There is no valid excuse for choosing to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. A driver could stay at his or her present location, use an app to hail a rideshare vehicle, take public transportation, or call a friend. Unfortunately, many people of all ages still choose to drive while intoxicated – to take their lives and the lives of others into their own hands.
Fort Worth recorded 621 total DWI crashes during 2016. Nineteen people lost their lives that year, and the state recorded 50 incapacitating injuries and 102 other injuries. Other drivers and passengers aren’t the only ones at risk when people drink and drive. Intoxicated drivers also hit pedestrians and bicyclists, causing severe injuries or death.
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert represents injured individuals and the families of those killed in DWI accidents in Fort Worth. We pursue these claims using the full extent of the law to help accident victims recover and prevent dangerous drivers from engaging in reckless behaviors in the future. We will fight for your right to fair and full compensation if you or a loved one suffered in a DWI accident.
The Dangers of DWI Accidents
DWI accidents happen because alcohol and other intoxicants impair a driver’s abilities. Intoxicating substances dull the senses, decrease reaction times, and distort judgment. DWI drivers often engage in multiple dangerous driving behaviors including speeding, failing to maintain lanes, and driving while distracted. An impaired driver barreling down the road at an unsafe speed exponentially increases the likelihood of a serious accident.
In many cases, DWI represents not only an act of negligence; it represents gross negligence. The blatant disregard for others’ safety is unacceptable. Our DWI attorneys pursue the maximum amount of compensation for economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages in these cases. Reckless, drunk drivers deserve to pay above and beyond normal accident compensation.
Texas DWI Statistics
Texas is not exempt from high rates of drunk driving. Unfortunately, these accidents lead to hundreds of injuries and deaths per year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a fact sheet detailing the sobering reality of this occurrence in the state.
- Between 2003 to 2012, 13,138 people died in car accidents involving a drunk driver in Texas.
- 1% of Texas adults report driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days, compared to the 1.9% national average.
- 6 men per every 100,000 Texan men die in drunk driving accidents, as compared to 2.4 women per every 100,000 Texan women.
- The Texas demographic most likely to die in a drunk driving accident are people between the ages of 31 to 24. In 2012, 10 people in this age range died in drunk driving accidents per 100,000 population.
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 944 drivers caused drunk driving accidents in 2017.
- The Texas DOT also stated that Forth Worth saw 17 fatal drunk driving crashes and 19 drunk driving fatalities in 2017.
- Fort Worth also saw 27 serious drunk driving crashes and 37 suspected serious injuries in 2017.
- In total, 560 drunk driving crashes occurred in Fort Worth alone in 2017.
DWI and Insurance Compensation
Liability is rarely a question in cases involving drunk driving. The person who was intoxicated will bear most or all responsibility for the incident. In these cases, accident victims often want to trust the insurance representatives who contact them to settle the claim. They believe the insurer will offer a fair settlement. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As for profit businesses, insurance companies will always look for ways to lower their own financial liability.
Before you accept an insurance settlement, reach out to one of our qualified DWI injury attorneys. Until we know the full extent of your injuries and your prognosis, we will not settle your claim for a potentially unfair amount. Our team will protect your right to maximum compensation under policy terms and relevant state laws.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
In the state of Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you are experiencing drug or alcohol intoxication and/or have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. Texas defines intoxication as the “lack of normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to the ingestion of alcohol, drugs, or another intoxicating substance. For drivers under the age of 21, it is illegal to drive with any alcohol or drugs in their systems.
A person receives punishment for DWIs based on the number of previous offenses he or she has on record and the severity of the crash in question. Criminal consequences are different from the compensation you can claim in a DWI personal injury lawsuit.
- For a person’s first offense, he or she can face up to six months in prison, up to $2,000 in fines, a year-long license suspension, and an ignition interlock device.
- For a person’s second offense, he or she can face up to a year in prison, up to $4,000 in fines, a two-year license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock.
- For a third or subsequent offense, a person can serve up to 10 years in prison, face up to $10,000 in fines, receive a two-year license suspension, and a one-year ignition interlock.
Dram Shop Laws and Texas DWI Claims
In Texas, you may also have a valid claim against the business that sold alcohol to a clearly impaired driver. Restaurants, bars, and liquor-selling stores reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who is clearly intoxicated or impaired. If they choose to sell alcohol anyway, they are accepting liability for that person’s actions – including drunk driving. Our team can help you determine if you have a claim against a dram shop in addition to the responsible driver.
Potential Damages in Texas DWI Cases
After a DWI accident, you can suffer from serious injuries that require expensive medical treatment and lengthy recovery time. You can collect economic and non-economic damages to help you recover from your losses after a Texas DWI accident.
- You can collect compensation for medical expenses related to your injuries. These damages can include hospital bills, surgeries, medications, and other past and future medical expenses.
- You can also collect damages for lost wages due to recovery from your injuries.
- You can receive non-economic damages for intangible losses. Examples of Texas non-economic damages include pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of earning potential, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.
Due to the severity of many Texas DWI cases, many people do not survive these accidents. If you lose a spouse, child, or parent in a DWI accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive certain damages. The purpose of these damages is to compensate the family for their untimely losses.
- You can collect compensation for lost earning capacity and benefits provided by the deceased.
- You can collect compensation for mental and emotional anguish and pain and suffering due to the loss of your loved one.
- You can collect damages for the loss of comfort, society, companionship, and love due to the death.
- You can collect damages for the lost care, support, advice, services, maintenance, and counsel that the deceased would have provided if he or she lived.
- You can also collect damages for lost inheritance.
Reach Out to your DWI Accident Injury Firm
After a DWI accident, you will likely need a qualified attorney on your side to pursue fair compensation and hold the drunk driver accountable for his or her actions. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, we have a reputation for success in injury claims. Our attorneys routinely negotiate full settlements and pursue trial verdicts when defendants refuse to make fair settlement offers.
Contact our team as soon as you can after an accident. We can help you talk to investigators, insurance adjustors, bill collectors, and others while you focus on recovery. For a free case evaluation, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers & DWI accident lawyer team today at (817) 500-4878.