Drunk driving often leads to car accidents resulting in severe or fatal injuries. Over one-quarter of all traffic fatalities are caused by a vehicle operator under the influence of alcohol. In Texas, drunk driving fatalities caused 987 deaths in 2016. Many more are seriously, even permanently, hurt in these vehicle crashes. Motorists under the influence often lose control of their vehicle or are incapable of adjusting to changing road and traffic conditions.
The Houston vehicle accident attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury law have years of experience handling cases involving drunk drivers. We make sure that the negligent driver is held accountable for the damages they have caused our clients. Our team knows how to get results for our clients. Contact us today to learn more.
Texas Drunk Driving Statistics and Facts
The following statistics were taken from the Texas Department of Transportation:
- In 2016, there were 987 fatalities and 2,302 incapacitating injuries in DUI crashes in Texas.
- In Houston, there were 1,492 crashes involving drunk drivers, resulting in 93 deaths and incapacitating injuries.
- There were 56 pedestrians and pedalcyclists killed by drunk drivers in 2016.
- The most dangerous hour of the day for drunk driving crashes in Texas is between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.
- The most dangerous day of the week for drunk driving crashes is Saturday.
Who is Liable in Crashes Involving Motorists Under the Influence of Alcohol?
Anyone suspected of drunk driving and causing an accident will be responsible for their involvement and the injuries sustained by others. Even in cases where comparative negligence is suspected, an impaired motorist will at least be partly culpable.
All vehicle operators are held to a duty of care, which requires them to avoid decisions that would put others at risk. This includes maintaining safe speeds, adhering to all traffic laws, maintaining the vehicle properly, and remaining vigilant behind the wheel. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are in breach of this last stipulation as the substance robs a person of the ability to stay attentive. In many cases, an impaired motorist will also be in violation of traffic laws, further cementing their culpability.
Texas also has Dram Shop Laws, which state that an establishment which serves alcohol to a visibly drunk person might bear some responsibility if that person is involved in a vehicle crash. It is up to servers to stop serving drinks to someone who could pose a threat to other drivers. In these types of cases, a driver AND the establishment might share responsibility.
Serious Injuries in Drunk Driving Crashes
Drunk drivers are responsible for hundreds of deaths and serious injuries in Texas every year. Some of the most serious injuries suffered in these crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries, e.g. organ damage
- Loss of limbs
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death.
These injuries can be extremely painful and diminish a victim’s quality of life in many ways. They might find it difficult to work or earn a sustainable income. They might also require constant care and medical attention or need assistance to perform the most basic tasks. In addition to the pain and suffering someone might experience after a drunk driving crash, they might also face financial hardship from medical bills, lost income, property damage, or any other number of costs.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we sue drunk drivers – and we believe that no one should have to pay for the negligence of an impaired driver. We ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve to help them cope with the incredible fallout of a drunk driving accident.
Impairment Beyond Alcohol
Any substance that causes dizziness, drowsiness, or reduces the ability of a driver to focus on the road or quickly respond to emergencies should be avoided by drivers. While alcohol is the most notorious cause of impaired driving, several other substances can also cause drivers to be impaired behind the wheel. This might include:
- Other illegal drugs
- Prescription medications
- Some types of over-the-counter medications.
What Should the Victim Do If They Sustain Injuries in a Vehicle Crash?
Anyone harmed in a wreck should seek medical attention immediately. It is the authorities’ job to determine if the other motorist was impaired or not, and their findings will be in an accident report. During the treatment process, the victim should keep a record of their injuries and the treatment they have received. It is also important to keep a record of all the doctors involved in the victim’s recovery as their testimony may be necessary in a contested case. The victim’s injuries and medical expenses will represent the bulk of the victim’s demand package, an official financial demand from the responsible parties.
Police testimony is often the single most important piece of information in these cases. A victim is also more likely to have a favorable outcome if the impaired motorist has previous DUI or DWI convictions or arrests, as most DUI and DWI convictions involve repeat offenders.
When drunk driving leads to car accidents, the injuries can be devastating. It is the victim’s and their lawyer’s responsibility to demonstrate the scope of these injuries. If the victim is permanently disabled, too hurt to work, disfigured, or plagued by chronic pain, they may be entitled to lost wages or additional awards due to grievous suffering. The victim’s medical records will help make this clear.
How We Can Help
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we investigate our client’s cases to determine who was at fault and how much compensation should be pursued against a negligent driver. Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury attorney in Texas and a former judge. He has decades of experience with cases involving drunk drivers and offers clients exceptional legal representation in these cases.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a vehicle accident involving a drunk driver, we encourage you to reach out to our firm to learn more about your legal options. Remember: Terry Bryant sues drunk drivers. To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 1 (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.