If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a DWI accident, you can work to recover damages from the at-fault party. Filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit could bring you financial compensation to help you pay for the losses you sustained due to your accident.
You don’t have to handle your case alone, though. Legal help with your case is available. An Arlington DWI accident attorney from Domingo Garcia can help you explore your options following a DWI accident. Our personal injury lawyers can handle your case from start to finish while you focus on your recovery.
Damages Following an Arlington Drunk Driving Wreck
A drunk driving accident can cause enormous upset in the victim’s life. For instance, your vehicle could be totaled after the accident, which means you could have to pay to replace it. Even if the vehicle is fixable, you have to pay for repairs.
In addition, your injuries could be serious, leaving you with expensive medical bills. Some injuries are so severe that they require treatment for months or years following the accident.
Catastrophic injuries can even lead to total life changes, such as an amputation injury that prevents you from being as mobile as you once were. This type of injury could prevent you from working and enjoying your life, and it could cause you chronic pain.
If your injury keeps you out of work, that could mean lost income for you. Some people’s injuries are so serious that they are permanently disabled and unable to return to work. How will you live and pay your bills?
These damages could be compensable under Texas personal injury laws. You have to file a claim or injury lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation. A DWI accident lawyer can help you seek legal compensation following a DWI accident.
Damages you could experience following an accident:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Mental distress
- Cost of mental health treatment
- Lost life enjoyment
- Permanent injury/scarring
Wrongful Death Due to a DWI Accident
Sadly, drunk drivers can cause accidents that result in death. The loss of a loved one is devastating for families. They will experience the loss every day for the rest of their lives. In addition to the emotional trauma the family feels, they also get hit with other negative effects from the accident.
For example, if the loved one was the primary family provider, the other family members are now left without a means of financial support. They must now worry about how they will pay for food, housing, and living expenses.
In addition to the lost income from the deceased, family members can also deal with other financial hardships related to the funeral and burial of their loved one. Maybe they don’t have the money to pay for a funeral and burial.
The family will also suffer in many other negative ways. Children could be left without a caregiver and support system. A spouse is left without the companion they need to live their life happily.
Wrongful death places many burdens on family members, and the at-fault party may owe compensation to the victims of a DWI accident that resulted in wrongful death. The family members can seek compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Lost services
- Lost income/financial support
- Medical bills and expenses
- Mental health treatment costs/grief counseling
- Other accident-related expenses
How Does an Arlington DWI Accident Attorney Help?
After suffering injuries in an accident, you can experience several losses. Your injuries can be painful, and you could be worried about your health and recovery. You may be unable to work, which can cause you to worry about your financial stability.
You could deal with mental distress related to the accident, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD causes victims to suffer fear, flashbacks, depression, and anxiety. Some victims even have trouble getting into a car again due to overwhelming fear of getting into another accident, according to MedlinePlus.
You are dealing with so much already. If you want to recover financial compensation from the at-fault drunk driver, you will have to bring a claim or lawsuit. But the good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
That’s where a lawyer can come in and help. A DWI accident lawyer can help you seek compensation. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help.
Investigate Your DWI Accident
A lawyer can begin by helping to investigate your accident. The goal is to gather evidence to prove that the driver who hit you was intoxicated at the time of the accident. For instance, there could be evidence such as police reports, witness statements, laboratory tests showing the driver was intoxicated, video evidence, and more.
Your lawyer can help you gather this evidence that proves the driver was drunk and was responsible for causing the accident. The driver could face criminal charges as well as liability for all of the damages you suffered.
Your lawyer can also help you gather the medical and financial evidence necessary to prove your injuries and losses. For instance, they can help you gather proof of lost wages or calculate your pain and suffering.
Protect Your Rights
Another important aspect of your lawyer’s job is to watch out for your best interests at all times during the process of bringing an injury claim or lawsuit. They can protect you from bad-faith insurance practices. They can help you understand the most suitable legal strategy for your case.
A DWI accident attorney can also help you seek compensation through all available legal channels. They can represent you in court. They can protect you from being mistreated or overlooked by insurers or court professionals.
Legal Advice and Information
Your attorney also provides you with legal advice and information to help you make decisions on your case. They help you understand the personal injury laws that affect your case. They help you understand all of your options.
This information and advice can bring you enormous peace of mind because indecision can be horrible. When you aren’t sure what decisions are in your best interests, it can prevent you from making any decisions at all.
Deal With Insurance Companies
An accident lawyer can also help you deal with insurance companies involved in your case. For instance, the drunk driver’s insurance company will be involved in your case as you would be seeking compensation through the driver’s insurance coverage.
Your lawyer can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, protecting your interests. Your lawyer can take steps to ensure the insurer is acting in good faith and is not taking advantage of you. When your lawyer takes on the process of handling insurance matters, this can relieve a lot of stress for accident victims.
File Legal Paperwork
Whether bringing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, a lot of paperwork will be involved. This paperwork must be handled with care and carefully completed to avoid any errors. Claims can be denied if paperwork is not completed correctly. If your case goes to court, legal paperwork must be filed promptly and corrected.
Failure to complete paperwork accurately could result in a poor case result.
Represent You in Court
Sometimes, personal injury cases can go to trial. If you file a lawsuit for your DWI accident injuries, your lawyer can handle the court process on your behalf. They can litigate your case and prepare you for court. They can seek justice on your behalf.
Types of DWI Accident Injuries
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they can cause devastating accidents that result in serious injuries or death. One of the reasons DWI accidents are so serious is because the drunk driver does things that are outside of the norm, even for a distracted driver or reckless driver.
For instance, a drunk driver may veer into oncoming traffic without even realizing it. They may not even press on the brakes. This can cause a more severe accident due to the nature of the accident and the higher impact due to the driver not even braking before impact.
DWI accidents often come out of nowhere. A drunk driver can fall asleep at the wheel, causing a multi-car collision. These types of accidents can leave people with catastrophic injuries such as head injuries, spinal injuries, and amputations. In some cases, DWI accidents even result in the wrongful death of an innocent victim.
Here are some examples of serious injuries caused by DWI accidents and the impact these injuries can have on a victim’s life.
- Spinal Cord Injury – Damage to the spinal cord can cause significant life impacts for victims. You could even be partially or totally paralyzed by a spinal cord injury. This injury could prevent you from working, from living your life, and from life happiness. You may also require long-term medical care.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – A head injury can be serious, leaving victims with memory loss, mood changes, personality changes, balance issues, coordination problems, cognitive functioning issues, and more. Some severe head injuries can result in permanent brain damage and negative life changes.
- Organ Damage – Your organs can be damaged severely in a car accident. This can affect your overall health and quality of life. Some types of organ damage can leave you dealing with ongoing medical treatment, chronic pain, and an inability to work or enjoy certain aspects of life.
- Loss of Limb – The loss of a limb is a traumatic injury that can lead to serious pain and suffering. You could also have mobility issues and other health issues as a result. This injury can affect your ability to work and provide for your family. It can affect your enjoyment of life.
- Broken Bones – Some broken bones can be severe, resulting in permanent injury, scarring, lost mobility, physical pain, and other issues. A broken bone may not heal properly, leaving you suffering. Some broken bones could prevent you from working.
- Cuts and Lacerations – Severe cuts and lacerations can cause scarring and disfigurement. They could cause nerve and tissue damage. You could struggle with self-esteem issues related to severe scarring, and infections could also cause health issues.
Understanding Texas Negligence and Fault Laws
When a drunk driver causes an accident, it may seem obvious who was responsible for the accident. But car accidents can be more complex than you think. For example, a DWI accident could impact multiple cars, and more than one party could be liable for the accident.
Each car accident case must be carefully examined to determine fault and compare the fault of all involved parties. In most cases, the drunk driver will be liable for the accident, but there can be other liable parties as well. An accident lawyer in Arlington can help you piece together what happened so you will know who to file your personal injury claim or lawsuit against.
Texas allows injured parties to pursue legal recourse when someone was “at fault” for an accident, meaning the person caused it. It’s important to identify the cause and the party responsible. You will then have to provide evidence that supports your case in order to receive compensation from an insurance company or from the court.
Negligence laws in Texas outline when you can file a claim for someone’s behavior. For instance, when a drunk driver hurts you, the following elements must be present.
- The drunk driver owed you a duty of care, meaning that every time a driver gets on the road, they owe it to you to drive responsibly.
- When the driver chose to drive intoxicated, they breached the duty of care they owed to you.
- Their intoxicated state directly caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.
- You sustained serious injuries because that drunk driver collided with you.
You also need to understand that there are laws that affect your personal injury case, such as laws known as statutes of limitations. These laws give you a time limit for how long you can file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. For personal injury, you have two years in Texas (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003). For a wrongful death lawsuit, you also have two years (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003).
Your Arlington lawyer can help you follow all of Texas’ laws regarding a DWI injury accident case.
Types of DWI Car Accidents
There are many different types of DWI car accidents. You may have experienced a head-on collision, sideswipe car accident, T-bone accident, or rear-end collision.
Some types of DWI accidents include multi-car collisions. No matter what type of accident you were in, your lawyer can help you document the severity of the crash and document your losses.
Gathering Evidence to Help Support Your Injury Case
DWI car accident victims may wonder how they can help their case move to a positive resolution. The number one way you can help your case is to gather as much evidence as you can. Evidence is what strengthens a case. The more evidence you have, the better.
You can gather evidence that proves what happened, such as proving that a drunk driver caused your crash. For instance, if you have photos or videos from the crash scene, that could help your case. If you spoke with witnesses or someone else did, you can document those statements. You could record statements or write them down.
The police who arrived on the scene of the accident should also be collecting evidence, especially when the DWI accident caused severe injuries. If the DWI resulted in wrongful death, then the police would definitely have documented everything.
The Importance of Medical Evidence for a DWI Accident Case
The other important thing that a car accident victim can do is to document their injuries. These injuries are causing you hardship, and a lot of financial compensation could be owed to you for your injuries, losses, and suffering. You have to be able to show these injuries resulted from the DWI car accident, though.
Right after your accident, you should seek medical attention. You should be sure there is a link between the DWI accident and your injuries. You should take photos and videos of your injuries beginning on the first day and through recovery. You should be sure to talk with your doctor about your injuries.
You can obtain your doctor’s reports and statements. Ask for x-rays and other medical evidence that demonstrates your injuries.
Evidence of Your DWI Accident Losses
You should also collect evidence that demonstrates all the different ways this car accident and your injuries have affected your life.
For instance, if you are suffering from mental trauma related to the DWI accident, document your trauma in writing. Also, obtain records of mental health treatment you have obtained. Write down the ways your accident has caused you to suffer daily.
You should keep track of lost wages. If you haven’t been able to work due to your injuries, gather evidence of your lost wages. If you are unable to return to work or you are permanently disabled, you can gather evidence of your disability to show how you are losing out on future income.
You can gather evidence of all of your losses, both monetary and non-monetary, and be sure to give all of this evidence to your lawyer. There is no such thing as too much evidence.
Do I Have to Go to Court for a DWI Accident Case?
In most situations, compensation can be awarded outside of the courtroom, either through an injury claim or through a settlement. For example, if you file your claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, then you can receive compensation directly from the at-fault drunk driver’s insurer.
Other times, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. In some cases, we may even suggest beginning with legal action. If you do need to go to court in order to seek compensation for a DWI accident, your Arlington lawyer would prepare you for the process. They can walk you through every step of what to expect, as well as prepare you for testifying.
The Court Process
Just becuase you file a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will go to trial. Sometimes, the defendant will settle during mediation.
If the case goes to trial, the trial will usually follow these general steps:
- First, both parties go through opening statements. This is where they outline what they believe occurred. This is where your lawyer can talk about how the DWI occurred and the injuries you suffered.
- Next, evidence is presented to prove the facts of the case. Your lawyer will present all of your available evidence to the court, which could include witnesses, physical evidence, your own statement of what happened, medical evidence, and more.
- Then, the other side also gets to present evidence to refute your side of the story.
- Following the evidence, the closing statements begin.
- The jury or judge will deliberate, meaning they will decide what they think happened. If they determine that a drunk driver hurt you and caused you damages, they could award you damages.
Seek Legal Assistance With a DWI Accident Case in Arlington, TX
No one should ever have to be injured due to a drunk driver. Unfortunately, it still happens far too often. If you suffered injuries or a loved one suffered fatal injuries in a DWI accident, you might be looking for ways to obtain justice and compensation. You can seek legal assistance with a case from an Arlington DWI accident lawyer.
Domingo Garcia founded this law firm over 35 years ago. We have helped many accident victims seek compensation and justice for their accidents. Reach out to our firm today and receive a free case consultation.