Were you or a loved one injured in a vehicle accident involving a drunk or drugged driver? The Odessa DWI Car Accident Lawyers at Domingo Garcia can help you seek to hold the intoxicated motorist financially responsible for your injuries and damages.
The decision to drive while intoxicated is negligent and dangerous, and those who hurt others by doing so should pay. An Odessa DWI car accident lawyer from our team can fight to hold the driver who caused your crash liable for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. We will do everything in our power to ensure you have the money you need to aid your recovery and provide for your family now and in the future.
Driving While Intoxicated in Texas
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal in all 50 states, including Texas. Texas Penal Code Title 10 Chapter 49 outlines the state’s DWI laws and penalties. The statute defines “intoxicated” as:
- Having a breath, blood, or urine alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher
- “Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, a controlled substance, or a combination of substances
Therefore, under Texas law, you are driving while intoxicated as soon as alcohol or another substance affects your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Odessa DWI Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports 1,077 fatalities and 2,551 suspected serious injuries in DWI-related crashes statewide in 2021. During that year in Odessa, 11 people died in alcohol-related car accidents, and another 19 suffered serious injuries.
If you or your family member sustained injuries in a DWI collision on Faudree Road, Grant Avenue, Kermit Highway, or anywhere else in Odessa, TX, a DWI car accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia can stand by your side. We will not allow those who drive intoxicated to get away with leaving their victims saddled with expensive accident damages.
Driving While Intoxicated Affects a Driver’s Physical and Cognitive Abilities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol impairs a driver’s coordination, thinking, reasoning, brain function, and central nervous system. The more an individual drinks, the higher their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). As BAC increases, a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle decreases.
The NHTSA reports the following effects of BAC and how it may influence a motorist’s behaviors:
- 02 – Drivers may experience some loss of judgment, an altered mood, decreased visual function, and decreased ability to multitask.
- 05 – This level of BAC can lead to lowered alertness, lowered inhibitions, reduced coordination, difficulty steering, and difficulty responding to emergency driving situations.
- 08 – At this level, Texas drivers are legally intoxicated. This amount of alcohol can affect hearing, speech, vision, balance, and reaction time. Drivers may have difficulty concentrating, controlling vehicle speed, and processing information.
- 10 – This amount of alcohol causes a serious reduction in reaction time, vehicle control, coordination, and thinking. Drivers may have trouble maintaining their lane position or braking when necessary.
- 15 – Drivers with this level of intoxication will experience a significant decrease in muscle control and loss of balance. Impairment at this level will affect a motorist’s ability to focus on driving, control their vehicle, and process and react to information and driving emergencies.
The side effects of alcohol can lead drivers to make dangerous mistakes and reckless decisions or outright ignore the rules of the road. Negligent driving behaviors that can result from DWI include:
- Failing to stop at a marked intersection
- Illegal passing
- Illegal turns
- Failing to stay in the proper lane
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Leaving the scene of an accident without stopping to assist injured parties (hit and run)
- Failing to use turn signals or headlights
- Speeding or driving too fast for road/weather conditions
Our Odessa DWI car accident lawyers can help you seek justice if you have injuries and financial losses caused by a drunk driver. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to establish a connection between the driver’s intoxication, their reckless behavior, and your damages. Let us handle your legal issues so you can worry about getting better.
Drug Use Also Causes Negligent Driving Behavior
DWI also includes reckless driving caused by drugs and controlled substances. For example, the NHTSA reports that driving under the influence of marijuana can slow a driver’s reaction time, coordination, and judgment, while cocaine and methamphetamines can increase aggression and recklessness.
Additionally, some over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other side effects that impair driving, especially when used with alcohol or other substances. Our Odessa attorneys handle drug-related DWI car accident cases and those involving alcohol.
Intoxicated Motorists Can Cause Devastating Car Accident Injuries
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 4.8 million people sought medical assistance for motor vehicle crash injuries in the United States in 2020. DWI car accident injuries can be catastrophic and may include:
- Soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries affect the ligaments, tendons, and muscles and include sprains, strains, and contusions. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that acute soft tissue injuries often result from physical trauma, such as a blow to the body, as experienced during a car crash. Soft tissue injuries can require a lengthy recovery, and treatment for severe injuries may include surgery and physical therapy.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a common car crash injury, especially during rear-end collisions. Whiplash can cause pain, fatigue, dizziness, reduced range of motion, blurred vision, sleep problems, and depression. Additionally, some whiplash sufferers experience symptoms for months or even years. Treatments include rest, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Back injuries. Cedars Sinai states that low- and high-speed car accidents are leading causes of back injuries, including sprains, strains, fractured vertebrae, and herniated discs. Back injuries can cause pain, limited mobility, and nerve damage. In addition, a severe back injury can affect the spinal cord.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs). According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), motor vehicle accidents are the number-one cause of SCIs in younger adults in the U.S. Spinal cord injuries may cause partial or total loss of feeling and movement below the injury site. SCIs can also cause various associated health issues, including loss of bowel and bladder control, circulatory and respiratory problems, sexual dysfunction, and infertility.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The Cleveland Clinic reports that car accidents are among the top two causes of TBIs. Brain injury symptoms range from moderate to severe and may include changes in mood and behavior, memory problems, seizures, headaches, slurred speech, and sensitivity to light and smell. Severe TBI symptoms can be permanent and may include loss of cognitive abilities, loss of ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), coma, or vegetative state.
The above-listed injuries are by no means the only harm that can result from a DWI collision. Car accidents can also cause other physical, mental, and emotional damage, including:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb or body part
- Facial injuries
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Loss of sight, hearing, or vision
- Severe cuts and lacerations (“road rash”)
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Attorney Domingo Garcia has served personal injury victims for more than 35 years. He and his team understand how a car accident can upend your life. Your Odessa DWI car accident lawyer from our firm will aggressively pursue fair compensation from the intoxicated driver who hurt you so that you and your family do not suffer the financial burden of medical bills from a crash you did not cause.
Car Accidents Are a Leading Cause of Death
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are a leading cause of death in the U.S., causing more than 100 fatalities daily. If a drunk or drugged driver caused an accident that resulted in your loved one’s death, you can seek compensation per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 71.
Under the law, a deceased’s surviving children, spouse, or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If no eligible family member wishes to pursue legal action, the deceased’s personal representative, or executor, can bring a claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate and its beneficiaries (as long as no close family members object).
Our Odessa Attorneys Can Take Action to Seek DWI Car Accident Damages
DWI is a crime. Therefore, the state of Texas can bring criminal charges against drunk or drugged drivers. Motorists may face fines, jail time, loss of their license, and other penalties if convicted of a DWI. However, while criminal charges punish perpetrators, they do nothing to compensate victims.
To seek financial damages, you must take action against the intoxicated driver or another liable party. Our Odessa DWI lawyers can help you do this via an insurance claim or civil lawsuit. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41, your awards may include:
Economic damages are tangible losses that your Odessa DWI accident lawyer can calculate or estimate based on bills, receipts, wage records, and documentation. Economic damages include medical treatment, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- Ambulance fees
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Medical procedures, prescription drugs, and medical devices
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- In-home health care
- Long-term nursing services
- Assistance with household services and ADLs
- Vehicle and personal property damages
- Back pay
- Lost tips, bonuses, and vacation pay
- Lost health benefits and retirement contributions
- Medically necessary travel expenses
- Medically necessary home or vehicle modifications
Domingo Garcia’s Odessa DWI car wreck attorneys can work with doctors, economists, and vocational experts to estimate your current and future collision-related losses. We want to help you get a clear picture of the full extent of your injuries and their economic consequences before you agree to a settlement offer.
Severe and catastrophic injuries can be life-changing, affecting your day-to-day activities, relationships, and physical and psychological health. You deserve compensation for reductions to your quality of life, including mental, emotional, and physical pain and suffering.
Noneconomic damages can be difficult to calculate because they deal with intangible losses, including:
- Loss of career and educational goals
- Loss of the ability to participate in hobbies and activities you previously enjoyed
- Changes in your relationships and interactions with friends, family, loved ones, and romantic partners
- Loss of mobility or paralysis
- Loss of a bodily function
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your Odessa DWI lawyer can help you seek noneconomic compensation that accurately represents your pain and suffering. One way you can prove you qualify for noneconomic damages is by keeping a diary outlining your daily pain levels, mental and emotional state, and ways you notice your injury interfering with activities.
Texas courts allow punitive damages in cases involving malice or gross negligence.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.001(11), a defendant is grossly negligent if they were aware of the significant risk associated with their actions yet undertook the actions anyway in disregard for the safety, health, or welfare of others.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death compensation includes economic damages and surviving family members’ noneconomic losses. If your loved one sustained a fatal DWI car accident injury in Odessa, your lawyer can pursue:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- The deceased’s lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance, including money the deceased would have saved had they lived
- Survivors’ mental pain and suffering
- Loss of the deceased’s society, love, comfort, and companionship
We understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one or erase your grief. However, we hope that holding the liable party responsible for intoxicated driving will give you a sense of justice and provide the compensation you need to take care of your loved one’s accident-related expenses.
Our Odessa Legal Team Will Work to Prove Liability for Your Car Accident
When seeking personal injury or wrongful death damages, you must prove that another party is liable for your car accident, meaning your injuries and damages directly resulted from their negligent actions. Our Odessa injury lawyers will build your case using the following four elements:
- Duty of care. When drivers get behind the wheel, they have an implied duty of care to others. All drivers must follow traffic laws and do their best to avoid driving behaviors that could lead to a collision.
- Breach of duty. Drunk driving is negligent “per se,” or “in itself,” because DWI is against the law. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated clearly breaches a driver’s duty of care.
- Your Odessa DWI car wreck lawyer will work to show that the at-fault driver committed an error that resulted in your car accident and related injuries. For example, we will prove that the liable party traveled into the wrong lane and hit your vehicle head-on because their BAC was above Texas’ legal limit, impairing their ability to drive safely.
- We will demonstrate that your DWI car accident and injuries led to economic and noneconomic losses. For example, we may show that your accident caused a spinal cord injury that will ultimately cost you millions in medical bills, lost earnings, and life care expenses.
The basis of a solid car accident case is evidence. Our Odessa lawyers can do the legwork necessary to collect physical data, documentation, witness accounts, and more. We can also hire investigators and other experts to assist with your claim if necessary. DWI case evidence may include:
- Police reports
- Field sobriety and BAC test results
- Witness statements
- Photographs and physical evidence from the crash site
- Cell phone or surveillance footage of your collision
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
Dram Shop Laws and Third-Party Liability
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 2.01-2.03 outlines the state’s “dram shop” law. This statute grants the right to sue a third party for their role in providing alcohol to the individual liable for your accident.
According to the law, if you sustained injuries in an alcohol-related accident, you can sue a bar, nightclub, or other business for overserving the liable party if they were “obviously intoxicated” and “presented a clear danger” to themselves or others. The law also allows you to sue anyone over age 21 who sold, served, or provided alcohol to an at-fault individual under age 18.
What If Your DWI Car Accident Involved an Uninsured or Hit-and-Run Driver?
Drunk drivers may be more likely to break other laws, such as driving without insurance or fleeing the scene of an accident. If your DWI collision involved a hit-and-run driver or an uninsured/underinsured motorist, our Odessa DWI lawyers can help you seek to get your medical bills and other expenses paid by your insurance provider until we resolve your case.
Texas Liability Insurance Laws
According to the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel, drivers must have a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident. However, not all drivers follow the law, and even those who do may not have enough to pay for your damages if they only carry a minimum policy.
However, you may have optional, additional coverage through your insurance policy from which our Odessa car accident lawyers can help you seek compensation. For example, we can help with a claim on your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) protection, medical payments (med pay), or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If your vehicle is still under loan, your lender likely requires you to have some of these policies.
Our DWI lawyers serving Odessa can help you review your coverage and explore your claim options.
Domingo Garcia Gets Results for Texas DWI Car Accident Clients
Intoxicated driving is wrong and risks the lives of innocent people. For more than 35 years, Domingo Garcia has stood up for the rights of injury victims. We firmly believe drunk drivers should be accountable for their actions, and we will fight to ensure the person who hurt you or your loved one pays for the damages they caused.
We have a history of successful car accident settlements and verdicts, including:
- A $2.75 million settlement in a wrongful death case involving a commercial motor vehicle accident
- An $8.75 million settlement for an 18-wheeler truck accident victim
- A $3 million settlement for a motorcycle accident victim
- A $100,000 verdict for a car accident victim who was initially offered a settlement of only $60,000 from the insurance company
Our Commitment to You
Whether we pursue an insurance settlement or take your case to trial, our Odessa DWI accident attorneys promise to serve you as powerful advocates and legal allies. We believe everyone deserves to have a voice and qualified, professional legal representation, no matter what walk of life they come from or their current financial position.
When you work with Domingo Garcia, you get:
- Legal representation on contingency, meaning our services cost you nothing upfront
- An award-winning team of attorneys with decades of personal injury experience
- Lawyers and staff who will treat you with respect, compassion, and dignity
- Straightforward answers to your questions (no confusing legal jargon!)
- A voice that will speak for you and your best interests
- Negotiators who will aggressively pursue the most advantageous possible outcome for your case
- A firm that will not back down from fighting for you at trial if necessary
Do Not Let Your Time to Seek Compensation Run Out
Do not delay in filing your insurance claim or lawsuit. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 allows up to two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death case. Generally, the clock starts on the day you suffered your injury or the day of your loved one’s death.
Missing the statute of limitations usually leads to the court dismissing your case. Likewise, insurance companies know an expired statute means you can no longer take legal action, which could result in a denied claim or reduced settlement offer.
Contact Domingo Garcia for Help Seeking Justice for Your DWI Accident
Do not let insurance companies intimidate you or push you into accepting less than you deserve. Our Odessa DWI car accident lawyers can help you pursue fair compensation for your losses so you can focus on healing and moving on with your life.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you during your risk-free, no-cost consultation.