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What to know if a drunk driver hits you

It still happens too frequently. Drivers get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. If you or someone you know has been hit by a drunk driver, it is important to know what to do next. No matter if you were in another vehicle, a pedestrian, or bicyclist, you have the right to make a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company.

Texas law says that victims of drunk driving accidents have the right to compensation for damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. The right to make a claim extends to passengers riding in the car of the drunk driver.

You may receive compensation for:

  • Physical and mental pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of work ability

When hit by a drunk driver, you should first evaluate the injuries suffered in the wreck. Someone should call the police and necessary medical personnel right away. If you think you are slightly injured, or perhaps that you didn’t suffer any injuries, it may be a good idea to still get a physical examination soon after the accident. The shock of a collision may keep the flow of adrenaline in your body steady, and you may feel the pain in full force after it wears off.

If the at-fault driver had a blood alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit, they will likely face criminal charges. When a drunk driver hits you, it is important to gather and keep obtainable documents relating to medical expenses and law enforcement. You may consider contacting a personal injury attorney to be aware of your legal options following the crash.

Determining fault and liability

When driving, we have a duty to follow traffic laws and respect the safety of others. If hit by a drunk driver, we can assume that that individual breached their duty by being impaired. You’ll still need to prove that the impairment was in fact the cause of the accident, and therefore their negligence caused damages.

Texas law may also hold the establishment who served the driver responsible. This “dram shop law” governs lawsuits over injuries suffered in a drunk driving accident. Depending on the evidence, you may have a case against the bar because they “helped” cause the accident.

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Willie D. Powells III

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Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC
7322 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2010
One Arena Place
Houston, TX 77074

Phone: 281-407-7445
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