DWI car accidents are very serious. The responsible drivers might face criminal charges, and the victims may face severe, even life-threatening, injuries. However, victims and their families can seek compensation and work to hold responsible drivers directly accountable. A Texas DWI car accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia can help with your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
In your case, we can prepare your insurance claim or lawsuit for you and take it to court to make sure you receive all the money damages you deserve after a DWI car accident.. We can even demand damages you may not be aware of , like punitive damages. During a free case review, we will advise you on how to proceed with your case and educate you on how to work with a Texas DWI car accident lawyer from our firm.
What Should I Do if I Was in a DWI Car Accident in Texas?
DWI car accidents can lead to serious or even catastrophic personal injury cases. In these situations , victims should try to follow certain steps in order to help themselves physically and financially. However, in DWI car accidents, specifically, there may be additional steps to take. You should consider the following:
Seek Medical Attention
First, if you haven’t gone to the doctor yet either schedule an appointment immediately or contact the attorneys at Domingo Garcia and we will schedule an appointment for you. If you’ve already been to the doctor, you should make sure you are following the doctor’s advice for all additional treatment and therapy that they recommend.
Consider Working With a Lawyer
You don’t have to handle your case on your own. A Texas DWI car accident lawyer at Domingo Garciacan help you get medical care and get started on your case quickly. Our law firm can even help you find doctors that will wait on payment until your case settles and you receive money.
Gather Information From the Authorities
Something else you should do is collect the police report and other details from the authorities. They may be able to provide you with the other driver’s personal information or even tell you whether the driver is the actual owner of the vehicle. You should also look for any information that may reveal the driver has a DWI/criminal background.
All of this information may be invaluable for your claim or lawsuit. One of our firm’s lawyers can gather this information for you if you like.
How Is a DWI Car Accident Case Different from Other Car Accident Cases?
In some ways, DWI cases are similar to other car accident cases and some other personal injury cases. All of these cases involve injuries, liability, and physical and financial damages. However, DWI cases have many differences, especially when it comes to investigating and resolving a DWI case. The following explains some of these differences:
DWI Cases Involve Driving While Intoxicated
When a person drives while intoxicated, they have alcohol, a drug, or a controlled substance in their body that causes them to lose mental and physical faculties. This is dangerous, so a DWI is considered a criminal case. The driver may face DWI criminal charges and civil liability to compensate an accident victim.
Texas’ Laws Regarding Intoxication
These laws don’t apply to you, but they do apply to establishing negligence in your case. For example, your lawyer can establish the other driver’s negligence if they can prove the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. At or above this level, a driver is intoxicated according to Texas law.
In the United States, one drink equals any drink with 14 grams of pure alcohol. Your standard bottle of beer is approximately five percent alcohol by volume. Five ounces of wine is typically seven percent alcohol, and liquor is 40 percent alcohol. The driver who caused your accident could have had as few as four or five drinks before they were legally too impaired to drive. This can be affected by other factors such as the driver’s age, health, height, and weight.
There are other laws regarding intoxication by use of drugs or controlled substances. Your lawyer can review any of these laws with you if any relate to your case.
Multiple Parties May Be Liable
In many personal injury cases, only one party is liable. However, in DWI cases, a bar, a restaurant, a store, or even a host of a social event may share liability with the driver. For instance, one of these other parties may also be liable if they served the driver too much alcohol.
“Providers” of alcohol to drunk drivers who can be sued according to Texas Dram shop laws, are those who hold licenses to sell alcohol in the state. The statute also states that in order to be held liable for an accident or deliberate act that resulted in injury, a licensed alcohol seller must have “sold, served, or provided” alcohol to an individual who presented a clear danger to themselves or others. The statute also states that the drunk driver’s intoxication was the cause of your damages.
Insurance Companies May Be More Willing to Negotiate
Generally, insurance companies take DWI cases very seriously. This is because historically juries will award an attorney that actually takes cases to trial more money when they suffer injuries due to a drunk driver. Additionally, when a person is injured or killed due to a DWI car wreck, the drunk driver and other responsible parties often face punitive damages.
Punitive damages are money damages that a jury can award over and above the money for the injuries you or a loved one has sustained. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer for conduct that is not only negligent but grossly negligent and deter others from engaging in such dangerous conduct.
Due to these differences between a car wreck and a DWI car accident, the insurance companies may be willing to pay more money if they believe the law firm will take the case to trial unless a higher settlement is paid. The DWI car crash lawyers at Domingo Garcia are committed to taking cases to trial unless our clients are fully compensated and the insurance companies know this. .
What Damages Can I Get in a Texas DWI Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit?
With a car accident claim or lawsuit, you can demand the economic and non-economic damages you’ve suffered. Your economic damages are your financial damages, whereas your non-economic damages are your intangible damages.
One of the first things your Texas DWI car accident team will do for you is to determine your economic and non-economic damages, which may include:
- Economic Damages: These include lost wages, loss of earnings capacity of the costs required to help with household duties when a severe or catastrophic injury occurs.
- Medical damages: These may be the cost of treating your injury, like a brain injury; the cost of medication, like a painkiller; your expenses for rehabilitation, like physical therapy for a paralyzed limb; your expenses for occupational therapy; your expenses for mental health counseling; and/or your bills for any assistive medical equipment and accommodative home renovations you require.
- Other financial damages: These could be the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and other property.
- Other intangible damages: These damages include physical impairment, disability, disfigurement as well as pain and suffering and/or mental anguish.
- Punitive damages: These damages are awarded to punish the drunk driver, bar/restaurant that served the drunk driver or even the drunk driver’s employer or owner of the vehicle if they allowed him/her to drive despite a previous history of DWI’s.
- Wrongful death damages: Sadly, some Texas DWI car accidents are fatal. Intoxicated drivers often lose their ability to control their vehicles, resulting in terrible, fatal accidents. The family of a victim may never recover from their loss. In Texas, the spouse, children and parents of a person killed in a DWI car wreck can recover damages for the loss of earnings, household services of the deceased as well as money damages they suffer due to the mental anguish and loss of companionship due to the wrongful death.
Punitive damages may also be recovered by the family from the drunk driver and all other responsible parties.
What’s the Value of My Texas DWI Car Accident Case?
It can be difficult to determine the value of a DWI case without an experienced DWI lawyer’s assistance. You can evaluate your financial losses using financial documents, like your receipts for physical therapy and your pay stubs for work, but you can’t easily evaluate your intangible losses because there is no specific calculation of how these damages are valued. The value often is tied to the experience, reputation, and abilities of the attorney. The DWI lawyers at the law offices of Domingo Garcia have the skills and experience to maximize the value of these intangible or non-economic damages.
In order to help the insurance company or jury to understand the value of your damages our DWI attorneys may hire experts to conduct an examination and provide expert opinions.. For example, a medical expert may be able to evaluate your damages, which could help our DWI attorneys at Domingo Garcia present your case to the insurance company or jury. The DWI attorneys at Domingo Garcia have relationships with a number of experts available to them for reference, including doctors, economists, life care planners and car accident reconstructionists.
Our experienced DWI car accident lawyers will take all the steps and spend the money on the necessary resources to present your case persuasively to the insurance company and, if necessary, a jury so you receive full justice for your injuries and damages.
The Insurance Company Will Undervalue Your Case Without a DWI Lawyer
Insurance companies look out for themselves, not injured persons or families of those killed by drunk drivers. Because of this, the insurance company will almost definitely attempt to offer you a low ball settlement that does not consider the full extent of your injuries including placing little or no value on your pain and suffering, impairment, and loss of ability to earn in the future.
Insurance companies will only fully value your case when they know you are being represented by a skilled and experienced DWI car accident attorney that has and will take these cases to court and win results from the jury. Our DWI car accident lawyers try cases! Because of this we can and will fight to get you FULL VALUE for all of your damages.
How do I Prove My Texas DWI Car Accident Case?
You may have a very valid case against the other driver, and you might have a long list of damages. However, you must still prove your case, which will require evidence.
Your doctor may be willing to provide a written opinion of your damages. Additionally, a car accident reconstructionist from our firm may provide corroborating testimony about the incident. Other experts, such as economists, could also support your case.
Experts aren’t the only sources of invaluable evidence for a DWI car accident case. Others can include:
- A collection of photos or video footage you took from the accident scene
- Bystanders who may have witnessed the accident
- Traffic camera footage of the accident
- Vehicle dash camera footage
- Security camera footage
- The police report
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Your medical patient records
- The other driver’s toxicology report
- The other driver’s field sobriety test results
- The other driver’s employee profile, if applicable
Establishing the Four Elements of Fault in a Texas DWI Car Accident Case
Although it may be easier to prove negligence in a DWI case, the liable party may still argue about the fault. Evidence alone isn’t necessarily enough to prove fault. A lawyer will also have to establish the criteria of negligence in a case.
In your DWI car accident case, our attorneys can fight to illustrate the following:
- The other driver should have driven safely and sober in order to prevent a car accident and protect other drivers from injury (this is the driver’s duty of care)
- The other driver did not drive safely and sober, such as by driving while drunk (this is the driver’s breach of duty of care)
- The driver’s neglect and intoxication led to the car accident (this is known as causation)
- The car accident led to your injuries and other losses, such as a brain injury and physical therapy for paralysis (your injuries and losses are your damages)
Intoxicated Drivers May Commit Other Forms of Negligence
Regardless of whether a driver is intoxicated, all motorists owe others on the road a basic duty of care to keep them reasonably safe. This means:
- Driving at a reasonable speed
- Looking out for other drivers and pedestrians
- Controlling their vehicle
- Maintaining the vehicle
If a driver drove while intoxicated and failed in their duty in another way, we can help gather evidence of various forms of negligence.
How Can a Texas DWI Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Seek Compensation?
Once your lawyer has evaluated your damages and collected evidence for your case, they can get to work on pursuing your damages. This entails communicating with the other party’s insurance company and lawyer(s).
Your lawyer may begin by initiating negotiations with the vehicle insurance company. Negotiating can be complicated, especially if the insurance company is difficult or acts in bad faith. If so, they can present their own evidence to challenge an insurance company’s determination of fault. Your lawyer will attempt to settle your case fairly.
If the insurance company refuses to settle fairly, your lawyer can file your lawsuit for you and take your case before a judge or jury. In a trial, your lawyer will fight for a fair verdict.
When Should You Sue for a DWI in Texas?
You and your lawyer may choose to sue at a point in your case, such as if negotiations fail. Alternatively, you and your lawyer can choose to sue right away.
It may be best to sue immediately if your injuries are severe or catastrophic. Also, you may want to sue right away if you have special damages, such as the cost of hiring a long-term caretaker.
Some victims sue in DWI cases since the driver’s actions were especially negligent and harmful. In Texas, you may not be able to recover special damages unless you sue.
Severe and Catastrophic Injuries in DWI Car Accident Cases
Although a DWI car accident can injure almost any part of the body, some areas are more susceptible than others, which can result in serious injury. You may want to sue for a serious injury. These susceptible areas include:
- The legs: Leg injuries typically occur in side-impact collisions. These injuries can include broken bones and torn ligaments which can require surgery and result in long-term complications, such as mobility issues.
- The chest: Injuries to the chest area are pretty common in DWI car accidents. The ribs and the sternum are very vulnerable, especially in high-speed crashes. In some cases, a broken bone can pierce a vital organ, causing fatal injury.
- The neck and back: These areas are particularly susceptible when it comes to car accidents. Whiplash can occur if your head whipped back and forth during the impact. More serious injuries, like a damaged larynx or a crushed trachea, can cause lasting issues with moving, eating, and even breathing. The discs in the neck and lower back (also called “cervical spine” and “lumbar spine” are at high risk for injury including herniation or rupture that lead to various surgeries like a laminectomy or even a spinal fusion.
- The spine: Spinal trauma can result in a slipped, herniated or ruptured disc, nerve damage, and/or partial or even complete paralysis. Severe spinal trauma can cause paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) or quadriplegia (paralysis of both the upper and lower body).
- The head: The U.S. National Library of Medicine says that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur in car accidents when the neck jolts severely or when the head impacts the steering wheel, dashboard, or car door window. TBIs can cause permanent damage, long-term disability, or death. The symptoms of a TBI are the most overlooked and underdiagnosed symptoms in DWI car accidents. Our experienced attorneys work with experts that can help evaluate and correctly diagnose a TBI.
Texas Laws That Apply to DWI Car Accident Cases
If you trust your case to a Texas DWI accident attorney from our firm, you will not have to worry about your legal case matters. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on recovering your health and family matters. However, there are a few laws and systems that may apply to your DWI car accident case, so you may want to learn about them. Your attorney can review them with you in greater detail.
Texas’ Statute of Limitations
Per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, a DWI lawsuit or any other type of personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the incident. Your DWI car accident lawyer in Texas can help you meet this filing deadline, such as by preparing and filing your lawsuit as quickly as possible.
Texas’ Fault System
In the state of Texas, DWI car accident victims typically file claims through the other party’s insurance company.
You can also file a claim through your own insurance company and your personal injury protection coverage (PIP), if you have it, which can provide immediate assistance for lost wages and medical bills. If the drunk driver that caused your DWI car accident does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, you can also file a claim on your own insurance under the underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) but only if you purchased this coverage.
About Working With Our Texas DWI Car Accident Attorneys
Our legal team works with DWI car accident victims and their families, as well as those people involved in other personal injury incidents. For over three decades now, we’ve been representing clients to car insurance companies and courts and recovering damages for our clients, and now, we’d like to put our experience to work for you.
One of our attorneys can evaluate your damages for you and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or simply sue the other driver in your case. We’ll help you decide how to proceed with your case, and we’ll back whatever decision you make. Afterward, we’ll fight hard for the justice and recompense you deserve in your DWI car accident case or wrongful death case.
If you still need medical care, we can help you get it, even if you don’t have health insurance. For example, we may be able to put a delay on your medical payments so you won’t have to cover them until we recover compensation for you. This may help you afford your medical care more easily.
Our Fee Arrangement
With our contingency-fee arrangement, you won’t pay your attorney anything until and unless they recover compensation for you. This arrangement makes it much more affordable for our clients to hire an attorney.
Our Track Record
Our firm has a long track record of success. Many of these successes are due to the efforts of our lead attorney, Domingo Garcia. In 2019, his efforts earned him a spot in the Texas Top 50 Settlement for 2019. Also, recently, Domingo and his team won close to $3.8 million for a client who suffered paraplegia in a car accident.
We hope to continue our track record with you.
Our Client-Focused Approach
We understand that no two cases are the same, especially when it comes to DWI car accidents. That’s why our legal team tailors its approach to each individual client’s situation. When we discuss your case during a free consultation, we can explain how our Texas DWI accident team can help throughout the legal process.
We Will Keep You Updated on the Progress of Your Case
Another thing that sets our firm apart is our consistent communication with our clients. We will never leave you in the dark about your case. You can always call us with new questions or concerns as they arise throughout the legal process. We will also make sure to keep you informed on any milestones that occur with your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. This is the client-focused care we afford each of our clients, and we have the resources to do it.
Contact Domingo Garcia for Your Texas DWI Accident Attorney
Our firm takes DWI car accident cases just as seriously as you do. We’re determined to hold intoxicated drivers accountable. In a free initial case review with a member of the Domingo Garcia team, we’ll advise you about your case, and if you become our client, we’ll make sure we do everything we can to help you and your family.
You deserve justice and recompense, and we can help you find them. Let one of our attorneys get to work for you right away and help you meet the deadline for a potential Texas DWI lawsuit. Contact us today for your free consultation and case review.