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Crosley Law: San Antonio Drunk Driving Injury Attorneys

We Fight for Victims of Drunk Driving

A fatal drunk driving crash happens roughly every 20 minutes in Texas. While our state has lowered this death rate in recent years, it’s still too high. At Crosley Law, we fight for justice on behalf of drunk driving victims in Bexar County and across Texas.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a drunk driver, you should contact an aggressive San Antonio personal injury lawyer immediately. Depending on your circumstances, you might have multiple insurance claims arising out of the crash.

A drunk driving accident can change your life forever. Our personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights, rebuild your life, and pursue justice. Schedule your free consultation by completing our online contact form or calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.

We Can Help

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5 Mistakes to Avoid After an Auto Accident

Drunk Driving Is Far Too Common in Texas and San Antonio

While drunk driving rates have fallen in recent years, we still have a long way to go. In 2018, almost 1,000 Texans died in drunk driving accidents. In the City of San Antonio alone, drunk drivers caused 1,830 crashes and 42 deaths. Bexar County has the third most drunk driving crashes in the state, exceeded only by Harris County and Dallas County.

Blood Alcohol Concentration: Poor Driving Happens Long Before the “Legal Limit”

Under Texas law, you are guilty of drunk driving if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08%. For people under 21 years old, Texas has a zero-tolerance policy.

Unlike some states, Texas does not have a “super drunk” or “extreme DWI” law. However, alcohol negatively impacts your driving abilities long before you reach the legal limit.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers start showing deficits at a BAC of 0.02.

  • 0.02 BAC: Your vision is impaired and you can’t multitask as well.
  • 0.05 BAC: You start noticing problems with coordination, have a hard time tracking moving objects, steering is difficult, and you can’t respond as well to emergencies.
  • 0.08 BAC (“legal limit”): Your chances of causing an accident skyrocket. You now have problems with concentration and short-term memory. You can’t control your speed or monitor the road very well.
  • 0.10 BAC: You no longer can stay in your lane or brake appropriately. Your reaction times are poor, and you may be slurring your speech.
  • 0.15 BAC: Besides vomiting, most drivers experience a major loss of balance and can no longer control their vehicle.

While every drink you consume makes it more difficult to drive safely, a significant number of drunk driving crashes involve people with less than a 0.08 BAC. In 2018, at least 1,878 people died in crashes where the at-fault driver had a blood-alcohol concentration between 0.01 and 0.07.

Criminal Sentencing vs. Civil Liability in Drunk Driving Cases

Most people associate drunk driving with criminal penalties and prosecutors. However, drunk driving cases often have both criminal and civil components.

  • Criminal liability: The State of Texas presses criminal charges against the drunk driver, demanding jail time, community service, and other penalties.
  • Civil liability: The accident victim files lawsuits against the negligent parties, demanding damages and compensation.

A criminal case will not compensate you for your lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. To get this much-needed help, you’ll need to file a civil lawsuit.

Criminal and Civil Drunk Driving Cases Have Different Standards

Under Texas law, you must prove a criminal case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The prosecutor must convince the jury that the at-fault driver almost certainly committed a DWI. If this jury only thinks that it’s likely the driver was intoxicated, they cannot convict them. This is a remarkably difficult standard.

However, civil cases do not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, you only have to show, using a “preponderance of the evidence,” that the driver was likely operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even if the State of Texas decided not to pursue criminal charges, there still might be enough evidence to prove civil liability.

Balancing criminal and civil cases can be difficult. At Crosley Law, we take a client-focused approach by communicating with prosecutors, counseling our clients, and aggressively pursuing their personal injury claims. To schedule your free case evaluation with an attorney, contact us online or call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.

You also should not wait for the criminal case to conclude before filing an insurance claim. Under Texas’ statute of limitations, you only have two years from the crash to file your civil lawsuit. Once that deadline passes, you may lose your right to compensation.

Crosley Law Settles Six-Figure Claim After Drunk Driving Crash

Ryan and Jamie’s Story

Ryan K., an actor living in New York City, had recently flown to San Antonio to visit his sister Jamie. The two had big plans, including an evening at the Botanical Gardens. In the early hours of the morning, those plans changed without warning.

What Sources of Compensation Exist for Drunk Driving Accident Victims?

Depending on the nature of the drunk driving accident, you might have multiple claims against multiple defendants.

  • Drunk Driver Liability: You should file a claim with the drunk or drugged driver’s insurance company. In Texas, all drivers must carry a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person (up to $60,000 per crash) and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
  • Dram Shop Claims: Bars and restaurants cannot intentionally overserve customers. If an establishment continues to sell a visibly intoxicated person alcohol, and the person causes a crash, the business may be financially responsible for the victims’ injuries.
  • Social Hosts: In Texas, people who host a party or gathering are typically not responsible for overserving an adult. However, if someone knowingly overserves someone under the age of 18, or allows them to drink of their property, the host may be responsible for your injuries.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance: Most people in Texas have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries, you can file a claim under your own UM/UIM policy.
  • PIP Policies: If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, you can file another claim with your insurance company. PIP may cover some of your medical bills and lost wages. You should have PIP unless you declined the coverage in writing.

Each of these claims will involve different insurance companies, attorneys, policy limits, and legal issues. Frequently, the competing insurance companies will try to blame each other in an attempt to avoid liability. In these situations, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced San Antonio DWI accident lawyer. An attorney can help you cut through red tape and stop the insurance companies’ delay tactics.

How Much Is My Drunk Driving Accident Case Worth?

The value of your accident claim will depend on a series of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the cost of medical treatment, the value of your lost wages, the extent of your pain and suffering, and whether you’re eligible for punitive damages.

At Crosley Law, we focus on car and truck accident claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death. We work with our clients to identify and document their financial losses, quantify their pain and suffering, and demand punitive damages when appropriate. We also carefully review each case’s facts and the related insurance policies, looking for additional coverage or claims that might help our client receive additional compensation.

RELATED: Hit by a Drunk Driver? You May Be Able to Pursue Punitive Damages

Crosley Law’s Approach to Drunk Driving Personal Injury Claims

At Crosley Law, we know that attention to detail is vital in a drunk driving liability claim. We carefully sift through evidence, reviewing:

  • Police reports
  • Blood-alcohol content data
  • Witness statements
  • Sobriety test videos
  • Other valuable information

We also perform background checks on drunk drivers, looking for patterns of reckless driving and disregard for the law. Our goal is to build the strongest case possible based on the unique circumstances of our client.

Medical treatment and evidence are also vital to a drunk driving claim. At Crosley Law, we want to see our clients heal from their injuries. We also know medical evidence can strengthen their DWI accident claims by documenting their injuries, explaining their symptoms, and linking their conditions to the crash.

Unfortunately, many accident victims have a hard time getting adequate medical care due to insurance issues. We help our clients find doctors who accept their medical insurance. If you are uninsured, we can attempt to negotiate payment agreements with a network of local physicians.

And, when necessary, we use cutting-edge technology and nationally renowned experts in toxicology, physics, engineering, and vehicle crash reconstruction. These tools help juries understand the complex issues involved in a DWI accident case. We also retain medical experts and life care planners who help our clients make wise financial decisions, maximize their financial recoveries, and plan for their futures.

We Can Help

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Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable

Drunk driving usually involves a conscious decision by an impaired driver to get behind the wheel. Because drunk drivers are so harmful to society, we at Crosley Law do everything within our power to hold drunk drivers accountable. We hope that by aggressively pursuing these cases, we can help make the roadways safer for other drivers in the future.

To us, these are more than just cases — they are a cause. That’s why we often handle drunk driving cases pro bono, especially when police officers are harmed by drunk drivers while in the line of duty.

  • Detailed reviews of relevant medical records and accident reports
  • Nationally and regionally recognized experts and physicians
  • Crash reconstruction experts
  • Crash data from the vehicles involved
  • Digital crash simulations
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Advanced medical imaging
  • Cutting-edge recordkeeping databases
  • Jury focus groups

These legal and technological assets help us to prove your TBI’s causes and severity, which lets us put a precise dollar figure on every cost and loss that you’ve suffered because of your head trauma.

We also act quickly. We know the insurance adjuster will try to delay your claim as much as possible, hoping you’ll cave and take a lowball settlement. You can’t wait for help and compensation. That’s why our TBI attorneys do everything in their power to push our clients’ cases forward and prepare every case as if it’s going to trial from day one.

References

Drunk driving. (n.d.). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

DUI (alcohol) crashes and injuries: Cities and towns. (2018). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2018/41.pdf

DUI (alcohol) crashes and injuries by county. (2018). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2018/40.pdf

Sobering facts: Drunk driving in Texas. (2014, December). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/impaired_driving/drunk_driving_in_tx.pdf.

Total and DUI (alcohol) fatal and injury crashes comparison. (2018). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2018/38.pdf

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.