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Drunk Driving Injuries

Every day people get into their cars to make routine runs to the store, visit friends or relatives, or to run errands and unexpectedly end up the victims of drunk drivers. Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) or drug impaired puts everyone at risk, and yet it is an everyday occurrence–especially in Texas.

When bodily injury or death results, such negligence often leads to criminal charges. We hear about DUI charges and convictions frequently on the news. Victims of intoxicated or impaired drivers often have the right to pursue civil cases to recover compensation for injuries and losses caused by DWI accidents. In crashes involving catastrophic injury or death, lawsuits are usually the only way to free families from the devastating economic hardship brought on by such accidents. At Bush Lewis, our Texas personal injury lawyers can determine if there is some available remedy and help you or your loved ones pursue compensation for serious injuries or death in a drunk driving accident.

Drunk Driving Statistics

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported:
  • Almost 30 people die every day in motor vehicle collisions that involve drunk drivers
  • Such deaths occur every 48 minutes
  • Over 10,000 people die annually in the United States in alcohol- or drug-impaired crashes
  • Drunk driving account for 32% of total U.S. motor vehicle crash fatalities

Drunk Driving Facts—Proving Negligence

Proving negligence in a Texas DUI or DWI civil case may not be that difficult, depending on the outcome of the criminal case. The burden of proof in a civil case is much less than in a criminal case and is referred to as a preponderance of evidence. Unlike proving beyond a reasonable doubt (the standard in a criminal case), a preponderance of evidence is evidence that shows it is more likely than not that the claim is true.

Under Texas law, authorities can charge adults who drive when their blood alcohol content (BAC) tests .08 or higher with a DWI. There is a zero tolerance of alcohol for underage drivers and subsequently, authorities charge underage individuals with DUI when tests show any amount of alcohol in their blood because alcohol has a greater impairment on the young.

BAC testing is usually strong evidence of negligence in a DUI/DWI civil case, but other factors and evidence can sometimes be sufficient to prove intoxication or impairment. A Texas personal injury lawyer must establish that the defendant was driving drunk, and breached the duty of care to drive safely and caused harm to the injured or deceased person because of the intoxication. Actual damages can be recovered for the degree of injury and it is possible to recover exemplary or punitive damages in Texas DUI/DWI cases in addition to the actual damages allowed in all injury cases.

Holding multiple parties accountable in drunk driving cases

In drunk driving accidents caused by commercial drivers, the transportation company may also be liable. Bush Lewis handled one case that involved a young man who was decapitated when his car came over the top of an overpass on an interstate highway and struck the rear of an unseen, unlit commercial truck whose driver had passed out from alcohol. In this particular cause of action, our Bush Lewis Texas personal injury lawyers settled the case with the driver’s employer.

At Bush Lewis, we think that drivers causing accidents while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs must be held accountable financially for the damages they cause when they injure or kill someone. If you or a family member has been victimized by an intoxicated or impaired driver, find out how Bush Lewis can help. Call Ken Lewis today at 409-835-3521, or email us.

Know This Before An Accident

No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.