Drunk driving continues to be a problem on our nation’s roadways. Despite mountains of evidence pointing to the dangers of drunk driving, people still do it. The victims of drunk drivers continue to pay the price for impaired drivers’ poor decision-making. When someone causes an accident while driving under the influence, you have the right to pursue justice for your suffering. Speak with one of our experienced Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers today to learn more about your potential recovery options.
Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Atlanta
If someone decides to get behind the wheel after drinking, they can do serious damage. Their inability to make safe decisions could leave you with severe pain, costly medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma. Thankfully, drunk driving is illegal. If someone who drove under the influence of alcohol hit you, you might recover financial compensation.
If you can prove their negligent conduct directly caused the accident, an Atlanta car accident lawyer could help you collect monetary damages. You deserve justice after being in a drunk driving car accident in Atlanta, and our firm is here to help.
Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group Handles Drunk Driving Cases
Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert knows firsthand the damage a car accident can cause. After becoming the victim of a serious traffic accident, she found out how difficult it can be to deal with unsympathetic insurance companies. She founded the Atlanta Personal Injury Group on the principle of being an advocate for people who someone else's reckless or careless behavior injured.
Our attorneys can offer you up-to-date legal advice and counsel for your drunk driving accident injury. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident that wasn't your fault can be a harrowing ordeal. But you don't have to do it alone. The Atlanta Personal Injury Group can help you plan your next legal steps to pursue justice for you.
How Do Drunk Drivers Cause Accidents?
Alcohol lowers reaction time and impairs judgment. Many people find their personalities change under alcohol’s effects. Some people withdraw and become extra cautious. Other people become overly aggressive with alcohol in their systems.
This aggressive or fearless behavior can take the form of speeding, racing, or ignoring the safety of others or even themselves. The lack of reaction time also prevents drunk drivers from adjusting and keeping themselves out of harm's way when something unexpected happens.
Impaired driving can lead to accidents from:
Research has shown that alcohol not only reduces reaction time but also makes people more aggressive. This aggression can lead to more accidents as their assertive attitude can cause them to take more chances behind the wheel. Atlanta roads are already filled with aggressive drivers.
When people drive aggressively, their emotions cause them to make poor choices. Coupled with alcohol, the already aggressive city’s drivers could make driving in Atlanta even more dangerous.
With their impaired judgment, drunk drivers often turn the wrong way down a street. They may go the wrong direction on a one-way avenue or drive into oncoming traffic on a highway. When other drivers encounter behavior this surprising, they sometimes don’t know what to do. They may swerve to try to get out of the drunk driver’s way. They might hit the drunk driver head-on if they don’t have the time or road space to react in time.
Sometimes a drunk driver may change lanes without warning, swinging their vehicles wildly to the left and crossing multiple lanes of traffic without signaling. They then might travel the wrong way down the street, colliding with oncoming traffic.
Because drunk drivers have a slower reaction time, they may speed up to vehicles in front of them. When they do not leave enough space in front of them, sudden braking on the part of the car in front of them could lead to a rear-end collision. Their slow reaction time often prevents them from braking in time or taking other actions to avoid rear-ending the car in front of them.
Drunk drivers may carelessly swing into other lanes without regard for who is around them. Or they may lose consciousness and allow the car to drift over into other lanes on its own. Either situation could cause them to sideswipe drivers who had the misfortune to travel on the same road.
Drunk drivers’ slow reactions and poor judgment sometimes cause them to slam into a curb and roll over. Not only could they end up hitting other cars around them, but the resulting accident could cause a chain reaction of other vehicles traveling along the same road.
Drunk driving accidents can be horrifying events for the victims. Lives can be ruined or ended in a heartbeat. If you are the victim of a drunk driver, you must understand what to do in the event of an accident.
What Should I Do After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Any traffic accident has the potential to result in injuries, but because of their impaired judgment, drunk drivers often cause even more severe accidents. Below are steps to follow after you are in an accident.
Assess Your Injuries
The moments immediately after an accident are confusing and frightening. After you come to your senses, you may feel tempted to immediately leave your vehicle to assess the damage. Before you get out of your car, first assess your injuries.
Depending on your condition, you may not want to move. Moving can make certain serious injuries worse. Even if you feel fine after your accident, your body may be in a state of shock and preventing you from feeling pain. Take the time necessary to make sure you won’t be doing yourself more harm by moving.
Call the Police
Assuming you can safely move without aggravating your injuries, you will want to call the police. You will need an accident report for any insurance claims, regardless of whose fault the accident was.
When you speak to the police, be calm if possible. Speak in short, concise sentences. Don’t say things like, “I didn’t see the other car until it was too late.”
Any such statements may go into the official record of the accident. The opposing party’s insurance representatives may try to use statements like this against you or point the blame for the accident at your feet.
Get to Safety
If you and your fellow passengers can safely move, do so. Get out of the way of oncoming traffic. Get to a safe place. If you can move your vehicle, get it off the road or at least away from traffic.
Document the Scene
Take pictures of the accident scene. Try to take photos from different angles. Take pictures of the vehicles, your injuries, and the injuries of other people at the scene. Talk to witnesses and get their contact information. They may help build a foundation for your claim.
Seek Medical Help
This is perhaps the most important step. Your well-being is the most important thing to consider.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may want to call 911 from the accident scene. That will be the fastest way to get medical help. Even if you feel fine after your accident, do not refuse medical assistance. Not only could you be putting your safety into jeopardy, but the other driver’s insurance representatives could use your refusal against you.
Even if you seem to come out of the accident completely unscathed, see a doctor. Some injuries after a car accident do not present themselves until hours or even several days after the event. You could also be suffering from internal bleeding without realizing it. And any medical records will be needed as another key ingredient in building a solid case for your claim.
Negligence Per Se and Drunk Driving
It is important to remember that criminal cases are separate from civil claims for financial compensation. However, a personal injury plaintiff could use a driving under the influence conviction as evidence of negligent conduct, and this strengthens the civil case. Violating the state's drunk driving laws makes the defendant negligent per se, which means that a claimant does not need any additional evidence.
A resourceful attorney in Atlanta could keep track of the relevant criminal proceedings and factor a conviction into a plaintiff’s drunk driving claim.
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Additional Evidence in Drunk Driving Cases
An injured claimant can still pursue a civil claim even without a criminal conviction for drunk driving. While the conviction helps, you don't need it. The injured party can still collect financial compensation by presenting concrete evidence that the driver was under the influence of a substance.
How To Prove The Other Driver Was Drunk?
For instance, they could prove that the negligent driver suffered from signs of intoxication, including:
- Watery and red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech or incomprehensible words
- Inability to stay in their lane
- Failure to pass field sobriety tests
A claimant could also implement evidence like:
- Police reports that indicate intoxication
- Open containers or the smell of alcohol in a car
- Drug paraphernalia or drugs found in the vehicle
- Positive drug or alcohol tests
Collecting all this evidence can be challenging, but a dedicated lawyer in Atlanta could help. A legal representative could speak with law enforcement, witnesses, or examine relevant findings to bolster the strength of their client’s drunk driving accident claim.
Is It Dangerous to Drive in Atlanta?
Atlanta Magazine published a study that Allstate Insurance conducted. Its study revealed Atlanta raked 186 out of 200 major U.S. cities for safe driving. According to Allstate, the study showed Atlanta trending downward, with numbers even worse than their 2017 report.
According to Allstate’s research, Atlanta drivers also averaged 30 “high braking events” for every 1,000 miles driven. This number beats other major cities and is another source of concern when sharing the road with drunk drivers. Atlanta drivers brake suddenly quite often. Because drunk drivers have slower reaction times, these sudden and frequent braking events are even more likely to catch drunk drivers by surprise and result in serious accidents.
Which Intersections in Atlanta Are Dangerous?
Drunk driving is dangerous on any roadway. But many intersections in Atlanta see more than their fair share of accidents. As one of the nation’s larger cities, it is hardly a surprise that certain intersections are more dangerous than others.
Below are Atlanta intersections where motorists should take extra care:
- Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
- State Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge Road
- Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Venture Drive
- Butner Road and Camp Creek Parkway
- Briarcliff Road and North Druid Hills Road
- Piedmont Ave and Monroe Drive
- Memorial Drive and North Road
- East Park Place Boulevard and Stone Mountain Highway
- Covington Highway and Lithonia Road
- Cobb Place Boulevard and Ernest Barrett Parkway
Speak to an Attorney About Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Atlanta
If a drunk driver hit you, you deserve justice, and your case likely warrants careful attention. With a legal advocate by your side, you can likely pursue financial compensation that helps you recover from your setbacks and injuries.
The negligent motorist should not get away with their careless conduct, so do not hesitate to contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group today at (404) 609-1724. Calling us will allow you to take charge of the situation while relieving yourself of the burden of seeking the compensation you deserve. Don’t delay.
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