A drunk driving accident in Houston isn’t uncommon. In 2011 and 2012, Harris Country was “first” in the number of vehicle crashes involving alcohol nationwide. Specifically, in 2011, there were about 2,700 crashes associated with alcohol, while in 2012, there were about 2,800. About 350 people lost their lives in these wrecks. Those are startling numbers, and clear evidence that the Bayou City has a serious problem with intoxicated motorists. When someone under the influence gets behind the wheel, they are acting negligently. If this negligence leads to harming others, they will be responsible for any injuries. The real challenge is securing that compensation from the defendant or their insurance company.
WHAT KIND OF LIABILITY IS INVOLVED IN A DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT THAT OCCURS IN HOUSTON?
If a motorist is arrested for DUI at the site of the incident, a victim already has most of the evidence they need. If possible, the victim or witnesses corroborating the victim’s account of the events should take note of everything about the defendant that suggested alcohol use. Slurred speech, unsteady walking and unusual behavior are all stark indicators. Even if it is obvious that the motorist is intoxicated, though, the police should be contacted.
Motorists arrested and convicted of DUI or DWI have little chance of winning an injury claim. In almost all cases, an intoxicated motorist has absolute liability and will be responsible for any injuries. However, if a victim is to attain significant compensation at settlement, they need to prove to the defendant’s insurance company that they know the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Even if a drunk driving accident in Houston leads to an arrest, the defendant’s insurance will not relent unless the victim has done their research. It may seem like an underhanded tactic, but that’s why victims can benefit from attorney assistance.
HOW CAN A DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYER IN HOUSTON HELP A VICTIM?
When a victim is hurt by an intoxicated motorist, they usually have to contend with the defendant’s insurance company, as the defendant likely won’t have the funds to pay the victim’s medical bills and lost wages. Insurance companies are used to taking on injury claims, so they can be difficult to handle. They may aggressively attempt to get the victim to agree to a lesser settlement, or withhold information that proves their client’s total liability.
An experienced attorney knows these tactics and can defeat them easily. But more importantly, an attorney will ensure all of a victim’s damages are accounted for. In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, a victim is entitled to additional compensation for any ongoing therapy and the pain, suffering, and inconvenience that they sustained as a result of the crash.
While an intoxicated motorist won’t have much of a defense in court, a victim may still meet resistance from their insurance company. But with an attorney’s guidance, even a powerful insurance company won’t be much of a threat to the victim.