Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Forest Park
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be a major problem on local highways. Irresponsible individuals cause accidents that lead to injuries and death by taking the wheel after drinking or taking recreational drugs.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Forest Park, you have legal recourse against the driver who harmed you. A local car crash attorney could pursue monetary damages against an impaired driver help you fight for compensation for the losses you suffered because of the accident.
Impaired Driving Ruins Lives
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 10,000 Americans die in drunk driving accidents every year. Recent statistics indicate that one person dies every 52 minutes as a result of an accident involving a drunk or high driver. Many more suffer severe, life-altering injuries.
Every state has made it illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Like many states, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Georgia is .08. Drivers with a BAC that meets or exceeds the legal limit could be arrested and charged with driving while impaired.
Drivers whose BAC is under the legal limit also could face charges. Individuals must be fit to drive safely, and BAC is not the only indicator of impairment. Police investigating an accident could collect evidence indicating a driver was impaired, such as the following:
- Poor coordination;
- Slurred speech;
- Glassy eyes, trouble focusing, unusual pupil size; and/or
- Odor of alcohol or drugs.
Alcohol and many recreational drugs diminish a driver’s judgment and skills. Some telltale signs of impaired driving include forgetting to turn on headlights, weaving or drifting between lanes, turning with a wide radius, and sudden braking. When a suspected impaired driver is involved in an accident, police will seek physical evidence and witness statements to determine whether they were operating their vehicle normally. An injured person’s attorney could later use this evidence to support a claim that their client’s injuries resulted from the impaired driver’s negligence.
Negligent Parties in Drunk Driving Cases
An injured plaintiff must present evidence that the defendant was negligent in a civil lawsuit seeking damages. The plaintiff also must demonstrate that their injuries were a direct result of the defendant’s negligent conduct. In Forest Park impaired driving crashes, there could be several potential defendants who might be liable to pay damages to a plaintiff.
A driver who was under the influence at the time of the wreck is responsible for compensating the plaintiff’s losses. They might be guilty of negligence per se if they were convicted of, or plead guilty to, an impaired driving charge related to the accident. Negligence per se means the plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant’s conduct was negligent, as the fact of the criminal conviction is enough proof. A plaintiff’s experienced attorney could present proof of impaired driving in a variety of ways, including witness testimony, cellphone records, surveillance footage, and more.
Restaurant, Bar, or Social Host
The Official Code of Georgia §51-1-40 imposes liability on commercial establishments that serve alcohol to someone who was noticeably intoxicated if the intoxicated person later caused injuries to someone else due to their drunkenness. This statute also applies to social hosts who provide intoxicants to an impaired person knowing that they will be driving.
If the impaired driver was behind the wheel of a vehicle they did not own, the owner could be liable under negligent entrustment. If a plaintiff could prove that the vehicle owner knew the driver was impaired and still allowed them to drive, the vehicle owner could be liable for the plaintiff’s damages.
Seek a Diligent Drunk Driving Attorney in Forest Park
If a drunk or high driver caused a wreck that caused your injuries, you could seek compensatory damages for your losses. If you were hurt in a drunk driving accident in Forest Park, you owe it to yourself to take action against the offending driver. An aggressive car crash attorney could help you hold them accountable. Call today to schedule a case review.