Were You Hit By a Drunk Driver?
Get compensation and accountability for your accident
Significant achievements in reducing drunk-driving fatalities have been made across the U.S., but impaired driving remains a serious problem.
For the victims and survivors of drunk driving accidents, the physical and emotional pain of the crash can be intense.
When people are drunk, high, or in another impaired state and cause an accident, Hoover Rogers Law, LLP holds them responsible for their negligence.
More than alcohol
Alcohol may be the most recognized form of impaired driving, but it’s far from the only type.
In general, impaired driving is the operation of a vehicle while in an altered state. In addition to drunk driving, impaired driving may be caused by:
- Illegal drugs
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Stress or other distracting mental state
- Medical conditions
Common impaired driving questions
After an impaired driving accident, victims usually have a lot of questions. Below, we have answered some of the most common ones our attorneys hear. This is general information. Every case is different, and the answers here may not apply to your specific situation. For more information about your legal options and the value of your claim, contact our firm to get a free injury case evaluation.
Who is liable for an impaired driving accident?
The impaired driver is almost always liable, but they may not be the only liable party. Sometimes there are other people than the driver who may also have contributed to a crash. This can include the person who sold or served them alcohol and, if the intoxicated driver is working at the time of the crash, their employer.
In Texas, in general, it is possible to hold a server or seller of alcohol liable for the injuries or damages caused by a guest who was obviously at dangerous levels of intoxication. This means that an individual or an entity like a bar or restaurant may owe accident victims compensation. The state’s social host laws offer stiff penalties for those who knowingly provide alcohol to minors.
Oklahoma doesn’t technically have a “dram shop” law. Instead, The Sooner State has a wide-reaching social host rule that includes bars, restaurants, nightclubs, liquor stores, and individuals. In general, Oklahoma says that alcohol cannot be served or sold to someone who is clearly intoxicated.
What should I do if I suspect the driver is impaired at the time of the accident?
The steps to take after a suspected impaired driving crash are generally the same as for any other car accident. Call the police, get medical attention, ask witnesses for contact information, and gather evidence. If the other driver appears intoxicated, quietly take note of that, but don’t do anything to escalate the situation. Remain calm until the police arrive.
Does the driver need to be convicted in court for me to pursue injury compensation?
No. An impaired driver does not have to be charged with or convicted of a crime for you to seek compensation. Your decision to file a claim or civil lawsuit is separate and distinct from a prosecutor’s decision to charge the driver with DUI.
Criminal courts have a higher standard of proof than civil courts. In criminal cases, the standard is the allegation is true beyond a reasonable doubt, and the prosecution must prove the specific elements of the criminal charge. Civil lawsuits merely call for you to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence (not necessarily impairment) caused the accident by a preponderance of the evidence – meaning it is more likely than not that an allegation is true. As such, even if the other motorist is acquitted of drunk driving, you can still hold them responsible for the accident in civil court.
If the at-fault driver is convicted of drunk driving, that criminal conviction can be used as proof of negligence per se, which just means the other driver caused your injuries by violating a specific law. This makes it much easier to prove fault for the accident. However, even in that scenario, you still need an attorney to prove the extent of your damages and advocate for the full financial compensation you deserve.
Take control of your accident — contact us today
After a bad car accident with an impaired driver, it’s important to have an experienced attorney with a winning strategy by your side.
Hoover Rogers Law offers free case evaluations to injured accident victims. We can help you understand your legal options going forward and estimate the value of your claim.
Our attorneys represent injury clients on contingency. This means that our fee is paid as a percentage of your recovery, not out of your pocket. We only get paid if we win.
Don’t delay. Waiting to start your claim can reduce evidence and hurt the accident investigation and, ultimately, your claim. Call, email, or chat online to schedule your appointment with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney.