If you or a loved one is the victim of a drunk driving incident, you have many options for asserting your legal rights. Dealing with a serious issue like this can be overwhelming, but there are many resources available and recourse is not as difficult as you think. There are over 10,000 deaths every day in the United States as a result of driving under the influence, as well as hundreds of thousands of injuries and life-altering situations. The incidents themselves are often devastating, but so is the aftermath. That is why it is crucial that victims know and assert their legal rights.
Victims involved in drunk driving accidents have some options for legal recourse, both against the driver and potentially against the individuals or businesses that sold the alcohol or drugs to the driver. The specific legal options vary by state, but in Georgia, victims can seek legal action against drivers that caused the accident as well as those involved in providing the alcohol. This is known as the Dram Shop Rule, which states that an establishment that knowingly served an individual too much alcohol may be found liable in the case of a victim’s lawsuit, and as a result may be required to pay damages to the victim(s). According to Law.com, 38 states currently use this rule in drunk driving cases. Georgia is one of them.
Your Legal Rights
As the victim of a drunk driving incident, you deserve some sort of recourse. You should talk to an attorney that specializes in DUI law to determine exactly what your rights are and what the best course of action might be in your specific case. Victims are often forced to deal with serious injuries, death of a loved one, property damage, mental distress, and other issues as a result of a drunk driver. Although you can’t go back and change what happened, you can seek legal recourse and you deserve that, at the very least.
If you are involved in any type of incident involving someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Georgia residents can only seek legal action against offenders for a period of up to two (2) years. The only exceptions to this are if the victim is found to be legally incompetent, or if the victim is a minor. In these situations, there is a two-year rule applied after the victim is deemed competent or turns 18 years old.
Not only does the law require you to file suit sooner than later, but your injuries and your own experience suggest that you need to file a claim as soon as you are able. Injuries can worsen over time, or even heal, and that could make legally demonstrating your loss difficult. As time passes, your memory fades and you often begin to heal emotionally as well, which means that you might not be able to recount the incident as well later on, resulting in a lesser settlement for your suffering.
Claim What You Deserve
If you are going to file a lawsuit for damages against an impaired driver, you should make sure that the offender is tested for drugs and alcohol so that you know what caused the accident. Not only is this good information to have, but it may change the outcome of your case depending on what they were using. The CDC reports that 16% of fatal “drunk driving” accidents actually involve drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, or even prescription drugs, and often those are used in conjunction with alcohol, amplifying the risk that an impaired driver presents.
To learn more about drunk driving cases and your rights as a victim, visit http://www.bolingriceatlanta.com/drunk-driving-accidents/