Drunk Driving Accidents In Houston
Roberts Markland LLP represents those who have been injured by a drunk driver in Houston, TX. Call 713-630-0900 today for a free consultation and case review.
Despite strict laws in all 50 states, drunk driving remains a leading cause of automobile accidents. In Texas, someone is hurt or killed by a drunk driver every 20 minutes. If you are injured by a drunk driver, you need an experienced accident attorney to fight for your rights.
What Is Considered Drunk Driving?
In Texas, as in all states, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. This typically translates to two or three drinks in an hour, though for women with low body weight, a single drink could put them over the limit. Minors under age 21 can be charged with DWI if they have any alcohol in their system at all, and commercial drivers have a legal limit of 0.04%. In addition, Texas drivers can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if their driving ability is impaired, even if they are under the legal limit.
What Damages Can I Claim?
If you are hit by a drunk driver, you are eligible for three types of damages:
Economic damages: Economic damages include all your out of pocket expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, rehab costs, loss of earning capacity, and lost wages. To ensure a fair and full award, we must determine the future costs you will incur from the accident.
General damages: General damages are not quantifiable, but they are very real. These include emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages are designed to punish the drunk driver. If the DWI was a misdemeanor, punitive damages are capped at two times economic damages plus general damages up to $750,000, or at $200,000, whichever is greater. If the DWI was a felony, no cap exists.
What Is the Dram Shop Act?
Under the Dram Shop Act, you may be able to sue the establishment that provided the alcohol to the drunk driver. There are very specific provisions in the law that are designed to protect bars, restaurants, and clubs that have reasonable programs in place to prevent overserving. Your attorney can investigate the circumstances of the DWI to determine whether the Dram Shop Act plays a role in your specific case.
What About Comparative Negligence?
Texas is a comparative negligence state, and these laws still apply even if you are hit by a drunk driver. Comparative negligence reduces your award by the percentage you are found to be at fault for the accident. If you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you cannot collect damages at all. It is important to have an experienced attorney fight for your rights, as the other party’s insurance company and lawyer will attempt to raise your at fault percentage to lower the amount of your claim.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver in Houston, contact Roberts Markland LLP today at 713-630-0900 for a free case review and consultation.