Drunk driving accidents can happen anywhere in Dallas—in the bustling downtown business district, along Victory Park, or flying down the Julius Schepps Freeway. These accidents often involve high speeds and head-on collisions, creating a tremendous force upon impact.
Those who do survive these horrific crashes often suffer catastrophic, permanent, and physical disabling injuries requiring extensive medical treatment. The emotional scars are just as debilitating.
No amount of money can take away the pain and suffering caused by a Dallas drunk driving accident. But compensation can ease the financial strain of mounting medical bills and other accident-related expenses on your family.
The insurance company may offer you compensation to settle a drunk driving accident claim. Please do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without first consulting our lawyer. The money the insurance company initially offers will rarely compensate you for all your losses.
An experienced Dallas drunk driving accident lawyer from the Francis Firm can review your case and give you a better understanding of the compensation you deserve.
The drunk driving accident attorneys at the Francis Firm can discuss your case in a free, no-obligation consultation and explain your options. If you choose to hire us, we will handle all the aspects of your case so you can focus on your recovery.
Why Should You Choose Our Dallas Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys?
We at the Francis Firm understand how drunk driving accidents can change the lives of accident victims and their families. We can hold the intoxicated driver who got behind the wheel responsible for the entirely preventable accident and injuries.
You deserve more than money—you deserve justice, and we can help you get it. Our lawyers can investigate your accident, identify all liable parties, determine the full extent of your damages, and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
The personal injury lawyers at the Francis Firm have served injured accident victims in Dallas and the surrounding area for over 25 years. In that time, we have recovered more than $30 million for our clients. But we also understand that a drunk driving accident case is more than just recovering financial compensation. It's about holding all liable parties responsible when their careless, intentional, or neglectful actions harm you.
How Alcohol Affects Drivers
Alcohol courses through the bloodstream and into the brain, interfering with the brain's communication pathways. Alcohol clouds the mind, disrupts coordination, and impairs reflexes, attention, and reaction time. When a drunk person gets behind the wheel, they are more likely to misjudge distance, speed, and the movement of other vehicles.
How dangerous is that? More than a third of all traffic fatalities in Texas involve drunk drivers—a larger percentage than in the U.S., where 28 percent of all traffic deaths involve intoxicated drivers.
Some erratic driving behaviors commonly seen when someone drives drunk include:
- Failing to turn on lights or use turn signals
- Sudden and unnecessary braking
- Ignoring traffic signals or stop signs
- Swaying or swerving out of designated lanes
- Exceeding or driving less than the speed limit
- Driving the wrong way on one-way roads or highways
- Failing to react to slowing traffic or obstacles
Intoxicated drivers endanger everyone on the road. If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, you need a law firm that will stand by you every step of the way. You can count on Francis Firm to protect your legal rights while seeking maximum compensation for you.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
Texas law establishes blood alcohol content (BAC) levels for all drivers. It is illegal for any adult 21 or older to operate a motor vehicle in Texas with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater. Truck drivers cannot have a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher. And it is illegal for anyone younger than the legal drinking age of 21 to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system.
Police usually test a driver’s BAC through breath, blood, or urine tests immediately after an accident if they suspect alcohol played a role or upon the arrest of a suspected drunk driver.
Personal Injury Claims vs. Criminal DUI Charges
DUI accident victims commonly think that once authorities charge the drunk driver with a crime, they don't need to take legal action to recover compensation for their medical expenses and other damages. But criminal DUI charges and personal injury claims require separate actions.
After a criminal DUI conviction, a driver will face monetary fines, jail time, and loss of their driver's license. The criminal court will probably not award victims any substantial financial compensation. You will need to seek compensation through a separate claim, whether through one or more insurance companies or in civil court as a personal injury lawsuit.
The outcome of the criminal case could help strengthen your civil claim if, for example, the court convicts the driver of a DUI. However, you don’t need a criminal conviction to hold the driver liable for the damages they caused you. A Dallas drunk driving lawyer at the Francis Firm can navigate the civil claims process and recover the compensation you deserve by negotiating with the insurance companies or representing you in civil court.
Who Can You Sue in a Dallas Drunk Driving Accident?
Any intoxicated driver who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is negligent and anyone they injure can hold them liable for the harm they cause.
Sometimes, our lawyers discover that the negligence of other parties may have contributed to the accident, and you may seek compensation from them as well. Other parties often found liable in drunk driving accidents include:
Employer of the Drunk Driver
Under Texas law, employers of drivers whose careless actions cause harm to others while performing duties for their job can be held liable for their drivers’ actions.
The Store, Bar, or Restaurant That Sold Alcohol to the Drunk Driver
Texas Dram Shop Law allows accident victims to sue any business that provides alcohol to a visibly drunk customer or any minor who subsequently causes an accident that results in injury or death.
The Host Who Provided Alcohol to a Minor
You can hold adults who provide alcohol to unrelated minors in their homes or other private property liable if the minor causes an accident that injures you or kills a loved one.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
Accident victims can recover compensation for economic or non-economic damages—losses that result from accident injuries.
Economic damages are the actual monetary losses you suffer because of your accident-related injuries.
- Medical expenses, including any treatments, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation
- Future medical expenses, including home healthcare or supportive services
- Lost income and benefits
- Loss of future earnings
- Modifications to your home or vehicle due to a permanent disability
- Mobility equipment or prosthetics
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses, if the accident resulted in a loved one’s death
Non-economic damages are losses with no actual dollar value and, thus, are more challenging to value.
Some examples include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
What Is My Accident Worth?
To answer this question, you must first identify all the damages you suffered. Your lawyer will review your medical records, talk with your doctor, and talk with you and your family to determine how your injuries have affected your life. Can you work in the same capacity as before your accident? Do you need special equipment for mobility? Do you suffer from emotional distress? Can you participate in a relationship with your spouse or partner as you did before the accident?
These factors will help your lawyer determine what damages you may recover.
But the value of your claim will also depend on:
- The severity and extent of your injuries
- The level of your pain and suffering
- Present and future expenses to treat your injuries
- If the drunk driver caused permanent, disabling, or disfiguring injuries
- If you can return to work in the same capacity
- The strength of your evidence, including witness testimony
- If the other driver received a DUI conviction
- If other liable parties contributed to the drunk driving accident
How Can a Lawyer Help Me With a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
When you retain a lawyer with the Francis Firm, we will begin working on your drunk driving accident claim right away. We will:
Investigate Your Accident
We will investigate all aspects of your accident, including your medical records, the police report, and any other evidence, to build a strong case for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Identify All Liable Parties
As mentioned above, sometimes you may hold a bar owner or the driver’s employer liable for negligent actions, such as serving more alcohol to a visibly drunk customer or knowingly hiring someone with a drinking problem.
Value Your Claim
Insurance companies won’t take the time to understand all the ways your accident injuries have affected your life. Instead, they will plug your injuries and assumed medical expenses into a computer program and make a settlement offer based on insufficient data.
Insurance companies make offers to victims of drunk drivers that rarely reflect the full value of the damages suffered. Our lawyers know how to determine the full extent of the damages you and your family have suffered and will fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Negotiate With the Insurance Company
The lawyers at the Francis Firm are skilled negotiators. We deal with insurance companies all the time and know the tricks they play to undermine accident victims. We will demand full compensation for your damages and provide evidence to back up your demand.
Represent You in Court
Sometimes insurance companies won't accept a fair settlement. We may advise you to take your drunk driving accident case to court, and if you agree, we will file your case in civil court. Most insurance companies prefer to settle before an accident case goes to court. We will continue to play hardball with the insurance companies to get you the best settlement possible.
However, if the insurance company still refuses to play fair, our drunk driving accident attorneys can represent you in court and advocate for full compensation on your behalf.
Contact a Dallas Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at the Francis Firm Today
Traumatic injuries from preventable DUI accidents can alter the lives of the victims and their loved ones.
You don't have to fight alone. The Dallas drunk driving accident lawyers at the Francis Firm have helped thousands of accident victims just like you seek justice against those who harmed them. We will fight for the compensation you need and deserve.
4131 N Central Expy
Dallas, TX 75204