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How To File A Lawsuit Against DUI Drivers Who Cause Accidents

Mon Oct 24, 2022 | By: Law Firm of Walter Gabriel | Articles |

When someone is injured by a drunk driver, they may be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages. The driver does not need to be convicted of a DUI before a civil lawsuit can be filed. Potential plaintiffs include passengers in the DUI driver’s vehicle, occupants of other vehicles, and pedestrians.

The plaintiff simply needs to prove that the driver was negligent under Atlanta law. A motorist is negligent when he or she:

  • Fails to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle
  • Breaks a traffic law
  • Disregards a known danger

If the plaintiff can prove that the driver was negligent, they may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

Damages recoverable after being hit by DUI driver

An intoxicated driver who causes an accident can be held liable for damages to the other people involved. These damages can include medical bills, car repair bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Families of people who are killed by drunk drivers may also be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Drunk driving is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

 

When can someone sue a drunk driver in Atlanta?

If you have been injured by a drunk or drugged driver, you may be able to sue for damages in Atlanta. A driver is considered intoxicated when the alcohol and/or drugs impair his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely.

The injured party (the plaintiff) will need to prove that:

The defendant was negligent, and as a result of the negligence, the plaintiff suffered damages.

If you believe you have a case, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

When is a driver negligent under Atlanta law?

Drivers in Atlanta owe a “duty of care” to other motorists and pedestrians. Failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others when driving is considered “negligence.”

A driver may also be deemed “negligent per se” under Atlanta law. “Per se” is a Latin phrase meaning “of itself.”

Negligence “per se” occurs when a defendant violates a law or statute meant to protect other drivers and pedestrians. In other words, violation of a statute is, in and of itself, proof of negligence.

For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits another car, he or she may be liable for negligence per se. This is because running a red light is a violation of the law meant to protect other motorists from exactly this type of accident.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve.

Atlanta’s “negligence per se” law

If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages under Atlanta’s negligence “per se” law. This law presumes that the defendant is negligent if they violate the law and as a result cause an injury.

To take advantage of this law, you must first introduce evidence of negligence per se. Once you do this, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to prove that either they did not violate the statute or that the violation did not cause your injury. If the defendant is unable to do this, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Atlanta DUI Laws

In the state of Georgia, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are caught driving while intoxicated, you will be subject to criminal penalties.

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Georgia is .08%. This means that if your BAC is .08% or higher, you will be considered legally intoxicated.

If you are pulled over by law enforcement and they have reason to believe that you are impaired, they may ask you to submit to a chemical test to determine your BAC. If you refuse to take the test, you will automatically be subject to license suspension.

If you are convicted of DUI in Georgia, you will face harsh penalties. These can include jail time, fines, license suspension, and mandatory DUI classes. In some cases, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

If you are facing DUI charges in Georgia, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process. An attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you of your best course of action.

 

Excess BAC CDL

If you are a commercial truck driver in Atlanta and you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the consequences can be serious. If you are convicted of DUI, you will face a mandatory 180-day suspension of your commercial driver’s license (CDL). In addition, you will be required to complete an alcohol treatment program and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you are convicted of a second DUI, your CDL will be permanently revoked.

If you are pulled over for DUI, the officer will administer a field sobriety test. If you fail this test, you will be arrested and taken to the police station for a chemical test. This test is used to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Georgia, the legal limit for driving is a BAC of 0.08%. If your BAC is above this limit, you will be charged with DUI.

Commercial truck drivers who are convicted of DUI face significant consequences. If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to speak with an experienced injury attorney who can help you defend your rights and fight for a favorable outcome in your case.

DUI by ridesharing, taxi, or limo drivers

DUI laws in Atlanta are very strict when it comes to commercial drivers, such as ridesharing, taxi, and limo drivers. If you are convicted of DUI while driving one of these vehicles, you will face much harsher penalties than if you were convicted of DUI while driving a personal vehicle.

The first thing you need to know is that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for commercial drivers in Atlanta is 0.04%. This is significantly lower than the BAC limit for personal vehicles, which is 0.08%. If you are caught driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher, you will be automatically arrested and charged with DUI.

The penalties for DUI are also much harsher for commercial drivers. If you are convicted of DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, you will face a fine of up to $5,000, up to one year in jail, and a mandatory license suspension of at least six months. You will also have to complete an alcohol treatment program and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

If you are a commercial driver in Atlanta, you must understand the strict DUI laws that apply to you. If you are convicted of DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, you will face significant penalties that could include jail time, a large fine, and a mandatory license suspension. Make sure you understand the risks before you get behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.

Underage DUI

If you are under the age of 21 and are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Atlanta, Georgia, you will be subject to the state’s “zero tolerance” law. This means that you will automatically have your driver’s license suspended for six months if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02% or higher. You will also be required to attend an alcohol education and treatment program and may be fined up to $300. If this is your second DUI offense, the penalties will be more severe.

In addition to the zero-tolerance law, several other DUI laws apply specifically to underage drivers in Atlanta. For example, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. If you are caught doing so, you could be fined up to $1000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in jail. Additionally, it is illegal for an underage driver to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.

If you are convicted of DUI as an underage driver in Atlanta, you will have a permanent criminal record. This can make it difficult to get a job, rent an apartment, or obtain a loan. It is important to understand all the consequences of a DUI conviction before pleading guilty. If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options.

Driving while addicted to a drug

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs in Atlanta, Georgia. Drivers who are caught driving while impaired by drugs can be charged with a DUI. The penalties for a DUI conviction can include jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension.

Drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs will be given a field sobriety test. This test includes tasks such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. If the officer believes that the driver is impaired, they will be arrested and taken to the police station for a chemical test. This test measures the number of drugs in the driver’s system.

Drivers who are found to be impaired by drugs can be given a DUI. The penalties for a DUI conviction can include jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension. Drivers who are convicted of a DUI will also have to complete a drug treatment program.

It is important to remember that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs. If you are caught driving while impaired, you will be arrested and charged with a DUI. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe, so it is important to avoid driving while impaired.

Chemical test refusal

In the state of Georgia, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are pulled over by law enforcement and suspected of DUI, you may be asked to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). You have the right to refuse this test but doing so comes with consequences.

If you refuse a chemical test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year. You will also be required to attend an Alcohol and Drug Use Risk Reduction Program at your own expense. Additionally, you may be subject to other penalties such as fines or jail time.

While you have the right to refuse a chemical test in Georgia, it is important to understand the consequences of doing so. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.

Federal motor carrier safety regulations

A commercial driver is prohibited from driving with a BAC of .04% or higher, or while performing any safety-sensitive functions with a controlled substance in his/her system. This means that interstate drivers of commercial vehicles cannot be under the influence while operating their vehicles. If you are caught driving under the influence, you may face serious penalties, including jail time, loss of your commercial driver’s license, and high fines. Don’t risk it – drive sober.

The accident must be caused by the drinking or drug use

The plaintiff must still prove that the violation caused the plaintiff’s injury. This means that even if the defendant violated a DUI statute, the plaintiff must show that this violation led to the plaintiff’s injury to recover damages. Without this causation, the plaintiff will not be successful in their claim.

Does the defendant need to be convicted?

A defendant does not need to be found guilty of the crime of DUI as a prerequisite to suing for damages in Atlanta.

This is because Atlanta criminal laws and civil liability laws serve different purposes and have different burdens of proof.

The burden of proof in an Atlanta DUI lawsuit

Criminal DUI laws exist to punish drunk drivers and deter others from driving while intoxicated. Guilt must be established “beyond a reasonable doubt” and all 12 jurors must agree.

But civil liability exists to compensate victims of wrongful acts. Liability need only be established by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable. In other words, civil juries need only find that the defendant is 51% or more at fault. And only 9 of 12 jurors must agree to find liability.

So, even if a driver is found “not guilty” of DUI in criminal court, he or she can still be held liable in civil court for damages resulting from a drunk driving accident.

The types of damages you can recover in an Atlanta DUI lawsuit

If you are injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, which include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In some cases, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are designed to punish the defendant and deter future drunk driving. Punitive damages are rare but may be awarded if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

Is a DUI conviction proof of negligence?

A conviction for DUI is sufficient to prove that the defendant was negligent per se. This is because violation of a statute constitutes per se negligence under Atlanta law.

So even if the defendant avoids jail time by pleading to an Atlanta “dry reckless” or other vehicle code violation, it will still be negligence per se.

(Note that it does not work the other way around. Being found liable in a civil lawsuit for DUI does not establish guilt under Atlanta’s criminal DUI laws).

But the defendant has the right to introduce evidence showing that his or her impairment did not cause the accident. If this evidence is convincing, it can reduce or eliminate the damages the plaintiff recovers.

Are punitive damages recoverable against a DUI driver?

To recover punitive damages in Atlanta, the plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was guilty of malice. In this context, “malice” does not mean evil or bad intent. Drunk driving is a serious offense, and anyone who commits this crime should be held accountable for their actions. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Can families of injured people sue a DUI driver?

Losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident is a tragedy. Families may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages for their loss. Possible bases for recovery include loss of consortium, wrongful death, or an Atlanta “survival” action. punitive damages may also be recoverable in some cases. Families who have lost a loved one to a DUI driver should speak with an experienced attorney to learn more about their legal rights and options.

What if I was partly to blame for an accident with a DUI driver?

Just because another driver was DUI, this does not necessarily mean he or she was 100% responsible for an accident. In Atlanta, a jury can apportion fault for an accident between two or more parties based on comparative negligence.

Also known as “comparative negligence” or “shared fault,” this standard allows a plaintiff to sue even if the defendant was only slightly at fault. Unlike some states (such as Nevada), Atlanta does not require that the defendant be 50% or more responsible for an injury. If you have been in an accident where the other driver was DUI, you may still have a case even if that driver is found to be only partially at fault.

Does insurance cover DUI drivers?

Most Atlanta auto insurance policies will pay compensatory damages when a policyholder injures someone while driving drunk. This means that medical bills and other compensatory damages can be recovered under the DUI driver’s third-party auto liability insurance, or under the plaintiff’s own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.

However, the plaintiff may have to sue a defendant directly if there is no insurance coverage for the accident, or if the policy limits do not cover the full extent of the damages. In these cases, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the best course of action.

What should I do if I am hit by a drunk driver?

If you are hit by an intoxicated driver in Atlanta, it is important to call the police and file a report. The police report and any chemical tests that were administered can be used as evidence to prove that the driver was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Even if the driver was not intoxicated, there are still 15 steps that should be taken after a car accident in California. These steps include gathering information from the other driver, such as their name, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. It is also important to take photos or videos of the damage to both vehicles.

You PAY NOTHING, unless YOU WIN.