If you or a loved one has been hurt by a drunk driver, you are unfortunately not alone. Despite public awareness campaigns and stronger law enforcement efforts in Georgia, drunk driving remains a problem. In 2011 alone, nearly 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, including 323 victims in Georgia, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.
At the Mann Law Firm, we know you want to see the drunk driver who harmed you or your family member to be held fully accountable, along with anyone who allowed that driver to get on the road. We also know that you need to be compensated for all of the physical, emotional and financial damages you have suffered. Our goal is to seek justice on your behalf, whether it involves securing a full and fair settlement outside of court or pursuing a verdict at trial.
Our DUI lawyers have been helping Macon and Middle Georgia car accident victims for more than 50 years. We want to put our experience to work for you. When you are ready, contact us by calling (478) 742-3381 or by using our online form. We can provide a free review of your case.
Investigating Your Drunk Driving Accident
If Mann Law Firm takes on your drunk driving accident case, we will thoroughly investigate the crash. In many cases, our investigation will be aided by local law enforcement records.
In Georgia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08. If the drunk driver in your case had a BAC above that limit, then it is likely that criminal charges were filed. To establish whether the driver was alcohol-impaired, we can seek evidence such as:
- Standard field sobriety test results
- Breathalyzer test results (the device commonly used in Georgia is the Intoxilyzer 5000)
- Blood test results
- Statements from witnesses showing whether the driver refused blood alcohol tests
- Other evidence showing that the driver smelled of alcohol or had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or a flushed face immediately before or after the accident.
If a driver is convicted of driving while impaired (DWI or DUI), then it establishes what’s called “negligence per se.” This means that the driver’s wrongful conduct is presumed. In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, our lawyers would be focused on showing how the driver’s misconduct directly caused you or a loved one to be harmed.
However, a criminal conviction is not required to seek compensation from a driver who caused an accident after drinking. Even if the driver wasn’t legally intoxicated, the use of alcohol may have impacted the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely and caused your accident.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
As we investigate the role alcohol played in your crash, our Macon DUI attorneys also will seek to answer two other questions:
- Who should be held responsible?
- What damages can you recover?
The obvious answer to the first question is that the drunk driver should be sued. In some cases, this driver may not be a “drunk” driver. Instead, it may be a person under age 21 (the legal drinking age) who should not have had any alcohol in his or her system at all while operating a car. In other cases, the driver may be someone who was driving a car in which you were a passenger.
The drunk driver may not be the only one who should be brought to justice.
Under Georgia law, you can seek compensation from others who contributed to your crash. These parties include:
Bars, restaurants or stores – Under Georgia’s “dram shop” law, any business that sells or otherwise provides alcohol to a person under age 21 or who is “noticeably intoxicated,” knowing that the person will soon drive an automobile, can be sued for any injuries that driver causes.
Social hosts – The “dram shop” law mentioned above isn’t limited to businesses that sell alcohol. The law also allows personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits to be brought against individuals, such as party hosts.
When it comes to seeking damages, we will review all of the insurance policies held by these parties as well as your own insurance coverage. Our goal will be to seek the maximum amount of compensation. In many cases, we can secure this amount in a settlement that avoids the need to go to court. If insurance companies refuse to settle, then our firm has a strong record of taking cases to trial.
In a personal injury lawsuit that arises from a drunk driving crash, you may be eligible to recover money for your medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. If you are pursuing a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver and others at-fault, you may seek other damages, such as funeral expenses or loss of the care and companionship of a loved one.
The Mann Law Firm may also seek what are called “punitive damages.” These damages are meant to punish and deter reckless conduct like drunk driving. In fact, while Georgia law places a “cap” on punitive damages in most cases, that cap doesn’t apply to drunk driving crashes.
Contact our Macon DUI Lawyers Today
The experienced DUI lawyers of the Mann Law Firm want to help if you have been hurt or lost a family member in an accident caused by a drunk driver. Call (478) 742-3381 or contact our firm online to learn how we can assist. You’ll speak directly with a drunk driving accident lawyer who will be sensitive to your situation and aggressive in seeking results for you.
Involvement in a vehicle crash can lead to trying days ahead, and you may be asking how often do car accident cases go to court? While the last thing you want to do is drag out the process and delay receipt of payments for medical expenses, replacement of property, and other potential damages, sometimes going to court may be your best option to get......