Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers who are impaired are usually unable to react quickly and appropriately to the circumstances that they encounter on the road. As a result, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Georgia. Drunk driving accidents often cause catastrophic injuries that are costly to treat and cause permanent impairments, and people injured by drunk drivers may be owed compensation. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you should meet with an attorney. At Cook Law Group, our Gainesville drunk driving accident lawyers are proficient at helping victims seek the full amount of damages recoverable under the law.Georgia Laws Regarding Drunk Driving
In Georgia, it is unlawful for a person to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the degree that it renders the person unsafe to drive, or when the person has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher. In other words, a person may be deemed too intoxicated to drive even if his or her blood alcohol concentration is not ascertained or is lower than .08% if the person is too impaired to drive safely.Liability for Harm Caused by Drunk Driving Accidents
In Georgia, most lawsuits arising out of drunk driving accidents set forth claims against the driver who caused the accident. There are two theories of recovery under which a plaintiff may be able to prove that a driver is liable for a drunk driving accident: negligence and negligence per se. Negligence claims require a plaintiff and a drunk driving accident attorney in the Gainesville area to show that the defendant had a duty, but the defendant breached the duty, and the breach ultimately led to the plaintiff’s harm. Generally, the duty in negligence claims is the duty to act with reasonable care in consideration of the circumstances.
A negligence per se claim is similar to a negligence claim in that the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. Negligence per se claims differ from negligence claims in that the duty owed is not the duty to act as a reasonable person would act, but is instead a duty imposed by a law created for the safety of others, such as the law prohibiting driving while intoxicated. As a result, if a plaintiff can prove that a defendant violated a duty imposed by law, the defendant may be deemed negligent per se. The plaintiff must still prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm, however.
In addition to pursuing claims against the driver who caused a drunk driving accident, a plaintiff and a Gainesville drunk driving accident attorney may be able to pursue claims against any party that gave the driver alcohol. Georgia law provides that a person who knowingly serves, sells, or furnishes alcohol to an individual who is noticeably intoxicated, despite knowing that the individual intends to drive a vehicle, may be held liable for any injuries that the individual subsequently causes in a drunk driving accident. In other words, bars, restaurants, and social hosts who give alcohol to people who are intoxicated and will soon be driving a vehicle may be held accountable for any harm that ensues. Generally, a plaintiff seeking to hold a third party liable for a drunk driving accident will need to retain a toxicologist to extrapolate the driver’s blood alcohol concentration at the time when he or she was given alcohol and to offer testimony asserting that a person with that blood alcohol concentration would have been noticeably intoxicated. The lawyers at our firm have successfully held irresponsible bars, clubs and restaurants responsible who have served alcohol to intoxicated customers they knew would soon be driving. You can read about several of these cases on our Verdict and Settlements page.Speak to an Experienced Georgia Attorney
Drunk driving accidents cause a significant number of injuries and fatalities, and people who engage in behavior that leads to drunk driving accidents should be held accountable. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, you should speak to a drunk driving accident lawyer at our Gainesville firm about your possible claims. We have substantial experience representing people harmed by drunk driving, and we will diligently pursue any compensation that you may be owed from the parties responsible for your harm. You can reach us via our online form or by calling 678-928-3899 to set up a meeting. We represent people in cities such as Gainesville, Albany, Columbus, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Athens, and Valdosta.