Victims of drunk driving accidents in Georgia may have the right to pursue financial recovery for the harm and losses they’ve suffered as a result. However, holding a drunk driver accountable for a life-altering accident may involve complex factual and legal issues. Thankfully, you can turn to a Georgia drunk driving accident lawyer from Bayuk Pratt to guide you through the claims process.

With over 50 years of combined legal experience and over $300 million in compensation for clients, our team has the skills to handle complex drunk driving accident cases. Frank Bayuk and Bradley Pratt, who founded our law firm, know what it takes to win injury claims. That’s because they are former senior partners for some of the largest defense law firms in the U.S. Frank and Bradley have direct insider knowledge on how insurance companies defend against accident claims. They use this insight and savvy to give injured clients a unique advantage when taking on drunk drivers and their insurers to demand justice and maximum compensation.

As a Georgia drunk driving victim, you deserve to pursue accountability from the driver responsible for your injuries. Having experienced legal counsel in your corner can make a significant difference in your recovery. Contact Bayuk Pratt for a free initial case review with a DUI accident lawyer to discuss how our firm can help you seek compensation for your medical bills, car repairs, lost income, and pain and suffering.

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

After suffering severe injuries when a drunk driver hits you, you deserve to focus on your physical and emotional recovery. However, you may also have the right to demand financial compensation and justice from the other driver. When you hire an attorney from Bayuk Pratt for your drunk driving accident claim, you can rest assured that you have a dedicated advocate handling the details of your case so you can devote your time and energy to your medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Let our team fight for the compensation you need and deserve by:

  • Investigating the accident to secure the evidence needed to hold the other driver at fault for causing the crash
  • Documenting your injuries and losses to ensure we pursue maximum compensation for your ongoing and future needs
  • Evaluating your options for financial recovery, including determining whether insurance coverage may apply in your case
  • Filing your insurance and legal claims and handling communications with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys
  • Keeping you updated on the progress of your case and preparing you for what to expect at each stage
  • Vigorously pursuing full financial recovery for your expenses and losses, whether through a negotiated settlement or by taking your case to trial when necessary to demand the result you deserve

How We Investigate Drunk Driving Accident Injury Cases

In many cases, our legal team will need compelling evidence to show that the other driver caused the accident due to alcohol or drug intoxication. Our investigation will review various types of documentation or evidence, such as:

  • Police accident reports
  • Arrest and criminal records
  • Breath and blood test results
  • Accident scene photos and videos
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Surveillance and traffic camera footage
  • Bar and restaurant receipts
  • Cell phone records
  • Social media posts
  • Accident reconstruction and medical expert reports and testimony

What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident

After an accident with a drunk driver, you can take steps to protect your rights and interests and put yourself in a favorable position to seek compensation through a DUI accident claim. Things you should do following a drunk driving accident include:

  • Contacting law enforcement to report the accident
  • Requesting a copy of the police crash report
  • Seeking prompt medical attention to document your injuries from the crash and following your doctor’s treatment plan or recovery instructions
  • Requesting copies of your medical records
  • Notifying your auto insurance provider about the accident to request applicable coverage in your policy, such as optional medical payments coverage you may have purchased
  • Keeping all bills, invoices, and receipts to document your expenses
  • Finding copies of your pay stubs or income statements to calculate lost income if you need to take time off from work or transfer to a lower-paying position due to medical restrictions

Finally, you should contact a Georgia drunk driving accident lawyer at Bayuk Pratt to discuss the next steps to pursue financial recovery and justice.

Compensation You Could Recover in a Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim

In a DUI accident claim, you may have the right to recover compensation for ongoing and future losses you suffer due to injuries and property damage. Your financial recovery in your drunk driving accident claim can include compensation for your:

  • Past, ongoing, and anticipated future medical expenses
  • Long-term care and household support
  • Lost income, including lost future earning capacity
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
  • Property damage

In rare cases, you might also receive an award of punitive damages in a drunk driving lawsuit. Punitive damages do not compensate for any losses you suffer from the accident. Instead, they punish a drunk driver for egregious or shocking conduct and dissuade others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

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

Georgia law allows victims of drunk driving accidents to impose dram shop liability on bars, restaurants, social hosts, and other individuals and businesses that serve alcohol. Under Georgia’s dram shop law, an establishment or social host may bear liability for injuries suffered by victims of a drunk driving accident if they serve alcohol to someone under 21 or who is visibly intoxicated and that person causes a drunk driving accident.

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

You can still pursue a drunk driving accident injury claim even if the driver who hit you doesn’t get charged with or convicted of DUI. Criminal cases involve a higher burden of proof than personal injury claims. In a DUI prosecution, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In a personal injury claim, however, you only have to prove that the other driver caused an accident due to alcohol or drug intoxication by a preponderance of the evidence. This means proving that it’s more likely than not that the driver was intoxicated. Therefore, even though the police and prosecution may not charge the driver with DUI due to insufficient evidence to secure a conviction, you may have enough evidence to recover compensation in a drunk driving accident lawsuit.

What Are Georgia’s Laws on Drunk Driving?

Georgia’s DUI laws state that it’s against the law for a driver to operate a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds certain levels. The general limit is a BAC of 0.08 percent, although the limit for drivers under 21 is 0.02 percent. Drivers convicted of violating impaired driving laws may face penalties, including up to one year in jail, fines, driver’s license suspension, and community service.

Georgia alcohol laws also make it illegal for a driver or passenger to possess or consume an open alcoholic beverage container while in a vehicle on the road or shoulder. The law makes exceptions for passengers in the passenger area of a for-hire vehicle or the living quarters of a motor home or house trailer.

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

Georgia’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims typically requires you to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver within two years of the crash. Filing a lawsuit after this deadline expires may result in you losing the opportunity to seek financial compensation and accountability from the drunk driver who hit you.

For this reason, you can best protect your rights by contacting a DUI accident attorney from Bayuk Pratt as soon as possible after a crash to get help filing your claims on time. Two years may seem like a long time, but some physical evidence may be unusable or inaccessible very soon after an accident. Contacting a lawyer right away makes it easier to preserve, analyze, and use this critical evidence to support your claim.

Common Injuries Caused in Drunk Driving Accidents

People injured by a drunk driver in a motor vehicle accident can sustain various kinds of physical trauma, such as:

  • Lacerations and permanent scarring
  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Nerve damage
  • Dislocated joints
  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Muscle or tendon strains and tears
  • Herniated spinal discs

Additionally, victims may suffer from psychological trauma and mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, following an accident with a drunk driver.