Thousands of people are hit by a drunk driver every year in this country. Georgia is no different. If you live in the Atlanta area, you know that there are a lot of people arrested for drinking and driving. Law enforcement in Atlanta takes drunk driving seriously and do everything they can to prevent it.
One of the reasons drinking and driving is against the law is because of the risk it poses to innocent people. When someone drinks and then gets behind the wheel, they put other drivers at risk. However, just because someone is drunk at the time of the crash, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be found liable.
To prevail in a car accident case, you’ll have to prove negligence. To do this, your Atlanta car accident lawyer has to prove the following:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach
If they can prove all of these things, you may be entitled to compensation.
Proving fault in DUI crashes can be difficult. Having an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta will help you do this. They have the experience necessary to know what it takes to get their clients the compensation they deserve.
A DUI Does Not Automatically Equal Fault
It makes sense that someone charged with DUI would be found liable in a car accident. However, that isn’t always the case. Yes, drinking and driving is against the law. However, you can technically be intoxicated and not be the one who caused a car accident.
While it’s rare that someone convicted of a DUI could escape liability, it does happen. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer can’t just argue that you deserve money because the other driver was drunk or high at the time of the crash. However, it does go a long way toward proving fault.
It comes down to which party is primarily responsible for the accident. If you were the one who caused the crash, the defendant may not be held liable for your damages. It depends on the kind of evidence you submit.
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you can’t assume that the insurance company is going to pay your damages just because the other driver was charged with DUI. However, the presumption will be that the person who was drunk or high was the one who caused the crash.
Will the Insurance Company Settle?
While you can’t assume the insurance company will just pay your claim without question, they will still want to settle your claim. If their client was arrested and convicted of DUI, they’re at a disadvantage. Rather than risk losing in court, the insurance adjuster will want to cut their losses.
Insurance adjusters know that people convicted of DUI face an uphill battle in court. A judge or jury is going to presume that a drunk driver was responsible for a car accident. They don’t want to have to convince a jury that their client wasn’t at fault. It may be better for them to negotiate a settlement with your Atlanta car accident lawyer.
You May Be Partially at Fault
Just because the other driver is charged with DUI doesn’t mean they’ll be convicted. Even if they are convicted, the court may still find that you were partially at fault. Georgia follows the modified comparative fault rule. This means that, as long as you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still recover damages against the other driver.
If you’re deemed partially responsible for your accident, the court will reduce the amount of your damages. For example, if you’re found to be 30% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 30%. The defendant’s lawyers are aware of this. If they think you were partially at fault, they’ll want to reduce your settlement. Your attorney understands this and will keep it in mind during settlement negotiations.
Contact an Experienced Attorney if You’ve Been Hit By a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you need to contact an experienced car accident driver in Atlanta, Georgia. They can review your case and talk to the insurance adjuster. They can try to settle your accident claim.
Call The Law Office of John B. Jackson today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case. Let an experienced attorney review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They can also answer any questions you may have.