Drunk driving continues to be a problem throughout the U.S. and Riverdale, Georgia is no exception. Fortunately, when drunk driving results in serious injuries or even death, the drunk driver can normally be held accountable for the victims’ damages.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Riverdale, GA, you should get in touch with the car accident lawyers at Humphrey & Ballard Law by calling us at 404-341-0499 to learn more about your legal rights and what you can do to protect those rights. Schedule your free consultation with a Riverdale drunk driving accident lawyer today!
Drunk Driving Statistics
In Georgia, there were a total of 375 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2018 that represented 24.9% of all total fatalities. There were 30 total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities involving victims under 21, which represented 18.9% of all fatalities among those under 21.
What Are the BAC Limits in Georgia?
According to Georgia Code Title 40 Motor Vehicles and Traffic § 40-6-391, a driver cannot be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, aerosol, glue, or toxic vapor that makes it unsafe for them to drive.
The current blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Georgia is 0.08. For those operating a commercial vehicle or any vehicle requiring a CDL, the BAC cannot exceed 0.04. Georgia also has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers below age 21, which means a BAC of 0.02 or higher results in a DUI charge.
Drivers that exceed the legal limit of alcohol or are under the influence of other controlled substances, face varied criminal penalties depending on the injuries, nature of the arrest, or deaths that might have occurred, along with whether it is a first or subsequent offense.
What Should I Do After an Accident with a Drunk Driver?
If you are involved in a car accident involving a drunk driver, you should know what to do. Here is how you need to handle the situation:
Call an Ambulance
Drunk driving can cause accidents that may result in serious injuries. That’s why you need to seek medical attention. If you get into an accident with a drunk driver, you need to call an ambulance immediately so that you and others involved in the accident receive medical attention.
Don’t Leave the Accident Scene
If you have reason to suspect that the other driver has either broken Georgia’s laws on transporting open alcohol containers or is driving under the influence, you should call the police and stay at the scene until they arrive. You will require a copy of the police report to help with your claim. Furthermore, it is an offense in Georgia to leave the accident scene.
Call the Police
You still need to call the police even if neither you nor others involved in the accident seem to have suffered any serious injuries. Calling the police is important so that they can arrest the drunk driver before they can cause more damage or try running off and they can also confirm that the driver was actually drunk at the time of the crash using various tests.
While at the accident scene, it is important to gather evidence that will play an important role in helping you pursue compensation. Use your smartphone to take photographs and video footage of the vehicles involved in the accident, your injuries and those of other people involved, and the state of the entire accident scene.
Exchange Information with Witnesses
You will need to gather as much evidence as you can at the accident scene to have a strong case later on. Ask witnesses to describe what they saw and record their statements. Don’t forget to get their full names and contact details too.
Call a Riverdale Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Car accidents involving drunk drivers tend to be legally complicated. You don’t want to hire a criminal lawyer to handle your personal injury case since it isn’t their field of expertise. Instead, you should call the experienced Riverdale drunk driving accident lawyers at Humphrey & Ballard Law at 404-341-0499 who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident in Georgia?
Money is obviously not enough to replace all that you have lost following a drunk driving accident. However, you can try to get some closure and justice by pursuing the 3 main types of damages below:
Economic damages are the damages that you sustain that can be computed in monetary terms. You will typically have to keep invoices or receipts to keep track of how much your economic damages are. Examples include:
- Medical expenses, physical therapy, treatment, equipment, prescriptions, etc.
- Property damage
- Lost wages and reduced capacity to earn
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
Non-economic damages are the damages that you sustain that are very difficult if not impossible to quantify in monetary terms. How much you are able to recover in non-economic damages will depend on how severe they are along with how much they have impacted your life. Examples include:
- Loss of consortium
- Disability or disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-5.1, it is possible for drunk driving accident victims to recover a reward for punitive damages if:
- The responsible party intentionally attempted to hurt or harm you
- The responsible party was egregiously negligent in his or her actions
- The responsible party was committing a crime when the accident occurred
It is important to note, however, that punitive damages are rarely ever awarded in personal injury cases. Still, it is possible for drunk driving victims to recover punitive damages because driving under the influence of any substance is obviously egregiously negligent behavior. While not all cases will qualify, the legal team at Humphrey & Ballard Law will ensure that you will receive a reward if yours does.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Georgia?
The same Georgia statute that governs other personal injury claims in the state also applies to drunk driving lawsuits. Under Georgia law, drunk driving accident victims have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court.
However, the 2-year time period can be tolled (paused) during the time that the drunk driver is facing criminal prosecution for up to 6 years. If that’s the case, the clock on the 2-year period within which you should file your case doesn’t start until after the criminal matter has been resolved or 6 years have passed.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident, you have been hurt, you have medical bills, and your car has been damaged or totaled by the drunk driver and therefore need legal advice immediately to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
However, you are probably guessing that quality legal representation doesn’t come cheap and are therefore wondering how you can afford to pay us. Fortunately, if we accept your case, we will represent you on a contingency-fee-basis, and this means that you won’t have to pay any fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Hurt in a Drunk Driving Accident in Riverdale?
Georgia is one state that takes drunk driving very seriously. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in Riverdale, GA with someone that you suspect may have been driving under the influence, it is your right under the law to sue them for your injuries and losses.
The legal team at Humphrey & Ballard Law can help you pursue justice and compensation if you are the victim of a drunk driving accident in Riverdale, GA. Call us today at 404-341-0499 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation with our experienced drunk driving accident lawyers.