Drunk driving accidents occur anywhere in Fort Worth—downtown, along the West 7th entertainment district, or Interstate 35. As we all ought to know, driving and alcohol are a deadly combination.
Drunk driving crashes often involve high speeds and head-on collisions—accidents that create a tremendous force upon impact. Those who survive these completely preventable accidents often suffer severe injuries resulting in long-term medical treatment and permanent disabilities.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a Fort Worth drunk driving accident, or your loved one died in a drunk driving fatality, you deserve compensation for your injuries and losses. Do not accept an insurance company’s settlement without talking with an experienced attorney and understanding how much money you deserve.
Contact the Fort Worth drunk driving accident attorneys at the Francis Firm today. We will discuss your case in a free, no-obligation consultation and advise you on your options. If you choose to hire us, we will handle all the aspects of your drunk driving accident claim so you can focus on your recovery.
Why Should You Choose Our Fort Worth Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys?
We at the Francis Firm understand that car accidents can overwhelm anyone—especially those that involve drunk drivers. It can take weeks or months for life to feel manageable again. And even then, you and your family may have to adjust to a new normal.
You don't have to go through this alone. Our Fort Worth drunk driving accident lawyers are well-versed in personal injury law. We will investigate the accident, determine your damages, and fight for full compensation from all liable parties.
The lawyers at the Francis Firm have served injured accident victims in Fort Worth and surrounding cities for over 25 years, and have recovered more than $30 million for our clients. But we also understand that a drunk driving accident case is more than just recovering compensation for your injuries. It's about protecting your rights and holding all liable parties responsible when their careless, intentional, or neglectful actions cause injuries that adversely affect your life.
How Alcohol Affects Drivers
Each year, drunk-driving accidents kill more than 10,000 every year, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. In Texas, the percentage is higher. More than a third of all traffic fatalities here involved drunk drivers.
This happens because alcohol interferes with the brain’s communications pathways, changing mood and behavior and making it harder for people to think clearly and move with coordination. Intoxicated drivers have more difficulty judging distance, speed, and the movement of other vehicles. Alcohol significantly impairs their reflexes, attention, and reaction time, causing them to crash.
Some erratic behaviors commonly seen among intoxicated drivers include:
- Failing to react to slowing traffic or obstacles
- Sudden and unnecessary braking
- Ignoring traffic signals or stop signs
- Exceeding or driving less than the speed limit
- Swaying or swerving out of designated lanes
- Failing to turn on lights or use turn signals
- Driving the wrong way on one-way roads or highways
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an accident with a drunk driver in Fort Worth, or lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident, you need a law firm fighting for you that understands the uphill battle you and your family may face. The Francis Firm will join you on every step of the way to protect your rights and recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
Texas law prohibits a person 21 years or older from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. For commercial drivers, the limit decreases to 0.04 percent. Nobody under the legal drinking age of 21 may 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 a crash or upon an arrest of suspected drunk driving.
Personal Injury Claims versus Criminal DUI Charges
Many accident victims think that once authorities charge a driver with a crime, they do not have to take any action on their own to recover all the damages they suffered. However, criminal DUI charges differ from personal injury claims.
In a criminal case, the driver faces monetary fines, jail time, and loss of their driver's license. The criminal court will probably not award any substantial compensation to accident victims.
Instead, you will need to file a claim seeking compensation. Depending on your injuries and losses, you may file your claim through insurance companies or civil court.
This doesn’t mean the criminal case will not play a role in your civil claim. In fact, if the court convicts a drunk driver of a DUI, your lawyer can use that conviction to prove the driver violated the law. This alleviates much of your burden of proving negligence and liability in your drunk driving accident case.
However, even if a court does not convict the driver of a DUI, you may still hold them liable for damages in Texas.
The Fort Worth drunk driving accident lawyers at the Francis Firm have experience helping victims of drunk drivers recover the compensation they deserve through civil claims either by negotiating with insurance companies or representing you in a court of law.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
Accident claims compensate victims for damages they suffer in accidents. Damages refers to the injuries you may recover compensation for.
Compensation usually comes in the form of economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the actual monetary losses you suffer due to your accident injuries.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, including any treatments, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation
- Future medical expenses, including home healthcare or supportive services
- Mobility equipment or prosthetics
- Modifications to your home or vehicle due to a permanent disability
- Property damage
- Lost income and benefits
- Loss of future earnings
- Funeral and burial expenses, if the accident resulted in a loved one’s death
Non-economic damages refer to losses for which there is no objective dollar value, making them harder to value.
Non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
What Is My Drunk Driving Accident Claim Worth?
Your lawyer will review your medical records and other evidence in your case, your ability to continue working in the same capacity, and talk with you and your family to understand just how the accident has affected your lives.
They will also consider the emotional impact, your ability to resume a relationship with your spouse or partner, and whether the trauma of the accident has damped your overall quality of life. You may seek compensation for all these damages.
The value of your accident claim will also depend on:
- The severity of your injuries
- Your level of pain and suffering
- Present and future expenses associated with treating your injuries
- The types of treatment or therapy you require now and in the future
- Whether your injuries are permanent, disabling, or disfiguring
- Whether you can return to work and, if so, in the same capacity as before the accident
- The strength of your evidence, including witness testimony
- Whether the other driver received a DUI conviction
- Whether other parties may be held liable
How Can a Lawyer Help You With Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
When you hire a lawyer from the Francis Firm to handle your drunk driving accident claim, we will begin right away to build a strong case for maximum financial recovery by:
Investigating Your Accident
We will build a strong foundation for your case by investigating all aspects of your accident. We will review the police report, medical records, photos from the accident scene, and eyewitness testimony.
Identifying All Liable Parties
The driver who got behind the wheel while intoxicated obviously bears fault. But often, we can hold several parties liable in a drunk driving accident. We will identify all liable parties in your case, including the driver's employer, restaurant or bar owners, or social hosts.
Evaluating Your Claim
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 suffered and will fight for maximum compensation for you.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company for a Fair Settlement
Strong negotiating skills are among the most significant assets our personal injury attorneys offer our clients. We know the games insurance companies play to get out of paying injury victims what they deserve. We will play hardball with them to get you fair compensation.
Representing You in Court
Sometimes insurance companies refuse to pay you what you deserve, and we may advise you to file a lawsuit in civil court. Filing a lawsuit will often get the insurance company to accept a fair offer. Trials consume time and money, and insurance companies know it's in their best interest to settle.
However, some drunk driving accident cases do wind up in court. If yours does, our Fort Worth drunk driving accident attorneys will aggressively and professionally represent you in court to get you the compensation you and your family deserve.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at Francis Firm Today
The legal team at the Francis Firm understands the trauma DUI accidents can inflict on victims and their families. These completely preventable accidents can change the lives of an entire family forever. You deserve compensation for your damages.
The Fort Worth drunk driving accident attorneys at the Francis Firm have helped thousands of victims just like you recover the compensation they need and deserve. Contact Fort Worth personal injury lawyer today online or at (817) 270-6418 for your free consultation. We will evaluate your case and explain your legal options.
Fort Worth Office
640 Taylor St
Fort Worth, TX 76102