A Houston DWI car accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia could help you put your life back together if you suffered severe injuries in a collision involving an intoxicated driver. These accidents can cause life-changing wounds with astronomic medical bills and other losses.
We have helped many people like you in the Houston, Texas area. You do not have to shoulder the financial losses from an accident someone else caused. We can take on the negligent party whose carelessness turned your life upside down. We have bilingual team members who can make the personal injury claim process seamless and convenient for our Spanish-speaking clients.
Injuries Caused by DWI Car Accidents
Because these collisions involve someone driving while intoxicated (DWI), the harm to people who get hurt can be devastating. Often, a drunk driver fails to slow down or take evasive action that could minimize the harm to others.
Here are some of the catastrophic injuries that can happen in impaired driving collisions:
- Head injuries – concussion, skull fractures, brain bleeds, traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage that can result in paralysis
- Burns when the collision involves an explosion or fire
- Disfigurement and scars
- Amputation of one or more hands, feet, arms, or legs
- Deep lacerations causing damage to nerves, veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs
- Internal bleeding
Severe injuries like these can require extensive medical treatment, which results in high medical bills. Also, these wounds can leave a person with disabilities for the rest of their lives. Massive medical bills and long-term injury impairment can justify a lawsuit with a demand for significant compensation. The higher the money damages demand, the more likely the defendant’s insurance company will mount an aggressive defense against your claim.
Wrongful Death in a Houston DWI Car Accident
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver our Houston car accident lawyers can help. Our Houston DWI car accident lawyer can help you and your family file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Recoverable damages in a wrongful death action include funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, loss of guidance, medical bills, and more.
We know that no money can bring back a loved one, but compensation could help ease the financial burden these accidents bring.
How Our Law Firm Can Help with Your Houston DWI Car Accident Injury Claim
Here are a few examples of services our law firm can provide to a client who suffered harm in a Houston car accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver:
We start the investigation process by talking to you and reviewing the police report of the collision. Depending on your case’s facts, we might explore the drunk driver’s criminal history and driving record, whether there have been other accidents at that location, and if there might be additional parties who can be held accountable for your losses.
The information we uncover during the investigation will determine our line of inquiries after the initial stage. We try to find all the available evidence to build a strong case in your favor and to respond to possible defenses the insurance company might raise.
Offering Legal Guidance
We attempt to answer most of your questions before you ask them. Part of our representation involves educating you on the legal rights that apply to your circumstances. We anticipate questions you might have and do our best to give you that information before you have a chance to worry about it.
We will outline the usual steps involved in the insurance claim process. If it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, we will let you know what to expect in that situation.
Keeping You Informed
After getting hurt in a drunk driving car accident, you have enough to worry about. You should not have to wonder what is happening in your case and what we are doing on your behalf.
We will be proactive in notifying you when we take significant actions on your case. Also, we will let you know what the other side does that could impact your personal injury claim.
Sending a Demand Letter
After gathering sufficient information, we will research jury verdicts in similar cases to help us determine a fair range for settlement of your claim. We will talk with you about this number and get your permission to contact the insurance company and let them know how much compensation you want to resolve your claim.
Usually, this happens by way of a demand letter. We inform the insurer of their policyholder’s negligent act that caused you harm. We make a demand for settlement of the claim.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
You do not have to handle negotiations with the insurance company. We will let you know their response to our demand letter and talk with you about how we plan to reply. Often, the insurance company responds with a lower offer than our demand.
At that point, we negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement amount. If the case does not settle for a fair amount, we can file a lawsuit and ask a court to decide the issue.
Dealing Directly with the Defendant’s Insurance Company
Dealing with an insurance company on a personal injury claim can be like applying for a mortgage. They want a mountain of information, much more than you might have thought necessary. When you think you have given them everything they asked for, they come up with another document or item they want.
You do not have to address these issues because we deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf. You get to relax and spend time recuperating from your wounds while we handle the interactions with the insurer.
Handling Other Actions by the Claims Adjuster
A favorite tactic of insurance company claims adjusters is asking an injured person to give a recorded statement. The claims adjuster might tell you this statement is your opportunity to tell your side of the story. However, a recorded statement can damage your injury claim irreparably.
After the transcript gets typed up from the recorded interview, the claims adjuster can go through it and try to find any reason to deny your claim and possibly blame you for the collision. The adjuster should not contact you directly when you have a lawyer. If they do, direct them to us.
Also, we can provide the information they need to evaluate the merits of your injury claim. We do not recommend that our clients give recorded statements.
How Social Media Could Harm Your Car Accident Injury Claim
For many people, a day without posting on social media is like a day without sunshine. When something momentous happens in their lives, they want to share it with their friends, family, and followers.
Posting photos or comments on social media can backfire when you have a personal injury claim pending.
The insurance company will likely gain access to your social media accounts and see what you post about the accident. Your comments and opinions about the drunk driver or any other detail could appear unflattering to you when taken out of context. Also, your photos, even those unrelated to the collision, can be used by the insurance company as evidence, for example, that you might exaggerate your injuries.
We advise our injury clients to take a break from social media until their case gets resolved.
Three Things to Do After a Crash with a Drunk Driver
These three suggestions could make a difference in the financial outcome of your Houston DWI car accident injury claim:
- Call 911 for law enforcement and emergency medical assistance. You will want to get a police report, which contains crucial information regarding your case. While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, you will want to jot down the other car’s license plate number in case the drunk driver panics and flees the scene.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. We are assuming you got medical attention immediately after the collision. If not, we urge you to get a trauma assessment from a medical professional. Not all injuries show symptoms immediately. Also, you will want to complete the treatment your doctor prescribes to heal better and prevent the defendant from blaming you for incomplete physical recovery.
- Talk to our Houston DWI car accident lawyer about your injury claim. Texas does not give you much time to take legal action for your losses. When you get a personal injury lawyer on board, you can then devote your energy and attention to your health and well-being while we worry about things like filing deadlines.
Of course, there are many other actions you might need to take after getting hurt in a Harris County crash. These three suggestions can get you started in the right direction.
Who Can Be Liable for a Car Accident Involving Alcohol-Impairment
If the drunk driver caused or contributed to the accident, Texas law can hold them accountable for your injuries and losses.
Some people don’t explore the possibility of additional liable parties, but we will look for other parties who might also be required to pay you damages.
Other potential defendants, if their negligence contributed to the collision, could be:
- Drivers of other vehicles. Sometimes, the negligence of two or more drivers combines to cause a crash.
- Passenger in drunk driver’s car. If another intoxicated person was in the drunk driver’s car, that individual might have engaged in reckless conduct, like grabbing the steering wheel.
- Passenger in your car. The carelessness of someone in your car might have prevented you from taking action to escape involvement in the accident.
- Manufacturer of defective vehicle part. Even if the drunk driver caused the collision, defective tires or brakes might have kept you from avoiding the crash.
- Employer of a negligent driver of a commercial vehicle. If one of the careless drivers was operating a commercial vehicle, their employer might be legally responsible for some or all the losses from the collision.
- Mechanic whose careless work on one of the cars contributed to the crash. Faulty repairs could contribute to a driver’s difficulty in steering a vehicle, for example. If a mechanic’s work was less than competent, that might have been a factor in the accident.
As part of our investigation, we will try to unearth all parties who might reasonably have some legal responsibility for your losses.
A Settlement Is Final
If you try to handle your claim alone rather than working with our Houston DWI car accident lawyer, you might not realize your case will be over forever once you sign the settlement papers. You cannot go back and ask for more money for your accident-related losses.
Let’s say you find out from your doctor that your wounds are not healing as they had hoped, and you will need surgery. You settled your case one week before you got this news. The defendant and their insurance company will not have to pay for the surgery or your lost wages if you cannot work while recuperating from the operation.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Texas
You only have two years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the at-fault party for your wounds and other losses. Two years might seem like a lot of time, but when you are dealing with medical issues from severe injuries, the time can pass quickly.
If you miss the two-year deadline of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, Texas law will forever bar you from pursuing damages for your losses. Also, the defendant and their insurance company can stop negotiating with you as they no longer have any legal liability for the crash.
Our Lawyers Work on a Contingency-Fee Basis
After getting severely injured in a motor vehicle crash, the last thing you need is to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer as a deposit toward legal fees. You already have medical expenses, and if you cannot work because of your injuries, this only worsens your financial situation.
Domingo Garcia understands the situation, which is why we do not charge upfront legal fees to our clients in injury claims. Instead, we work throughout the entire case and receive a portion of the settlement or jury verdict. If you do not win, you do not owe us any legal fees.
Texas Drunk Driving Law
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 makes it illegal to drive on public roads while intoxicated.
Texas Penal Code § 49.01 defines “intoxicated” as either having an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent or “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”
Even if the person who caused the accident had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below 0.08 percent, they could still be negligent if they had some drugs or alcohol in their bloodstream. That substance may have caused them not to have the normal use of their mental or physical faculties.
Intangible Losses from Houston Drunk Driving Collisions
Not all damages in car accident claims are direct financial losses like medical bills and lost wages. Devastating injuries can cause many other types of harm to the wounded person, including:
- Pain and suffering. Physical injuries are often accompanied by discomfort, inconvenience, and mental anguish. The wounds hurt. Getting stitches hurts. Having to undergo surgery hurts. Merely paying the medical bills does not cover the discomfort, the inconvenience of undergoing these procedures, or the emotional distress of an uncertain future.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. After a severe injury, a person might not be able to continue to engage in activities they used to enjoy. From hiking to riding a motorcycle to picking up one’s grandchild, losing the ability to perform these activities can diminish a person’s enjoyment of life.
- After a life-changing injury, a person might not be able to support themselves through gainful employment. Being unable to take care of oneself financially is an emotional loss.
- Loss of independence. You could bathe, dress, clean your house, and cook your meals before getting injured. Losing the ability to perform these personal care and household tasks is a meaningful loss.
- Some wounds are obvious, particularly those on the face, throat, chest, hands, and arms. When these injuries leave scars after they heal, the injured person suffers disfigurement.
- Chronic pain. The wounds might heal but leave behind lingering discomfort. For some people, the pain is intermittent, like when the weather changes. For others, the physical discomfort can be a daily reminder of their significant injuries.
- Chronic weakness or loss of function. After going through all the treatments for your wounds, you might have a decreased range of motion or chronic weakness.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Motor vehicle crashes are a frequent cause of PTSD. This disorder can have a debilitating effect on a person’s employability, relationships, personality, and enjoyment of life.
Although these things are not direct financial losses, they have a monetary value. Therefore, we can include the applicable losses in your injury claim.
Economic Damages After a Car Accident
Now that we covered some intangible types of damages, let’s discuss how getting injured in a Houston DWI car accident can directly impact your wallet.
It might be weeks or months before you can return to work. If you do not receive your regular wages or salary during that time, you will have a lost income claim.
Decreased Earning Potential
A person might not be able to earn as much money as they did before the accident because of ongoing impairment from severe injuries. Whether they must reduce their hours or take a job that pays less, they have a financial loss.
Medical expenses from a car accident can include much more than merely the bill from the emergency room. You might also have to pay for the ambulance or medical evacuation helicopter service. There can also be costs for the doctors, diagnostic work, hospital, surgery, blood transfusions, skin grafts, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
People who suffer catastrophic injuries from car accidents, like paralysis from spinal cord damage, might need treatment at a specialized medical center to regain some function and learn how to cope with lost functions that cannot be restored.
A person with devastating wounds might be unable to perform necessary personal care or medical treatments without daily assistance. For example, a person who suffers a skull fracture and brain bleeding might never regain consciousness but, rather linger in a persistent vegetative state. This person would need to live in a long-term care center.
If your injuries impair your ability to walk, temporarily or permanently, you will likely need mobility equipment. This equipment can include crutches, splints, a walker, or a wheelchair. You might also need an adapted vehicle.
Life-changing injuries often mean the wounded person will need modifications to continue living at home. Wheelchair ramps, bedside lift equipment, and lowered countertops are just a few examples of the modifications that a person might need.
We fight hard for our motor vehicle accident clients. Here are a few examples of the results we have won for our clients:
- $2,750,000 settlement for a commercial motor vehicle accident
- Policy limits of $1,000,000 for a truck accident
- $8,750,000 for 18-wheeler collision
Every car accident injury claim is different, but we work hard to get our clients outstanding results.
Call for a Free Consultation Today
You can contact Domingo Garcia’s Houston personal injury lawyers today to get started and have a free initial consultation with a team member. They will listen to your case’s details and determine your best course of action.
Don’t wait to take action as there is limited time to pursue compensation. Your Houston car accident lawyer can build your DWI case and fight for you while you recover. There are no risks or obligations.