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How a DWI Charge Can Impact Car Accident Compensation in Texas

How DWI can impact compensation for a car accident in Texas

Car accidents can be devastating, both physically and financially. In Texas, car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence, with over 250,000 crashes reported in 2020 alone. And according to Texas DOT, 1,162 people were killed in Texas in drunk driving accidents last year alone. If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. However, if the other driver was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), it can significantly impact your car accident compensation. This article will explore how a DWI charge can affect car accident compensation in Texas.

Understanding DWI Charges in Texas

Before we cover how a DWI charge can impact car accident compensation, it’s important to understand what constitutes a DWI in Texas. According to the Texas Penal Code, a person is considered to be driving while intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This applies to both alcohol and drugs, including prescription medication.

In Texas, a DWI is a serious offense and can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time. If a driver is charged with a DWI, it can also significantly impact any car accident claims that may arise from the incident.

How a DWI Charge Can Affect Car Accident Compensation

If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas and the other driver was charged with a DWI, it can significantly impact your car accident compensation. The average settlement for a DWI accident is significant. Here are some ways a DWI charge can affect your claim:

  • Increased likelihood of punitive damages: In Texas, punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. If the other driver was charged with a DWI, it shows a reckless disregard for the safety of others. It can increase the likelihood of punitive damages being awarded in your case. While recent case law in Texas supports the proposition that punitive damages may not be covered by insurance in Texas, the possibility of the insured being held liable for exemplary damages motivates the insurance adjuster to settle.
  • Impact on comparative negligence: In Texas, if you are found to be partially at fault for the car accident, your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. However, if the other driver was charged with a DWI, it can significantly impact the comparative negligence assessment and potentially increase your compensation.
  • Criminal charges may strengthen your case: If the other driver was charged with a DWI, it can strengthen your case for compensation. The criminal charges can serve as evidence of the other driver’s negligence and help prove liability in your car accident claim.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident with a DWI Driver

If you are involved in a car accident with a driver who has been charged with a DWI, it’s important to take the following steps:

  1. Call the police: The first thing you should do after a car accident is to call the police. They will assess the situation, gather evidence, and file a report. This report can be used as evidence in your car accident claim.
  2. Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important to seek medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical professional can document any injuries you may have sustained.
  3. Gather evidence: If you can, gather evidence at the accident scene. Take photos of the vehicle damage, any injuries, and the surrounding area. You should also exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
  4. Contact a car accident attorney: Dealing with a car accident can be overwhelming, especially if the other driver was charged with a DWI. It’s important to contact a Houston drunk driving accident attorney or a car accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and help you get the compensation you deserve.

How to Prove Negligence in a Car Accident Claim

To receive compensation for a car accident in Texas, you must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent. This means showing that they failed to exercise reasonable care while driving, which resulted in the accident and your injuries. Here are some ways to prove negligence in a car accident claim:

  • Police report: The police report can prove the other driver’s negligence. It will include details of the accident, witness statements, and any citations or charges issued to the other driver.
  • Eyewitness testimony: If there were witnesses to the accident, their testimony can be used to prove negligence. They can provide a firsthand account of what happened and support your version of events.
  • Expert testimony: In some cases, expert testimony may be necessary to prove negligence. For example, if the other driver was charged with a DWI, a toxicology expert can testify about the effects of alcohol or drugs on driving ability.
  • Medical records: Your medical records can also prove the other driver’s negligence. They can show the extent of your injuries and the treatment you received from the accident.

Conclusion

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially if the other driver was charged with a DWI. However, if you prove the other driver was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas, it’s important to contact a car accident attorney who can help you with the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. With the right legal representation, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney fights for your rights.

 

Related Resources:

Car Accident Law Firm Near Me – Auto Accident Attorney

Texas Truck Driver to Face Charges in Deadly Denver Crash

What is Contributory Negligence and How Does it Affect My Truck Accident Case?

 

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About Greg Baumgartner

Truck accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner
Greg Baumgartner is a preeminent rated personal injury lawyer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of experience representing severely injured clients in truck accidents. He founded Baumgartner Law Firm, in 1985, with a mission to provide excellent legal representation and personalized attention to every client.