Drunk driving is a serious offense that puts everyone on the road in danger. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for intoxicated drivers to cause car accidents. If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving car crash in Houston, Texas, you may be wondering if the DUI driver is always at fault.
While DUI penalties in Texas are severe, proving fault can be complex. In this article, a Houston car accident lawyer will explain how we can help you seek justice.
DUI Penalties in Texas Are Severe
In Texas, DUI penalties are some of the most severe in the country. If a driver is caught driving under the influence, they can face fines, jail time and even license suspension or revocation. The severity of the penalty depends on several factors such as previous convictions and blood alcohol content.
For first-time offenders with a BAC lower than 0.15%, penalties may include up to 180 days in jail, $2,000 in fines, and a one-year license suspension. For repeat offenders or those with higher BAC levels, these penalties increase significantly:
For the Second Offense:
- Up to $4,000 fine
- Between 1 and 12 months in jail
- Drivers’ license suspension for up to 2 years.
For the Third Offense:
- $10,000 fine
- 2 to 10 years in jail
- Drivers’ license suspension for up to 2 years.
Also, DUI drivers who have a child passenger will face additional penalties. Moreover, in Texas, it is possible to be charged with DUI even if you were not impaired if the police officers observe an open container of alcohol in the car.
Despite these severe penalties, there are still a lot of Texas drivers who choose to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. And some of them will cause a severe drunk driving car crash.
That’s where your Houston car accident lawyer comes into play – they’ll work tirelessly to ensure that you get justice for your injuries and damages caused by someone else’s negligence on the road!
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer Must Still Prove Fault
If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving car crash in Houston, you may be wondering if you still have to prove the other driver’s fault. It’s important to understand that just because the other driver was under the influence of alcohol doesn’t necessarily mean they are automatically at fault for the accident.
Your Houston car accident lawyer must still prove fault, even if it seems obvious that the other driver was intoxicated. This requires a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident and gathering evidence to support your case.
Your lawyer will work with experts such as accident reconstructionists and medical professionals to determine how the crash occurred and who should be held responsible. They will also gather witness statements, police reports, and any available surveillance footage or photos from the scene.
Ultimately, your Houston car accident lawyer’s goal is to build a strong case proving that you were not at fault for the accident and seeking compensation on your behalf.
Texas Uses a Comparative Negligence Principle for Car Accidents
When it comes to car accidents, fault can be a difficult thing to determine. In Texas, the law recognizes that more than one party may be responsible for an accident. This is where the comparative negligence principle comes into play.
Comparative negligence means that if you are involved in a car accident and both parties are found to have contributed to the crash, then each party will be assigned a percentage of fault by the court or insurance company. This percentage determines how much compensation each party can receive.
For example, imagine you were driving under the influence and ran a red light when another driver was speeding through their green light. Both parties could be found partially at fault for the resulting collision. If your DUI was determined to contribute 60% to the accident and the other driver’s speeding was determined to contribute 40%, then damages would need to be split accordingly.
It is important for all drivers involved in an accident in Texas – whether they were drinking or not -to understand how comparative negligence works so they can protect themselves legally after an accident occurs.
You May Seek Punitive Damages in a Lawsuit
If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving car crash, it’s likely that you are facing some serious injuries and damages. In Texas, the law allows you to seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages if the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault driver for their reckless behavior and deter them from repeating such actions again. While compensatory damages aim to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage caused by the accident.
To recover punitive damages in a lawsuit, your Houston car accident lawyer must prove that the other party acted with gross negligence or malice. This can be challenging as proving someone’s state of mind is not easy but an experienced attorney will have access to resources like expert witnesses who can help strengthen your case.
It’s important to note that there is no cap on punitive damage awards in Texas but they may vary depending on factors such as the severity of injury and financial status of both parties. Seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney will ensure that you receive fair compensation for all losses incurred due to a drunk driving car crash.
Your Lawyer Will Try to Settle the Case
If you have been involved in a drunk driving car crash in Houston, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Houston car accident lawyer. They can guide you through the legal process and help you receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Remember that while DUI penalties are severe in Texas, fault still needs to be proven by your attorney. Additionally, Texas uses a comparative negligence principle which means that even if the driver was under the influence, other factors may have contributed to the accident.
If your case goes to court, you may also be able to seek punitive damages as punishment for the intoxicated driver’s reckless behavior. However, most cases are settled out of court with both parties coming to an agreement on compensation.
An Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer Is Ready to Help You!
Our Houston personal injury lawyers have one main goal: to settle your case as quickly as possible, but for a fair amount. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and fight for your rights so that you can focus on recovering from any injuries sustained during the accident.
Seeking legal representation after a drunk driving car crash is crucial in ensuring justice is served. With our expertise and knowledge of Texas law, we are your best ally in your fight for justice.
We offer all new clients a free case review, so schedule an appointment with a Houston car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Call 346-220-1821 today!