The Kipness Law Firm, P.C


Q: Who can be liable for causing a drunken driving accident?

A: Drunk drivers and entities such as bars or restaurants that serve too much alcohol to patrons can be liable for drunken driving accidents.  Claims against bars or restaurants that allow intoxicated patrons to drive away from their premises are known as “Dram Shop” claims.  

Q: Why does drinking cause drunk driver accidents?

A: Alcohol adversely affects driving-related skills such as vision, reaction time, judgment, and the ability to divide attention.

Q: What should I do if I am involved in a drunk driver accident?

A: You should report the accident to your police and insurance company.  You should inform the police you believe the driver is intoxicated.  If injured, you should seek medical attention.  Finally, you should get the insurance information of the drunk driver and the names and telephone numbers of all witnesses.  You should also get a copy of the 911 call by contacting the police department.

Q: What type of vehicle operators are involved in drunken driving fatality accidents?

A:  The three most common are: motorcycle operators; drivers of light trucks, and passenger cars.

Q: How deadly are drunk driver accidents?

A: In 2006, there were 13,470 fatalities in crashes in the U.S. involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC of .08 or higher) – 32 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.

Q: How often are children killed in drunk driver accidents?

A: In 2006, 1,794 children age 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those 1,794 fatalities, 306 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Children riding in vehicles with drunk drivers accounted for half (153) of these deaths.

Q: How common are drunk driver accidents with repeat DWI offenders?

A: Drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes are eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired (DWI).

Q: How many drunk driver fatalities occurred in Texas in 2006?

A: During 2006, there were 3466 auto accident fatalities, of which 1544 or 45% were alcohol related.

Q: Which state leads in the nation in drunk driver fatality accidents?

A: Texas.

Q: If an insurance company for a drunk driver wants me to sign some papers so I can get medical care, should I sign the papers?

A: No.  You should sign nothing and make no statements until you have spoken to an attorney about the accident and your injuries.

Q: What should I do if I am contacted by an insurance company for a drunk driver?

A:  You should not give a statement to an insurance company for a drunk driver; you should not give them access to your medical records or sign any piece of paper they request from you before speaking to an attorney.

Q: What if the drunk driver does not have insurance or leaves the accident scene?

A: You may file a claim under your auto insurance, which is known as an underinsured or uninsured claim (UM/UIM).  This type of insurance should pay your medical bills and lost wages.  

Q: Who will pay for my medical bills from my drunk driver accident?

A: The insurance company for the drunk driver may pay for the medical bills.  If you have personal injury protection (PIP) on your auto insurance policy, it can also pay for medical bills.  Also, your health insurance should pay for your medical bills.

Q: Should I retain a drunk driver accident attorney?

A: Yes.  It is necessary to hire a drunk driver accident attorney to impose liability against all possible individuals and entities and to seek the maximum amount of compensation and damages available.

Q: What type of compensation can I recover from a drunk driver?

A: You can recover your medical bills, lost wages, future medical care expenses, future loss of earning capacity damages, and compensation for pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, and impairment.

Q: What if a loved one or relative or child or spouse is killed by a drunk driver?

A: You should contact a drunk driver attorney because relatives such as children, spouses, and parents can still pursue a wrongful death and survival claim.

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