It is a tragic and infuriating tale told way too often. Someone gets behind the wheel after having one drink too many; maybe several drinks too many. He knows driving drunk is illegal. He knows it puts his life and the lives of others at serious risk. Despite all of this, he convinces himself that he is okay and can make it home safely. And then, in an instant, he is proven horribly wrong.
Reckless Choices. Senseless Tragedies.
Drunk drivers injure and kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. Over 10,000 lives – sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors – were needlessly ended by drunk drivers on American roads and highways in 2017 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That amounts to 30 people killed by drunk drivers every single day. Here in Texas, 2017 saw over 13,000 crashes involving alcohol, resulting in 521 deaths and over 1,200 injuries according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
What makes these tragic losses even harder for victims and families is the knowledge that their lives have been forever changed because another driver was so irresponsible, reckless, and negligent. Drunk drivers may make the choice to drive under the influence, but innocent victims are the ones who must live with the consequences.
Justice for Texas Drunk Driving Accident Victims
At Sandoval James, PLLC, we passionately believe in justice for those who suffer so much because others are negligent. We have dedicated our careers to caring for injury victims and their families, including those who suffer incomprehensible losses at the hands of drunk drivers.
In Austin and throughout Texas, our drunk driving accident injury lawyers provide the guidance and support that helps families through difficult times along with the forceful and fearless representation that can get them the maximum amount of compensation available for their injuries and losses. We have represented clients in thousands of vehicle accident cases, many of which involved intoxicated drivers, obtaining millions of dollars for our clients through settlement or trial.
Criminal Cases and Civil Lawsuits Against Drunk Drivers
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is an extreme form of negligence. In Texas and every other state, it is also a serious crime that can result in severe criminal penalties for those convicted, including significant time behind bars. But these penalties do not include awarding compensation to the victims of the crime. Obtaining compensation requires filing a civil personal injury lawsuit. While these are two separate proceedings with different rules and standards of proof, a drunk driver’s criminal case proceedings can have a big impact on a plaintiff’s personal injury or wrongful death claims.
The evidence that Texas prosecutors use to obtain DWI convictions – including police reports, field sobriety tests, blood, breath, or chemical tests, and witness testimony – can also be critical in proving negligence in a drunk driving accident injury lawsuit. If the driver is ultimately convicted of DWI in a criminal case, that conviction can be used as evidence of negligence in a civil lawsuit as well.
Even if the drunk driver obtains an acquittal or is not prosecuted for DWI, a good personal injury lawyer can still show that alcohol was in the driver’s system and impaired his or her driving at the time of the crash. Just because a driver’s blood alcohol content was lower than Texas’ legal limit does not necessarily mean he or she was not impaired and negligent.
If a Drunk Driver Has Turned Your Life Upside-Down, Contact Sandoval James Today for Your Free Initial Consultation.
At Sandoval James, our Austin drunk driving accident lawyers bring an unmatched work ethic, deep compassion, and personal commitment to the representation of those whose lives have been shattered because of intoxicated drivers. We are relentless in our efforts to get full compensation for our clients and welcome the opportunity to help you.
To arrange for your free initial consultation, call us today at 512-382-7707 or contact us online.