In Georgia, drunk drivers may be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Those who are convicted of DUI can face serious criminal penalties. Additionally, they may sued for damages stemming from the accidents they cause.
DUI can significantly impact car accident claims in Georgia. When a driver is found to be driving under the influence and is involved in a car accident, their negligence is typically a clear contributing factor to their collision. Accordingly, victims of accidents caused by drunk drivers may have more straightforward paths to compensation.
In the aftermath of your collision, seek support from our experienced Georgia car accident attorneys by calling Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
How a DUI May Affect Your Car Accident Case in Georgia
When considering how DUI impacts car accident claims in Georgia, it’s crucial to understand the significant implications it has for accident victims who may be filing claims against drunk drivers.
Firstly, Georgia has strict laws against drunk driving. When a motorist operates a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs, they are not only breaking the law but also endangering the lives of others on the road. Accordingly, victims of car accidents involving DUI often have a strong case for compensation.
It may be easier to establish fault for accidents involving drunk drivers because DUI is a clear violation of traffic laws. Victims can use DUI convictions as compelling evidence to demonstrate at-fault drivers’ negligence. This can significantly strengthen their claim for compensation.
Furthermore, judges may be more likely to award punitive damages in car accident cases that involve a DUI. Unlike compensatory damages that reimburse plaintiffs for their losses, punitive damages serve to punish defendants for their especially reckless behavior and discourage similar conduct in the future.
During your free case review, our Athens, GA car accident lawyers can assess how a DUI conviction may impact your potential claim. Afterwards, we will identify the appropriate route to payment and explain the next steps to take.
What if You Share Fault for a Collision with a Drunk Driver in Georgia?
There are situations where accident victims can share fault for their collisions with drunk drivers. For example, someone who commits an improper lane change may share blame for their crash with a drunk motorist. Further, a crash between a speeding driver and a drunk driver may involve varying degrees of fault.
If you share fault for your collision with a drunk driver in Georgia, you may still acquire payment for the damages you sustained. However, the amount of compensation you are awarded can be restricted.
Georgia courts abide by the rules of “modified comparative fault” when apportioning damages in car accident lawsuits. This means that payment is assigned based on each party’s percentage of fault. As an example, if you are 20% to blame for your accident while the drunk driver is 80% at fault, then the drunk driver will have to pay for 80% of your damages while you must account for the leftover 20%.
Importantly, you should remember that motorists who are over 50% at fault for their crashes are prevented from pursuing claims against other parties. Fortunately, the team at our law firm can help gather evidence and build your case. Accordingly, you may more easily establish that the defendant is mostly or entirely responsible for your collision.
Can You File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia if You Were Charged with DUI?
In Georgia, you may sue another driver for your car accident injuries even if you received a DUI charge in connection with the accident. However, it’s important to understand that your DUI may significantly impact your ability to recover damages.
As previously mentioned, Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that any compensation you receive may be reduced based on your degree of fault. Furthermore, your DUI conviction can impact the perception of your credibility in court, potentially affecting the outcome of your potential case.
To navigate this complicated situation effectively, it’s essential to hire competent legal representation. Our lawyers are prepared assess the specifics of your case, provide guidance on how your DUI may affect your claim, and work to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Why is Drunk Driving a Common Cause of Car Accidents in Georgia?
Drunk driving remains a distressingly common cause of car accidents in Georgia, as it does across the United States. Several factors contribute to this unfortunate trend.
First, it’s important to note that alcohol impairs a driver’s cognitive and physical abilities. Alcohol reduces reaction times, impairs judgment, and affects coordination. In Georgia, as in many other states, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.08%. Despite this legal limit, many individuals continue to underestimate the impact of alcohol on their ability to drive safely. This misjudgment often leads to impaired drivers taking to the road, putting themselves and others at risk.
Additionally, social factors play a significant role in the prevalence of drunk driving in Georgia. Social events, celebrations, and gatherings where alcohol is consumed are commonplace, and people may be tempted to drive after consuming alcohol because of a lack of alternative transportation options or a reluctance to inconvenience others. This cultural acceptance of drinking and driving contributes to the high rate of alcohol-related accidents.
Enforcement and deterrence also play a role in the prevalence of drunk driving. While law enforcement agencies in Georgia work diligently to combat drunk driving, it remains a challenging issue to address comprehensively. Some individuals may be deterred by the risk of being caught and facing legal consequences, but others still choose to drive under the influence because they believe they won’t get caught.
Lastly, the availability of alcohol is another contributing factor. Georgia’s relatively lenient alcohol sales and distribution laws, along with the accessibility of alcohol, make it easier for individuals to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers for Assistance with Your Claim in Georgia
Get help from our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys at Howe Law by dialing (844) 876-4357.