El Paso Drunk Driving Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH EL PASO DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYERS FOR FREE
Drunk drivers continue to pose a serious danger to others on the road. Intoxicated drivers may be swerving in and out of lanes, running red lights or stop signs, or otherwise violating traffic laws and creating hazardous conditions for other drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in El Paso, call the experienced El Paso drunk driving injury attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
DRUNK DRIVING STATISTICS IN TEXAS
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 852 accidents in El Paso county in 2019 which involved alcohol. Of these 852 crashes, El Paso had the seventh-most alcohol-related fatalities in the state with 20, out of the 77 total car wreck fatalities in El Paso. Meanwhile, there were approximately 252 injuries resulting from alcohol-related accidents.
WHY DRUNK DRIVING CAN BE SO DANGEROUS
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol endangers not only the driver, but everyone else using the road. Intoxicated drivers are much more likely to cause an accident, many of which may involve serious injuries or death. Intoxicated drivers may suffer from various impairments to their senses, including:
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 a safe distance from other vehicles on the road.
Alcohol or drug use may often severely impair a driver’s senses, especially the driver’s coordination. Intoxicated drivers may suffer impaired muscle control, which in turn may impair 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. This impaired vision may cause the driver to fail to see pedestrians, objects, other vehicles on the road, or other dangerous conditions that could lead to an alcohol-related collision.
Finally, many drivers impaired by alcohol or drug use may also suffer impaired reaction times. Intoxication may cause delays in the driver’s ability to process or act upon sensory information quickly enough to safely respond to changing road conditions. As a result, this impaired reaction time may leave the intoxicated driver unable to adequately respond in time to avoid a crash.
COMMON INJURIES IN DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS
Drunk driving accidents can often result in severe or even life-threatening injuries, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bruises or lacerations
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Internal injuries
HOW TO PROVE LIABILITY IN DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT CASES
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 victim’s injuries or damages were caused by the intoxicated driver’s breach
Generally, proving the other driver owed a duty of care to you is fairly straight-forward. Every driver generally owes a duty of care to all others on the roadway to drive reasonably under the circumstances and avoid any accidents. Further, proving a driver breached this duty of care may also be simpler than in other car accident cases once a victim can prove the other driver was driving 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 as well as any evidence the driver consumed any drinks before getting behind the wheel.
Next, you will have to demonstrate the extent of your injuries or damages suffered in the accident. This evidence may include any diagnoses of your injuries as well as the medical bills for any necessary treatment as well as damages from your damaged vehicle, any lost wages, or non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. 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 intoxication led to the accident in which you were injured.
HOW DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS ARE DIFFERENT THAN A NORMAL WRECK
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in El Paso, filing a lawsuit may include some differences from a car accident claim that does not involve an intoxicated driver. While drunk driving accidents also often involve serious injuries as well as an attempt to assign fault for the accident and negotiating with insurers to reach settlements, drunk driving accidents often include two key differences. First, if the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, this intoxication may make it easier for your attorney to prove the intoxicated driver 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 any injuries or damages you may have suffered in the accident. Thus, if your El Paso drunk driving accident 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 of the DWI constitutes “negligence per se” under Texas law.
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.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE AN EL PASO DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYER
Hiring an experienced attorney may often be the difference in successfully pursuing a drunk driving accident lawsuit in El Paso. Drunk driving accidents 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 accident. An El Paso personal injury lawyer may present your available options as well as create a plan moving forward 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 intoxication of the other driver. Your lawyer may handle every step of your claim from filing the personal injury lawsuit, to investigating the accident, to negotiating with the insurer on your behalf, to taking your case to trial if necessary.
HOW A LAWYER CAN HELP YOU NEGOTIATE WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES
Often, insurance companies may attempt to take advantage of victims after an accident. You should never speak to an insurance company after the accident without the assistance of a lawyer. Insurance companies work to pay as little as possible after accidents, and the insurance company 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 really looking to trick you into admitting some responsibility for the accident. The insurer may then attempt to use these statements to reduce or eliminate any compensation you may be entitled to after the accident.
An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in El Paso may communicate with the insurer on your behalf to protect your interests and begin the process of negotiating a potential settlement with the insurer. Your lawyer may negotiate with the drunk driver’s insurer by making an initial offer to settle your claim. Your attorney may present evidence proving the extent of your injuries as well as proving the drunk driver’s liability for the accident and your injuries. 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 your injuries.
GET HELP FROM A DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYER IN EL PASO TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our El Paso car accident attorneys may assist you with your claim. Our attorneys have years of experience helping our clients seek the maximum compensation for their El Paso drunk driving accident claims.
Call (800) 863-5312 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.
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