North Georgia Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Georgia DUI Laws
Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in Georgia, per the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Unfortunately, these laws do not stop drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Although the state threatens consequences like fines, fees, license suspension, community service, and jail time; no punishment can amount to the gravity of causing serious injury or death to another person.
If someone injures or kills someone while driving under the influence, they could be charged with a crime that is more intense than a DUI, like vehicular manslaughter. While these criminal charges may bring some sense of justice, they do little to help victims move forward.
That’s where civil attorneys like Pritchard Injury Firm come into play. Our Georgia drunk driving accident lawyer can help you pursue the resources you need to recover.
Civil Vs. Criminal DUI Cases
When someone harms you in a drunk driving accident, they typically leave the scene in handcuffs. Prosecutors will try the defendant in criminal court, but this should not have too much bearing on your civil case. In fact, you can file your lawsuit at the same time as the defendant’s criminal trial.
If the defendant is found guilty of DUI or vehicular manslaughter before your case is over, you may be able to use this fact to help you prove liability. Conversely, the defendant can be found not guilty of DUI and/or vehicle manslaughter and still be found liable for your accident.
Civil cases have a lower burden of proof than criminal cases. While prosecutors must prove defendants are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” plaintiffs (people who file civil suits) must show defendants are liable via a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means you can win your case if you can prove that the likelihood the defendant is liable for your accident, injuries, and losses is greater than 50%.
We can help you navigate and make the most of your civil case – regardless of what happens in criminal courtrooms.
Georgia Drunk Driving Statistics
Every 50 minutes, someone in the United States dies in a drunk driving accident. Totaling nearly 40 deaths a day and more than 10,000 per year, these fatal accidents are completely preventable and, therefore, unacceptable. If these negligent drivers called cabs, designated a driver, spent the night, or walked home, more than 10,000 people would still be alive. Further, 28% of traffic-related deaths in the United States and 53% of fatal car accidents in Georgia involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
These grim statistics do not even begin to account for all the people who are injured in drunk driving accidents every year. Over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2018, and in 2017, more than 300,000 people were injured in drunk driving crashes.
Each one of these numbers represents an injured individual or devastated family members. To Pritchard Injury Firm, these numbers are much more than statistics – they are people, and hopefully, some of them are people we can help. If you are looking for an attorney who understands what you are going through after a drunk driving accident and dedicates themselves to your best interests, look no further than our firm.
Pritchard Injury Firm has one goal: helping you move forward after your drunk driving accident. We understand what you’re going through, and we want to find the best possible solution for you. Attorney Zach Pritchard puts himself in your shoes, so he can give you the advice and support you need during this difficult time. At our firm, you are always more than a statistic or a case number. You are our client, neighbor, friend, and most importantly, a human being.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover?
A successful drunk driving lawsuit can help you recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages help you pay for medical bills, missed wages, and other expenses related to your accident. Non-economic damages account for losses that are harder to measure, like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Punitive damages apply in DUI cases because they are meant to punish the wrongdoer and make an example of them so that what happened to you is less likely to happen to someone else in the future.
How Long Do I Have to File?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 2 years. This means you have 2 years from the date of your crash to file your drunk driving accident claim. If you do not file on time, you may lose your right to take legal action entirely.
This is why you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our legal team can help you access police reports, compile evidence, and build your case. The faster you contact us, the stronger your case will be.
Pritchard Injury Firm will help you seek all relevant damages and maximize your compensation.