Helping Victims of DUI Accidents
Drunk driving accidents claim thousands of lives in the United States each year. Victims of these preventable accidents deserve to be compensated for their injuries and losses. At The Hamilton Firm, our Chattanooga drunk driving accident lawyers are ready to protect your rights and best interests from start to finish.
What is "Drunk Driving" in Tennessee?
Tennessee's DUI laws are complex and can vary based on the circumstances of an accident. Our attorneys are well-versed in drunk driving accident law and can help you seek the maximum compensation you are owed.
Under Tennessee's DUI laws, a driver is considered "drunk" if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. A driver is also considered "drunk" if they are under the influence of a controlled substance, such as marijuana, amphetamines, or cocaine.
In many cases, a driver can be charged with DUI even if their BAC is below the legal limit if they were driving erratically, or if they failed a sobriety test.
If you have been involved in an accident with a driver who you suspect was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, we urge you to seek medical care immediately and call the police. Evidence is often lost if you wait too long to report the accident.
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The amount of compensation you can recover in a drunk driving accident case will depend on the severity of your injuries. If you have suffered permanent injuries, you may be eligible for a significant sum of money.
In Tennessee, compensation for a drunk driving accident may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
In many cases, the negligent driver's insurance company will attempt to blame you for causing the accident. In these cases, we will work to prove you were not at fault. If you were partially at fault, your compensation may be reduced.
How to Establish Negligence After a Crash
Here are some general steps that may be involved in proving a drunk driving accident claim:
- Document the accident: Call the police immediately after the accident and file a report. Ensure that the police officer notes any observations or suspicions of drunk driving in the report. Collect evidence at the scene, including photographs of the accident, property damage, injuries, and any visible signs of intoxication.
- Seek medical attention: Get medical treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident. It's important to have documented medical records that link your injuries to the accident.
- Gather evidence: Collect evidence to support your claim. This may include witness statements, video footage or photos from nearby surveillance cameras or dashcams, and any other relevant documentation that can help establish the other driver's intoxication.
- Obtain the driver's sobriety test results: If the driver was arrested at the scene, there may be sobriety test results such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or field sobriety test records. These can be important evidence to establish the driver's impairment.
- Police investigation: Law enforcement authorities will typically investigate the accident and may conduct their own tests, such as breathalyzer or blood tests, to determine the driver's level of intoxication. The police report can be a crucial piece of evidence.
- Obtain toxicology reports: If the other driver was taken to the hospital after the accident, the medical records may include toxicology reports that can confirm the presence of alcohol or drugs in their system.
- Consult an attorney: It's advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer who has experience with drunk driving accident cases in Tennessee. They can guide you through the legal process, help gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.
Whether you were severely injured by a drunk driver or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, our attorneys at The Hamilton Firm are here to help you seek justice and fair compensation. We represent accident victims across Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.
What If the Driver Wasn't Charged or Convicted of DUI?
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you can file a lawsuit against the driver even if they weren't criminally charged or convicted. Criminal charges and civil lawsuits are separate legal actions, and a drunk driver can be held liable for their actions in either one or both scenarios.
This means that victims of drunk driving accidents can seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering through a civil lawsuit, even if the drunk driver wasn't charged with or convicted of a crime. It's always best to consult with an experienced attorney, like those at The Hamilton Firm, to explore your options and determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances.
Contact Our Firm for a Free Consultation
The Hamilton Firm LLC has the experience and resources to effectively represent you in a drunk driving accident case, whether you were injured in a car accident or truck accident. We are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. We are also committed to helping victims of drunk driving accidents recover the compensation they need for the best possible recovery.