Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Dothan
Chemically impaired driving is responsible for hundreds of deaths each year in Alabama, and this behavior accounts for approximately one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. And although a DUI conviction carries heavy criminal penalties, far too many motorists still make the horrible and often fateful decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Drivers may also become intoxicated through prescription and illegal drugs, which are also contributing factors in a large number of auto accidents.
For those who are injured or killed by a drunk driver, it serves as very little comfort that the offender faces stiff criminal penalties. Because for victims and their families, this can be a life-altering event. In the span of just a few seconds, they can have their lives turned completely upside down. A drunk driving accident can result in serious injuries and fatalities, and if a victim does survive, they may face a long road to recovery.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed because of the reckless actions of a drunk driver, you need strong legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to secure every dollar of compensation you deserve. Insurance companies will to do everything they can to pay you as little as possible for your injuries, even when the accident was clearly the fault of a chemically impaired driver.
Before speaking with any representative from the insurance company, contact an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer, so you are fully informed of your legal rights and options. Call M. Adam Jones & Associates today at 334-699-5599 or message us online to schedule a free consultation!
For several years, M. Adam Jones and Associates has stood up for individuals in Alabama, southwest Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle who have been injured through no fault of their own. Our award-winning attorneys have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases.
When someone is injured because of an intoxicated driver, we go to work immediately to thoroughly investigate the case and explore every potential legal avenue toward recovering maximum compensation. This is important not only so our clients can be fully and fairly compensated, but also to ensure that those responsible for drunk driving accidents are held fully accountable.
Alabama Drunk Driving Laws
In Alabama, it is illegal to drive or be in physical control of the vehicle if:
- A driver has the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above;
- An individual is chemically impaired by alcohol or drug use to the point where they are incapable of operating a motor vehicle;
- A driver is operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 or above;
- A driver is operating a school bus or another vehicle transporting children with a BAC of .02 or above;
- A driver under the age of 21 is operating a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or above.
When individuals cause an accident while operating a motor vehicle under one of these conditions, they may face enhanced criminal penalties above and beyond what they would receive from a standard DUI charge. However, as mentioned earlier, a criminal conviction will not provide any restitution to victims who are injured by the accident. A completely separate civil claim must be filed against the driver who caused the victim harm.
In drunk driving accident cases, the drunk driver may be found at fault under “negligence per se” laws. Negligence per se is the legal theory that the defendant’s violation of the law automatically establishes negligence, rather than having to establish negligence based on the circumstances of the accident.
While your chances of holding a drunk driver responsible for an accident are better than in a standard car accident case, it is not a guarantee. There are cases in which the circumstances are more complicated, and determining fault is not as clear-cut. In such cases, it is extremely important to have a skilled legal advocate by your side working tirelessly to connect the dots and show definitively who was at fault.
Alabama Dram Shop Law
In some cases, the drunk driver may not be the only one who can be held responsible for an auto accident. Under Alabama Code §6-5-71, injury victims may have a claim against a person or establishment who sold, gave or otherwise provided liquor or alcoholic beverages to an individual in violation of the law. This means serving alcohol to someone who was already visibly intoxicated. The Alabama Civil Damages Act also prohibits persons or establishments from furnishing alcohol to minors.
Recovering Damages for Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Being involved in a collision with a drunk driver can result in serious and catastrophic injuries. Many times, victims are blindsided by the reckless actions of the driver, and these accidents also tend to occur during the evening and overnight hours, when it is harder to see the car coming.
Those who are injured in drunk driving accidents are entitled to full compensation. This can be divided into two general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are actual monetary losses the victim suffers, such as hospitalization costs, costs for surgeries and other procedures, rehabilitation expenses, ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are losses that are real but intangible and more difficult to assign a dollar figure to. Examples of non-economic damages include physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, permanent disability, and loss of consortium.
In a drunk driving accident, it is possible that a plaintiff may be awarded punitive (also known as exemplary) damages. Punitive damages are rare, and they are only awarded in cases in which the defendant’s actions were willful, malicious, fraudulent, or oppressive. In Alabama, punitive damages are capped at three times compensatory damages with a hard cap of $1.5 million.
Contact Our Seasoned Dothan, AL Auto Accident Attorneys
At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll drunk driving accidents take on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and seamless as possible. We deal directly with the other side and take care of all the complex legal tasks, so you can focus on getting recovered from your injuries. Throughout the process, we provide frequent updates on the progress of your case, and we are always available whenever you have questions or concerns.
Call our office today at 334-699-5599 to schedule your free consultation and case assessment. You may also send us a message through our online contact form or stop by our Dothan office in person at your convenience.
We accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation on your behalf