According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.4 percent of drivers in Georgia admit to driving after having too much to drink. While that number may seem low, it means one to two out of every 100 neighbors drives drunk, and that’s just the ones who admit it. Unfortunately, this means that one of these drivers could hurt you or someone you love. If this happens, you need aggressive legal representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Cumming and Forsyth County.
Criminal Charges vs. Civil Lawsuits
Drunk drivers can face consequences in two ways: criminal charges and/or civil lawsuits. In criminal cases, victims and family members should cooperate with law enforcement, but prosecutors will lead the case. If convicted, drunk drivers face jail times and/or fines, which are paid to the court.
Civil lawsuits only go into court if victims or surviving family members file lawsuits. These cases have much lower burdens of proof than their criminal counterparts. This means that a driver who does not get convicted in criminal court could still face consequences in a civil lawsuit. If a victim settles with the driver outside of court or the court requires the driver to pay anything in a civil case, the money will go to the victim or family.
Depending on the facts of the case, you could need to sue other entities in order to get the compensation you and your loved ones deserve. For example, if a bar knowingly overserved the driver, that establishment could be liable for damages as well.
If Your Loved One Survived
Drunk driving accidents are often severe and can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. We sincerely hope that your loved one pulls through and stays alive after the accident. If this is the case, the person who was injured in the accident needs to be the person to officially file the lawsuit against the drunk driver or any other liable parties.
The best thing you can do as a concerned loved one is to put the victim in touch with an experienced and honest personal injury attorney in Forsyth County. You can help facilitate the paperwork, meetings, and other services related to the lawsuit. There may be exceptions for cases in which the victim is unable to sign, such as being in a coma. Be sure to talk to a lawyer about these specific circumstances.
What to Do If Your Loved One Passed Away or is Incapacitated
Sadly, drunk driving accidents can lead to tragedy. Losing a loved one in such an accident can be emotionally exhausting. On top of the emotional toll, victims’ families often pay the price in medical bills (if the victim was treated before passing), funeral expenses, and lost wages.
While nothing can bring back your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can give your family a sense of justice and help relieve the financial burden of an unexpected loss. These civil lawsuits seek damages for things like emotional suffering, funeral expenses, and lost wages. In general, the immediate family files these lawsuits.
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Cumming, GA
If someone you love was injured or killed by a drunk driver in Georgia, you need a personal injury lawyer in Forsyth county that you can depend on. Contact Banks, Stubbs, and McFarland today to see how we can help.