- Head injuries including concussions and brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Full or partial paralysis
- Cuts, lacerations, or contusions
Other damages that are not physical can include economic or non-economic damages. These are potentially recoverable damages in your case that we can help you with. These include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disabilities or diminished functioning
Wrongful death is when drunk driving causes fatal injuries as a result of the decision to drink and drive. The family of the deceased may bring a claim for wrongful death to recover for their emotional loss, loss of financial support, and any other losses that may result.
Texas juries sometimes allow for punitive damages. Punitive damages are an additional fine to punish the individual that was drunk driving and deter them and others from committing the same crime.
While driving drunk is a crime, our experienced Corpus Christi lawyers may help you seek a civil claim to recover all your possible damages. You should hold drunk drivers accountable and should not have to pay for damages caused by another person.
What Should You Do if You Are Hit by a Drunk Driver?
In the terrifying event that you are hit by a drunk driver, there are a few steps you should try to remember. Following these steps may help reduce damages or help you have a record of the accident for later should you decide to file a claim or lawsuit.
1. Get to Safety
Depending on the situation, you should get yourself in a safe location as soon as possible. This may mean staying in the car or exiting your car. Quickly assess the situation and determine what is the best course of action.
2. Call the Police
Dial 911 as soon as you are in a safe location to do so. Let the dispatchers know your approximate location and if you have any injuries. This will help police locate you and send any medical personnel if necessary. Stay on the phone with dispatchers until help arrives.
3. Document the Scene
If it is safe to do so, collect any evidence that may be helpful later. This includes taking pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle. You should take pictures of any injures that you or your passengers have. Collect insurance information from the other driver as well as contact information from the driver and any witnesses. Take note of anything else that may be important later such as the weather and road conditions.
4. Seek Medical Treatment
You should always follow up an accident with a medical professional, even if you do not feel injured. It is important to document any injuries you have and to have a doctor determine if you have any injuries that may not be visible. Sometimes we do not feel injured because of shock or adrenaline, so it is important to have a doctor assess any possible injuries.
5. Contact a Drunk Driving Lawyer
The experienced drunk driving lawyers at Zinda Law Group may help guide you during this stressful situation. Our lawyers have the resources available to help seek the maximum compensation available to you. An experienced attorney may help you identify the responsible party, collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if needed, take your case to trial.
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How Does Alcohol Affect Driving?
Drunk driving is dangerous because it affects the skills needed for driving, such as watching for traffic signals, reacting to other drivers on the road, and controlling multiple things at once, such as steering and speed. Those who have been drinking may find it difficult to perform the multiple duties of driving and therefore put themselves and others in danger on the road.
According to the NHTSA, alcohol begins to affect driving ability even before the legal threshold of .08% is reached. Even a small percentage of alcohol can start impairing a driver and create a dangerous situation.
Effect on Body/Mind
Effect on Driving
Loss of judgment, increased relaxation, increased body temperature, altered mood
Decline in ability to track objects with eyes, decline in ability to focus on multiple tasks while driving
Loss of fine motor skills (small muscle movements), increased loss of judgment, decreased alertness, decreased inhibitions
Reduced coordination, difficulty steering, reduced response time
Loss of gross motor skills (large muscle movements), judgment and reasoning impaired
Increased difficulty concentrating, impaired perception, difficulty controlling speed or processing traffic information such as lights and stop signs
Severe deterioration of reaction time, slurred speech, poor coordination
Severe difficulty maintaining speed, staying within lanes, and braking appropriately
Vomiting, loss of balance
Substantial difficulty in controlling the vehicle
How Can Texans Reduce Drunk Driving Accidents?
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued several recommendations aimed at reducing drunk driving accidents. These include:
- Offering more driver education on the effects of alcohol
- Reducing the legal limit of BAC from .08% to .05%
- Passing stricter drunk driving consequences and laws
- Increasing law enforcement
Recently, the Texas legislature passed bill HB 3016, which amends existing statutes to allow the court to order ignition interlock devices for first-time drunk driving offenders. These devices are installed in the vehicle of the convicted drunk driver and require blowing into the device before the car will start. The car will not start if there is an illegal BAC level detected.
Drunk driving is a preventable crime. Texans can practice safe driving by drinking responsibly. A driver who chooses to drink and drive can cause damage to a person or property. Innocent drivers are the victims who suffer the consequences when someone else chooses to drink and drive.
Get Help from Our Corpus Christ Drunk Driving Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Corpus Christi lawyers have handled many cases involving victims of drunk driving. Drunk driving happens every day, but Zinda Law Group may be able to help you. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to seek the best possible outcome for your case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.