When you hear terms like DWI and driving under the influence, you probably immediately think of alcohol. But these words and phrases are not limited to alcohol-impaired driving. A vehicle can become a deadly weapon in the hands of someone under the influence of illegal drugs. Certain prescription medications also advise against driving while using them. Illegal and legal drug-impaired driving can cause serious injuries, but an experienced Mableton, Georgia car accident attorney can help.
The risks of driving while impaired are well-known. Drugs of any kind can make it far more difficult to operate a motor vehicle. If weather conditions are poor, or an impaired person is driving at night, the risk is even higher. Impaired drivers tend to drive faster and more recklessly and have slower reaction times. They can easily strike another vehicle or a pedestrian, causing such injuries as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken arms and legs
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
These injuries can be permanent and life-changing, and in some cases may even result in death.
Taking drugs and driving is just as bad as consuming too much alcohol and driving. It doesn’t matter whether the drugs are prescription, either. Anyone who gets behind the wheel is responsible for making sure they can operate the vehicle. If you use prescription medication, follow all label warnings concerning driving and the operation of heavy machinery.
Criminal prosecution of impaired drivers can help take these dangerous individuals off the streets. But a conviction will not help the victim get financial compensation for his or her injuries. You need a civil court case to accomplish that. Hiring a skilled Mableton, Georgia automobile accident attorney to help in your case is the first step.
The criminal case will likely generate evidence that may be used against the responsible driver in a separate civil case. That evidence may include:
- Police reports
- Breathalyzer and field sobriety test results
- Witness statements
- 911 dispatch tapes
- Dash cam footage
Your Mableton, Georgia attorney will understand the evidence that is needed to prove your civil case. A lawyer also knows how to introduce this evidence in court and persuade a jury. There are rules of evidence and court rules that must be followed to ensure evidence is admitted.
If someone was driving under the influence and has injured you or a loved one, the recoverable damages could be substantial. They may include:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization and physical therapy
- Expenses related to seeking medical treatment
- Prescription drug medicines
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Lost earning capacity
- In cases where the victim died, wrongful death damages
It may be possible to seek damages through the driver’s insurance company, which is a typical place to start. The insurance company may not want to take an impaired driving case to court and may try to settle. However, bear in mind that the insurance company may try to settle a case as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is where you need the assistance of a skilled Mableton, Georgia automobile accident attorney.
Your attorney will understand the nature of your injuries and make sure you get the treatment you need. A lawyer will also aggressively demand fair compensation for your injuries from the insurance company. If necessary, the case may be taken to trial.
After seeking medical attention for your injuries, your next step is to take legal action. The criminal case against the driver is separate, and there is a different standard of liability for a civil case. You don’t have to speak with the insurance company and should retain a lawyer before you do.
If You Were Injured by Someone Driving Under the Influence, Contact an Accident Attorney Today
Drunk and impaired driving are serious crimes, and they can destroy lives. When someone chooses to act irresponsibly behind the wheel, you need dedicated legal representation. The attorney you select will have a substantial effect on how much compensation you receive. Don’t jeopardize your recovery. Call the professionals at Schneider Hammers today. We represent clients throughout Georgia.