In Texas, the acronyms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) refer to an individual operating a vehicle in public while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Statistically, about 14% of Texans admit to driving under the influence of alcohol, oblivious of the fatal car accident injuries and damages they might inflict on others.
If you have experienced any injuries after a drunk driver caused an accident in Texas, Thompson Law is here to help. We’re a family-run law firm that works to get you fairly compensated after being hit by a driver charged with DUI or DWI.
DUI vs. DWI in Texas
What Is DWI in Texas?
As per the Texas penal code 49.04, an intoxicated driver operates a vessel, motor vehicle, or even water skis in a public place while:
- Having more than 0.08% alcohol concentration in blood, urine, or breath for any adult or at least 0.04 % for commercial driver’s license holders
- Lacking normal physical or mental faculties as a result of alcohol consumption
- Lacking normal physical or mental faculties after consuming controlled substances like illegal drugs, over the counter medicine, prescriptions, and more
An officer can prove intoxication through the performance of field sobriety tests, the outcome from a Breathalyzer, and results from a drug recognition expert. Thompson Law injury lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in the area of DUI auto accidents. We can help ensure you get fair value for your claim and aggressively fight your case.
What Is DUI in Texas?
As per the Texas penal code 106.041, persons under the age of 21 years who operate a vehicle in public places under any alcohol influence are DUI. Besides, there is a zero-tolerance policy in Texas towards drugs and alcohol in underage persons. For instance, if a person is 18 and sips alcohol before driving, an officer can charge them with DUI.
Drunk Driving Accident Legal Process
When a DUI or DWI accident occurs, a criminal investigation is launched into the incident. If the negligent party has prior DUI or DWI convictions or serious injury is caused, they might be charged with a felony.
First, the accident and intoxication are carefully documented by law enforcement to build a case. But obtaining financial compensation for your injuries and losses is a separate matter. DUI and DWI differ from most standard auto accidents because they potentially involve gross negligence and criminal behavior. But remember, a not-guilty verdict doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t eligible for compensation.
Additional Damages in Drunk Driving Accidents
Typical auto accident damages include losses and harms like injury, pain, and suffering, lost income, and medical bills. But in a DWI or DUI case, you might have a right to punitive damages as well.
In Texas, “gross negligence” is described as “willful, extremely reckless behavior.” If the other party is found to have committed gross negligence, you may be able to seek punitive damages—or damages intended to punish the negligent party. Determining whether you qualify for this type of compensation can be tricky. Still, an expert drunk driving accident lawyer can help you navigate these waters.
Thompson Law Drunk Driving Victim Lawyers Can Help
An auto accident caused by a DUI or DWI can result in damaged property, lost wages, and considerable pain and suffering. What’s more, drunk driving accidents can be very complex, making the aftermath just as grueling as the accident itself.
A qualified attorney can handle your case with a trained eye and years of expertise.
A drunk driving lawyer will help you:
- Handle Medical Bills and Other Damages: While you wait for the resolution of your case, a Texas drunk driving attorney will help you figure out how to pay for mounting bills, medical or otherwise.
- Deal with Criminal and Civil Proceedings: An expert DWI lawyer can keep you abreast of your case status and advise you every step of the way.
- Coordinate with Law Enforcement and Other Parties: Many people are involved in a DUI or DWI accident case: insurance companies, law enforcement, witnesses, prosecutors, and the defendant. Keeping communication straight can feel overwhelming, but the best-drunk driving victim attorney will help keep you organized and updated.
- Hold Your Own with Insurance Companies: The insurance companies will do everything they can to reduce or even deny your settlement altogether. But a savvy attorney will help you stand up to insurance carriers and collect the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today and speak to our bilingual team about the damages and losses caused by a drunk driver. Our case evaluations are absolutely free and confidential.
Get Assistance from Thompson Law Car Accident Lawyers
After a car accident involving a negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney from Thompson Law by your side. No matter how complicated the case may turn out, we will work to get you fair compensation.