Have you been injured by a drunk driver in Atlanta? No one should make the irresponsible decision to drink and drive, and you deserve compensation and accountability for the harm that person caused you.

Unfortunately, not even the driver’s clear fault for causing the accident will guarantee that their insurance company will pay you fairly for what you’ve suffered. After all, their goal is to maximize their profits by minimizing your financial recovery. Fight back with the help of an experienced Bayuk Pratt attorney, and demand every cent you need for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

The attorneys at Bayuk Pratt have over 50 years of combined legal experience, which includes working as senior partners for some of the top insurance defense law firms. We know how insurance companies prepare defenses against injury claims — because we were experts at defending insurers. Our founding attorneys, Frank Bayuk and Bradley Pratt, established Bayuk Pratt to leverage their insider knowledge of insurance defense to give accident victims a critical advantage in seeking maximum financial recovery.

Ready to stand up for your rights? Then contact Bayuk Pratt for a free initial case review with an Atlanta drunk driving accident attorney to discuss your legal options for pursuing financial recovery.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for Your Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim

A DUI accident can leave you with severe injuries that require long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation. You deserve to focus your time and energy on your physical and emotional recovery, yet you also deserve to pursue accountability and compensation from the drunk driver who hit you. Balancing your time between seeking medical treatment and pursuing legal claims can quickly become challenging.

When you hire an attorney from Bayuk Pratt for your drunk driving accident claim, you can rest assured that our firm will handle all the details of investigating the accident and pursuing your legal rights. Our attorneys will document your injuries and work with medical, vocational, and financial experts as necessary to calculate your ongoing expenses and future anticipated needs and losses.

Our attorneys have extensive litigation experience and a successful track record. Although we prepare each case for trial, we pursue settlements that provide our clients with fair and full compensation. However, our firm won’t hesitate to take a case to trial when needed to demand the justice you deserve.

How We Investigate Drunk Driving Accident Injury Cases

At Bayuk Pratt, our drunk driving accident attorneys thoroughly investigate your claims to recover evidence that can prove fault for the crash and your right to compensation. Our legal team will pursue every avenue to obtain proof to support your drunk driving accident case, relying on compelling evidence such as:

  • Police accident reports and arrest and conviction records
  • Accident scene photos and videos
  • Eyewitness testimony, including statements from people who witnessed the crash or who saw the alleged drunk driver consume alcohol before the accident
  • Surveillance, traffic camera, and dashcam footage
  • Receipts of alcohol purchases
  • Car computer logs
  • Cell phone records and GPS data
  • Accident reconstruction and medical expert reports and testimony

Our firm will contact parties with relevant evidence, including surveillance or traffic camera owners, eyewitnesses, and bars or restaurants, to secure evidence for your case.

What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident

After getting hurt in a drunk driving accident, taking prompt action can put you in a better position to pursue legal claims to recover compensation for your resulting injuries and losses. Steps you should take after a drunk driving accident in Atlanta include:

  • Report the crash to the authorities if law enforcement did not respond to the accident scene.
  • Seek immediate medical attention and follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations or recovery instructions.
  • Notify your car insurance company about the accident and confirm whether you have coverage in your policy for your injuries or vehicle damage, such as med pay, collision, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Keep bills, invoices, and receipts to document expenses you incur during your recovery from the accident.
  • Gather your pay stubs or income statements if you need to take time off work due to your injuries or experience a reduction in your earnings after the accident.
  • Request a copy of the police accident report.
  • Obtain copies of medical records of your treatment and rehabilitation for your accident injuries.
  • Avoid posting about the accident or your injuries on social media, as insurance companies might use your social media posts to undermine your injury claims.

Finally, contact a DUI accident lawyer from Bayuk Pratt as soon as possible after a crash. We will discuss your legal options and recommend the next steps you can take to pursue financial recovery.

Compensation You Could Recover in a Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim

As a drunk driving victim, you may have the right to obtain financial recovery for ongoing and future losses you sustain due to injuries and property damage you experienced in the accident. Your compensation can include money for your:

  • Car repair expenses or reimbursement for the actual cash value of your car if the crash totaled it
  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, medical and orthopedic equipment, doctor’s appointments, and physical and occupational therapy
  • Costs of long-term care, including home health care or replacement household services
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning potential and employment benefits after becoming permanently disabled from your job or other work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced enjoyment or quality of life because of disabilities or visible, permanent scarring or disfigurement

Can Bars, Restaurants, Shops, and Social Hosts Face Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident?

Georgia law expressly states that alcohol-related accidents occur due to the consumption of alcohol, rather than selling or furnishing alcohol. However, in limited circumstances, the law imposes dram shop liability on bars, restaurants, and other establishments. An establishment may bear liability for a drunk driving accident if it willingly and knowingly provides alcohol to a person under 21 or a visibly intoxicated person, knowing that such person will soon operate a motor vehicle.

Can I Recover Compensation Even If the Drunk Driver Isn’t Charged?

Even when the alleged drunk driver does not get charged or convicted of DUI, you may still have the right to pursue compensation in a drunk driving accident claim. Under Georgia’s DUI criminal laws, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged intoxicated driver operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, a drunk driving accident victim has a lower burden of proof in a drunk driving accident case. In a civil case, an injured victim must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged drunk driver operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

A DUI conviction can support your drunk driving accident case by allowing you to pursue a claim of negligence per se against the drunk driver. But you can still meet your burden of proof in a drunk driving accident claim even if the state did not charge or prosecute the alleged drunk driver for DUI.

What Are Georgia’s Laws on Drunk Driving?

Georgia alcohol laws consider a motorist to have engaged in drunk driving when they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. However, two categories of drivers have lower legal limits. Commercial drivers commit the offense of DUI when they operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more. Drivers under 21 must not exceed a BAC of 0.02 percent.

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia can include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Several hundred dollars in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory community service
  • Requirement to install an ignition interlock device after a second or subsequent DUI conviction

Drivers under 21 convicted of DUI must wait an additional 12 months to obtain a graduated license.

How Long Do You Have to File a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?

Georgia’s statute of limitations typically requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of a drunk driving accident to recover compensation for injuries you suffered in the crash, or four years to recover compensation for property damage you sustained in the accident. Speaking with a DUI accident attorney as soon as possible can help you protect your rights and options after a crash.

Common Injuries Caused in Drunk Driving Accidents

Because many drunk drivers do not brake or swerve to avoid a collision, drunk driving accidents in Georgia can involve violent forces that cause severe injuries. Common examples of injuries that a drunk driving accident victim can suffer include:

  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Muscle and tendon strains and tears
  • Whiplash
  • Permanent nerve damage