Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | May 30, 2018
Memorial Day is often considered the unofficial start of summer, with pools opening and people getting outside for barbecues and other celebrations. However, while you plan activities over the three-day weekend with family and friends, you should also be aware of the heightened risks of drunk driving accidents.
Many Memorial Day gatherings and barbecues involve cold beers and other types of alcoholic beverages. People may also use the extended weekend as an opportunity to take a day or night out on the town and have some drinks. All too often, people then try to drive home with their ability to drive impaired. Drunk driving accidents generally increase both on holidays and during the summer months, making Memorial Day a particularly dangerous time to be on the road. If you have had any alcoholic beverages, don’t drive—find alternative transportation. In addition, whenever you are on the road, keep an eye out for signs that someone else may be driving drunk. If you see someone driving erratically, steer clear and call the police if necessary.
What Happens if a Drunk Driver Hits You?
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, there is still a chance of being involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver. Alcohol impairment can cause a driver to lose focus, exercise poor judgment, and many other dangerous behaviors. Drunk drivers may drive too fast or too slowly, may drive the wrong way down a one-way highway, may swerve or depart from their lane, or drive straight through red lights and stop signs. This can lead to accidents that result in vehicle damage, serious injuries, and sometimes fatalities.
In these accidents, the drunk driver should be held fully accountable for any accident-related losses suffered by those involved. Losses from serious crashes can be extensive and may include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost income
- Future lost earning power
- Permanent disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
In addition to recovering the compensatory damages listed above, drunk driving accident victims may also recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are not related to any specific loss. Instead, they are awarded as an additional punishment for dangerous behavior. Under Georgia law, punitive damages are available for victims of drunk drivers. If you were hit by a drunk driver, it is important to have an attorney who can identify when punitive damages may be available and who knows how to pursue this type of recovery for you.
You should remember that a criminal conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) will often do little to compensate accident victims. Instead, you must take separate legal action to recover damages for your injuries and losses.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Law Firm for Help Today
At Hasner Law, we know how quickly your life can be disrupted by a car accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to call our office to learn about your legal rights and recovery options.
For more information, reach out to one of our convenient locations nearest you for assistance.
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