Drunk Driving Car Accidents In Lubbock
The risks of driving under the influence of alcohol have been well-known for decades, and every state has laws prohibiting it. Even so, irresponsible people drink, drive, and cause severe injuries and death every day.
Victims of drunk driving car accidents in Lubbock can hold impaired drivers liable for their injuries and other losses. If you or a loved one were injured in an intoxicated driving wreck, a local car accident attorney with Chad Jones Law could help you pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
Severe Injuries Are Common in Drunk Driving Crashes
Driving under the influence is illegal because alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction times. Many accidents involving drunk drivers happen at speed because of how alcohol affects people. Impaired driver tend to drive too fast and engage in reckless conduct behind the wheel.
High-speed accidents are often fatal. Even when a drunk driving accident victim survives, they often suffer significant and permanent injuries, including:
- Limb fractures
- Disfiguring facial injuries that sometimes cause blindness
- Chest injuries such as collapsed lungs and rib fractures
- Damage to the anterolateral heart muscle, which could cause a heart attack
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Herniated disk, fractured vertebrae, and other back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
Recovering from these injuries can require significant medical intervention. Many of these injuries could permanently affect the accident victim’s ability to perform their job or even live independently. A dedicated Lubbock attorney could further explain the kinds of compensation someone could receive after a drunk driving collision.
Process for Claiming Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident
In Lubbock, the insurance company for the driver who caused the drunk driving accident is responsible for paying compensation to anyone who suffered losses. Insurance adjusters will investigate a wreck to determine which driver caused the crash. A driver operating a vehicle while impaired will be at least partly at-fault, and an injured party could file a claim against the impaired driver’s insurance for their injuries.
In many cases, the accident victim must turn first to their own insurance company, seeking compensation through their personal injury protection (PIP) if they have it. Unfortunately, PIP limits tend to be low and usually will not cover the full extent of care required after a drunk driving accident. When insurance coverage alone is not enough to account for all losses after a wreck, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver to secure reimbursement and payment for their injury-related losses. A skilled attorney could explain the legal process and guide the claimant’s pursuit of damages.
Proportionate Responsibility Could Limit Damages
Violating drunk driving laws is negligence per se, meaning that proof of impaired driving is enough to establish a driver’s negligence. However, this does not inherently mean that a drunk driver is entirely at fault for an accident. If there is proof that the claimant’s conduct contributed to the wreck or that their failure to comply with medical advice worsened their injuries, the claimant could be partly liable.
In Texas, insurers only need to pay compensation if their insured was at least 50 percent to blame for a victim’s injuries, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001. If an injured person bears part of the responsibility, their damages are reduced in proportion to their fault. In other words, someone who is 20 percent at fault could collect only 80 percent of their damages.
Because injuries in drunk driving accidents are often severe, insurers stand to lose significant sums paying an injured party’s claims. They often work aggressively to shift responsibility for an accident onto the victim. An injured person without legal representation from a knowledgeable Lubbock attorney might shoulder an unfair portion of the blame for a drunk driving car crash.
Seek Justice Against a Drunk Driver With a Lubbock Attorney
People who get behind the wheel while under the influence put everyone else on the road at risk. If you were involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it is important to understand that you have rights, including the right to compensation.
Do not assume that just because a driver was drunk that their insurer will pay you appropriate compensation. Insurers often try to get out of paying you the full amount you deserve, but our team at Chad Jones Law is prepared to fight back. Give us a call today to learn more about what we could do for you.