Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

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When someone chooses to drink and drive, they put everyone else on the road at risk of harm. Alcohol reduces a person’s ability to think clearly and react quickly. They often take chances, ignore traffic signs, and speed, resulting in devastating accidents. If a drunk driver has hurt you or a loved one, you need experienced legal representation from an Atlanta car accident lawyer to hold them accountable.

At Rafi Law Firm, you can speak with an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer during a free consultation to understand your options. You can seek compensation for your injuries and other losses if they were at fault.

atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer

What kinds of injuries are common in drunk driving accidents?

Drunk drivers frequently display three behaviors that can lead to accidents. They choose to drive while inebriated, they get distracted, and they speed. This can cause them to weave in and ignore stop signs or stoplights. Their reaction times are also slower than a sober person’s, so they often do not stop in time to avoid a crash. The force on your car and its effects on your body is substantial.

Even in a vehicle with a good safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you can suffer severe injuries, including:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Burns
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Torn and sprained muscles
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
  • Puncture wounds from metal and glass
  • Blunt force trauma from flying objects
  • Crush injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation

The costs of treating these injuries can include emergency transportation, surgery, ICU treatment, medication, and ongoing care. In addition, you may be left with chronic pain and numbness. In the event of a lost limb or brain damage, you could struggle to return to your former job or hobbies. Calculating the extent of your financial burden is an important job for your Atlanta drunk driving accident attorney.

Who should pay for my damages after a drunk driving accident?

Under Georgia law, anyone who causes an accident is considered at fault and held financially responsible for the injuries and damage they cause. Every driver must carry liability insurance to pay for these costs, so you should start by filing a claim against the drunk driver’s policy.

Unfortunately, the minimum amount of coverage required is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury in a crash. The minimum for property damage is $25,000. Severe injuries often require extensive and lengthy treatment for you to recover, and with healthcare costs rising every year, $25,000 may not be enough.

You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit if the policy is insufficient. Legal action may be appropriate when the insurance company does not meet your demands during negotiations or if you have significant non-economic losses. You usually cannot claim pain and suffering from insurance but are eligible to claim these damages during a lawsuit.

What damages can I recover in a drunk driving claim?

In addition to medical treatment costs for your injuries, you also have the right to seek compensation for other economic losses related to your accident. For example, you can request the at-fault driver pay for:

  • Costs for repairing or replacing your vehicle
  • Cost of your prescription drugs, medical devices, and mobility aids
  • Fees for your rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Household services such as childcare, cleaning, and maintenance while you recover
  • Income you lost while you were unable to work
  • Increases in insurance premiums because you were in a crash
  • Mileage and other expenses you incurred while traveling for medical treatment
  • Reduction in earning capacity if you can no longer return to your job

While insurance policies may not cover your pain and suffering, a personal injury lawsuit allows you to request non-economic damages, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Emotional distress
  • Isolation from society
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of personal and professional reputations
  • Mental anguish
  • Scarring and disfigurement

These losses require special calculations to ensure you receive fair compensation. Your drunk driving accident lawyer in Atlanta can perform these estimations for you and collect evidence to demonstrate the emotional and psychological effects the wreck caused in your life.

atlanta drunk driving lawyer

Is the drunk driver the only person liable for my accident?

While it usually seems clear that the drunk driver is the only one at fault for your crash, your drunk driving attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the details. They may discover other liable parties to be held accountable in a lawsuit.

For example, Georgia’s dram shop liability law forbids establishments from overserving or serving drinks to an intoxicated person. If a patron goes on to cause a drunk driving accident after they were sold alcohol, the restaurant, bar, or venue could be partly at fault for your injuries. This law also applies to social hosts who serve drinks to people in their homes and allow them to drive away while intoxicated.

Other parties who could be at fault include the vehicle manufacturer, repair shops, or government agencies that manage road maintenance and signage. Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence statute, even you, as the victim, may be found partly liable. You are still eligible to claim damages if your portion of the fault is 49% or less. However, your compensation is reduced by the blame assigned to you.

Why should I hire an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer?

Managing the details of insurance claims and potential lawsuits after suffering a drunk driving accident can be overwhelming if you are seriously injured. There are details of the process you are likely unfamiliar with, meaning insurance companies can take advantage of you to make a low offer. Engaging an attorney to handle the negotiations may increase your chances of getting a better settlement.

Your lawyer prepares your case by gathering the relevant evidence, using their skill to reach a satisfactory settlement agreement, and ensuring the paperwork is handled correctly. You can focus on improving while they apply their experience to the case. They communicate with you on your claim’s progress and educate you so you can make the best decisions for yourself.

Ensuring a drunk driver pays for the harm they caused takes skill, training, and a strong background in the law. Hiring an attorney specializing in litigating car accident cases gives you a powerful advocate so you do not face the life-changing consequences of someone else’s bad decisions. Your lawyer should be dedicated to maximizing your compensation so you can recover comfortably.

How will my drunk driving accident lawyer prove negligence?

When your attorney is negotiating with insurance providers or arguing your claim before a judge and jury, they must present evidence that proves the other party was negligent in their actions. Negligence involves either the action or inaction of a person that harms another. In the case of a drunk driver, they negligently chose to get behind the wheel after drinking too much.

Your attorney collects evidence such as police reports, medical records, breath or blood alcohol test results, and other documentation to show the four elements of negligence against the defendant:

  1. Duty: The driver had a duty to you and others not to drink and drive.
  2. Breach: The driver breached their duty when they chose to drink too much and then get on the road.
  3. Causation: The driver’s actions were the direct or proximate cause of your injuries and damages.
  4. Damages: You now have financial and physical damages due to your injuries that the liable party must repay.

On Atlanta highways, it is easy for a reckless driver to cause more than one accident or a crash that involves many vehicles. If a drunk driver did not directly hit you, but their behavior led to your crash, you still have the potential to seek compensation from that person. This is why having a skilled attorney who researches all the evidence in your claim is crucial.

How long do I have to file a drunk driving lawsuit?

You must act quickly after you have begun to recover from your injuries. It can take several weeks to negotiate with insurance companies. If they refuse to provide enough compensation, you need to file your lawsuit to hold the drunk driver accountable. According to Georgia’s statute of limitations, this must be done within two years of the accident.

In situations where the driver is also facing criminal charges, your drunk driving accident lawyer in Atlanta can petition the court to delay the statute of limitations for as much as six years. This allows the criminal trial to finish, and your lawyer can request any evidence from that case for your civil trial. Once the delay is completed, you have two years to file your case.

If a loved one is killed in a drunk driving crash, the surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. They also have only two years from the date of the crash to seek damages, including funeral and burial expenses, medical costs before the family member dies, and financial loss to the household.

Contact an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer at Rafi Law Firm today

Recovering from the emotional, physical, and financial impact of a drunk driving accident takes time. Unfortunately, the law does not allow very long before you could lose your chance to seek justice through the courts. Rafi Law Firm offers free initial case reviews, allowing you to speak with an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer without obligation or cost. Our team will answer your questions and give our best advice.

Learn more about your legal options by calling us at (404) 800-9933 or using our online form to schedule a meeting today.

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