Canton Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Drunk Driving Accidents in Georgia
Every year, drunk drivers injure and kill thousands of people in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about one in three traffic fatalities is caused by drunk driving. In Georgia, more than 19,000 people were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in 2019, according to the Georgia department of Driver Services. It is clear that, despite laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated and harsh criminal penalties for those convicted of DUI, Georgia has a drinking and driving problem.
If you were injured or if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, you already know the devastating impact someone else’s poor choice can have. At Hasty Pope, LLP, we believe there is simply no excuse for drunk driving, and we believe that victims of drunk drivers deserve justice. With over 150 years of collective experience and deep roots in the Polk/Cherokee County area, our team is ready to fight for you.
Is Drunk Driving Considered Negligence?
Georgia’s DUI laws prohibit anyone from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or 0.08% or above. For commercial vehicle operators, the limit is 0.04%, while minors (those under the age of 21) are not permitted to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. Additionally, a person can be arrested for DUI if they are found to be “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs or have any detectable illicit substance, including marijuana, in their system. Those who are found guilty of driving drunk face criminal and administrative penalties, ranging from jail time to fines to driver’s license suspension.
But is drunk driving considered negligence, and is it grounds for a personal injury claim? In short, yes; anytime a person violates the law and/or puts others at risk, they can be found to have acted negligently. Drunk driving is a breach of the duty of care motorists owe to others on the road, as it puts other people at risk of being injured in accidents.
This means that drunk drivers can be held legally liable for victims’ damages. This is in addition to any criminal penalties or administrative consequences the drunk driver may face. If you were injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to file a personal injury claim, regardless of whether the drunk driver faces criminal proceedings.
Can You Sue a Bar or Another Vendor After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Like many other states, Georgia has what are known as “dram shop” laws. These laws permit victims of drunk driving accidents to bring legal action against bars, restaurants, and other establishments/vendors that provide alcohol to drunk drivers.
To bring a dram shop claim, you will need to prove the following elements:
- The vendor knowingly, willfully, and unlawfully provided alcohol to a minor (someone under the age of 21), or;
- The vendor knowingly provided alcohol to someone of legal drinking age who was obviously intoxicated, and;
- The vendor knew that the person to whom it served alcohol would operate a motor vehicle soon after being provided alcohol.
So, if you were injured by a drunk driver who was clearly intoxicated and overserved at a bar right before getting behind the wheel, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the bar.
Additionally, Georgia’s social host laws allow injured individuals to bring claims against non-vendors who overserve clearly intoxicated individuals or minors whom they know will soon operate a motor vehicle. This means you could have a claim against both a drunk driver and a social host, such as a family member or friend of the drunk driver who provided them with alcohol at a party.
Damages in Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Drunk driving accidents tend to result in massive damage, catastrophic injuries, and fatalities. Because alcohol impairs one’s cognitive abilities, reflexes, and reaction times, drunk drivers often do not slow down before hitting other vehicles and objects, meaning these accidents often happen at high speeds. This increases the likelihood of severe, life-threatening injuries.
Victims often require extensive medical attention and ongoing care. They may suffer disabilities that prevent them from returning to work, either temporarily or permanently. This in addition to the immense physical pain and emotional suffering they are likely to experience can be debilitating.
At Hasty Pope, LLP, we help our clients fight for maximum compensation for their economic and non-economic damages, including but not limited to:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Medications and medical equipment/devices
- Current and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Counseling services and therapy
- In-home care costs and home modifications
- Lost quality of life
- Property (vehicle) repairs
- Funeral/burial expenses (in wrongful death cases)
In some drunk driving accident cases, we may also be able to pursue punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate victims for specific losses but, rather, to punish parties whose willful, wanton, or egregious negligence causes harm to others.
Request a Free Consultation Today
At Hasty Pope, LLP, we know that no amount of financial compensation can make up for the losses you have endured. However, a successful drunk driving accident claim can provide a much-needed sense of justice, as well as the financial resources you need to heal.
Our Canton drunk driving accident lawyers are here to handle all the details of your case so that you can focus on getting the medical treatment and rest you need. We employ an aggressive, results-driven approach that has helped us recover more than $100 million for our clients to date. We know the law, as well as the local players, and we are ready to use our resources, skills, and experience to fight for you.
Expectations Exceeded- Brian and Sheryl
Simply the best- Christine Chester
Absolutely satisfied with the way were treated- Michael Smith
Top notch service- Nicole Smith
Thank you John & Kirsten- Vanessa
$9,000,000 Wrongful Death
Settlement of $9 million in September of 2019. This was for the family of a 20-year-old man struck and killed by a driver who crossed the centerline in Cherokee County, Georgia on May 18, 2018.
$6,000,000 Truck Accident
A tractor-trailer lost control and struck two motorcyclists, both suffered catastrophic injuries.
$5,000,000 Rear-End Accident
A female client was rear-ended at a high rate of speed in Fannin County, Georgia, a county in North Georgia. The negligent driver was following too closely and failed to maintain control of her vehicle.
$2,800,000 Dental Malpractice
A woman sustained permanent injury to her mouth and teeth as result of dental work performed below the standard of care by a dentist employed by a large corporate dental chain.
$2,500,000 Intersection Collision
A woman suffered multiple injuries including head trauma, multiple rib fractures, and a collapsed left lung when another car ran a red light and struck her vehicle in West Palm Beach, Fla.
$2,000,000 Intersection Collision
Our 76-year-old client, Sara, was on her way home from the salon. She was driving through an intersection on a green light when a young driver turned in front of her.
$1,735,000 Distracted Driving Accident
Our client was struck and killed on I-985 in Hall County, Georgia. Our client had pulled off I-985 to secure his load and was outside all lanes of travel.
$1,700,000 T-Bone Collision
A woman suffered permanent injury to her dominant arm after being involved in a collision at Davis Drive and Mansell Road in Alpharetta, Georgia.
$1,650,000 Accident on MARTA Bus
Our client sustained an injury in an accident in which the wheelchair ramp of a MARTA bus closed on her foot in 2016.
$1,300,000 Motor Vehicle Accidents
A 49 year-old was injured when a driver ran a red light causing a collision. The client suffered injuries to his head, face, neck, shoulder, and knee requiring multiple surgeries and procedures.