According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), about every 20 minutes in Texas, someone’s hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol. TxDOT documented 101,363 alcohol-related vehicle crashes in 2018 resulting in 3,639 deaths. Thousands more were seriously injured. Despite the known risks and public awareness campaigns, many drivers needlessly and carelessly risk their own lives, and those of others, by deciding to drive drunk.
Texas Laws Regarding Drunk Driving
Texas law states that anyone aged 21 years or older with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher is considered legally drunk. For individuals under 21, any BAC amount is considered legally drunk. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy as it applies to those under 21 years of age.
BAC is determined via a breathalyzer or a blood test. Penalties for drunk driving can include loss of driving privileges, fines, and imprisonment. In addition to criminal proceedings, drunk drivers may also be subjected to civil lawsuits.
Who Is Liable In A Drunk Driving Accident?
If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, you can bring a personal injury claim against that individual. But in certain situations, you may also bring a claim against the business or person who gave or sold the alcohol to the driver.
In civil cases, a person injured in a drunk driving accident may also be entitled to punitive damages, but only if you can prove the drunk driver engaged in “gross negligence.” Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are meant to punish the drunk driver. Punitive damages aren’t awarded in every case. You must prove the drunk driver’s gross negligence to be entitled to this type of award. In Texas, gross negligence is defined as
- A conscious and extreme lack of care puts other motorists at significant risk. It’s considered much more serious than a mere lapse in judgment.
- You have the burden of proving that the drunk driver engaged in gross negligence by clear and convincing evidence.
The following are examples of when punitive damages may come into play:
- The driver was speeding.
- The driver has multiple DWIs.
- The accident involved multiple cars and injured people.
- The drunk driver shows no remorse.
Common Drunk Driver Accident Injuries
Drunk driving accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries that can severely affect your quality of life, and even result in death. Common injuries include
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Burn injuries
The experienced attorneys at Hernandez Sunosky, LLP can help you assess your injuries, medical bills, and ultimate impact on your life to ensure that you are compensated fairly.
Types Of Compensation In A Drunk Driver Accident Case
Due to the careless conduct and behavior involved in a drunk driving accident, you have the right to recover compensation for:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical Impairment
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of services
Our Houston Drunk Driving Attorneys Can Help You
Did a drunk driver cause you to suffer injuries? Call Hernandez Sunosky, LLP for assistance. We help drunk driving injury victims in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas.
Based in Kingwood, Hernandez Sunosky LLP serves clients in Houston, Atascocita, Humble, New Caney, Porter, Pearland, and across Texas. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to support you in your time of need, providing the legal expertise and guidance you require to seek justice and compensation.