DUI Injury Lawyer in Jonesboro, GA
Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents Deserve More Compensation
Automobile accidents can be devastating. Victims often face medical bills, lost wages, car repairs or replacement, and pain and suffering which can impact them and their loved ones for years to come. These problems are only made worse when you or a loved one is struck by a drunk driver who has put both themselves and others at an unacceptable risk by driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In the aftermath of an accident you and your loved ones may be unsure of where to turn for answers to the questions and concerns that arise. How will you pay the medical expenses? How will you fix your car? Can you afford to replace it? Can you afford a lawyer? The experienced attorneys at the Millar Law Firm help answer these questions and help you explore your options.
The Millar Law Firm is a trusted, well-known and respected DUI firm in Jonesboro serving Clayton County. We have a deep understanding of the intricacies and nuances of the Clayton County court system. We have twenty-six years of experience which we put to work for you with one focus in mind—getting the maximum compensation possible for our clients.
We take the time to listen to you, learning all of the facts and circumstances that surround your case to better understand the losses and challenges you and your loved ones have faced as a result of being the victim of a drunk driving accident. This empowers us to more efficiently advocate for you and get you and your family the justice and compensation you deserve.
When you are the victim of a drunk driving accident, the injuries you or your loved ones suffer can be short-term, such as whiplash, broken or fractured bones, and concussions. You may also suffer more long-term and permanent injury, such as brain damage, loss of the use of a limb, or complete loss of limb. These injuries can be life-changing and you and your family deserve to have the best advocates in your corner when seeking compensation.
Drunk drivers often seek and obtain representation for any court proceedings, whether civil or criminal. Our firm never represents the drunk driver. We are therefore only ever focused on making sure such drivers are held fully accountable for the damage they cause.
Penalties under DUI laws are not enough to fully compensate you and your family. You and your family may be entitled to compensation above and beyond the criminal liability imposed upon drunk drivers. This compensation can include things like payment of medical bills, car repairs or replacement, and compensation for pain and suffering. Such compensation is recoverable in a civil suit. Sound legal advice obtained quickly after the accident will allow you to develop the strongest case possible.
Drunk Driving Is a Serious Act of Negligence
Drunk drivers put others at risk for serious injury or death by driving while under the influence. There must be consequences for such unacceptable behavior.
This criminal behavior can help determine negligence in a civil lawsuit. A guilty plea for the criminal ramifications of drunk driving can be extremely helpful as it establishes a legal admission that a person was driving under the influence and therefore opens them up to civil liability for any injuries they caused. In fact, multiple parties can be found negligent in a DUI case. This means that all parties involved can be held responsible, and you and your family may be more fairly compensated for your injuries.
Designated Drivers Can Save Lives
Whether under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drunk drivers are not thinking clearly; they do not consider the risk they are putting others in when they get behind the wheel. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is completely inexcusable. People have a duty to others to drink responsibly.
Being responsible can include ensuring that you have a designated driver in your party when you go out with friends to drink. Even if they fail to designate a sober driver before drinking, choosing to drive while intoxicated is egregious given the rise of rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft. Along with taxi services, there are many safe, affordable alternatives to driving a vehicle after consumption of drugs or alcohol.
In 2017 the average cost of a Lyft ride was $19.20, the average Uber ride cost $25.73, and the average taxi ride cost $29.52. All of these services can transport a person who is inebriated to that person’s destination in less than 20 minutes. These alternatives to driving cost far less time and money than the legal and financial burden a drunk driver would face after causing injury in a drunk driving accident. Therefore there is no excuse for such behavior especially when these alternatives exist and are so readily available.
Georgia Law Protects Clayton County DUI Victims
Georgia has several laws and statutes which protect victims of drunk drivers. The Dram Shop Act, for example, makes it illegal for someone to sell, furnish, or serve alcohol to someone who is either under the legal drinking age or in a “noticeable state of intoxication knowing that that person will soon be driving a motor vehicle.” (O.C.G.A. § 51-1-40)
If a person is found to have sold, served, or furnished alcohol under those circumstances, they may be held liable for any resulting death or injury. This means that if a bar or other restaurant establishment serves alcohol to a person they know to be intoxicated, they may be liable to pay the victim or their loved ones for any injury or death resulting from a subsequent drunk driving accident by that person.
The Statute of Limitations
In Georgia there is a two year (24 month) statute of limitations for drunk driving accidents. This means that you must file a case within two years or 24 months of the drunk driving accident in order to be compensated for your injuries. It is important to note that the Georgia appellate courts have ruled that the two year statute of limitations cannot begin while the DUI and other possible related charges (including traffic tickets) are still pending.
It is imperative to seek legal counsel from an attorney who can help walk you through the complicated process surrounding DUI injury claims. If you miscalculate the amount of time you have left on your claim and attempt to file once the statute of limitations has expired, you lose your right to compensation.
The statute of limitations for a victim of a drunk driving accident is tolled until all of the prosecution relating to the drunk driving accident is complete. This means that the statute of limitations is paused until all of the criminal charges prosecuted by the state related to the accident have been prosecuted. The statute of limitations can be paused under Section 9-3-99 for up to six years.
However, it is essential that you act quickly after a drunk driving accident to protect you and your loved ones because if you miscalculate the time remaining in the statute of limitations on your case, you can lose the ability to file a claim and be compensated for your injuries. (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-99) With twenty-six years of experience, the attorneys at the Millar Law Firm can help ensure that you raise every possible claim in your drunk driving case before the statute of limitations expires.
Drivers Intoxicated Not by Alcohol but by Some Other Drug
Georgia DUI laws apply to drugged driving as well as drunk driving. It is against the law to drive while under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription medications, or over the counter drugs. Liability for a drunk driving accident can be established against a driver under the influence of a wide range of substances, including:
- illegal drugs or controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, or ecstasy
- prescription medications such as pain medications or antihistamines, which can cause drowsiness
- over-the-counter drugs or medications, including allergy medications, which are also known to cause drowsiness
- any glue, aerosol, or other toxic substance that can be huffed, which can cause a euphoric high
Georgia’s laws are extremely strict and make it illegal for a driver to have any marijuana or other illicit drug in their system, evidence of which is found in their blood or urine. The use of any of the above substances—including those that are otherwise legal—become illegal when they cause the driver to be less safe when driving a vehicle. Cases have shown that even an herbal supplement which adversely affects the driver can be grounds for a DUI.
Types of Compensation Received in a DUI Claim
DUI cases involve the types of compensation you would expect from a personal injury claim, including:
- payment of medical bills,
- restitution for emotional distress and/or pain and suffering,
- payment of car repairs or car replacement,
- replacement of lost income,
- and in the case of a wrongful death, payment to cover burial and funeral expenses.
Drivers at-fault for drunk driving accidents are also subject to punitive damages which are meant to punish and deter “willful misconduct, wantonness, and [an] entire want of care.” When the consequences of drunk driving are more severe, people are less likely to engage in the behavior.
Generally speaking, in Georgia punitive damages are limited or capped at $250,000. However, because drunk driving is a willful and dangerous act, this limit or cap does not apply and there is therefore no limit or cap to how much you can receive in punitive damages in a drunk driving case.
Affordable Advocates to Handle Your DUI Case
You can afford to hire The Millar Firm because our legal services cost you nothing unless we win your case. This is known as a contingency fee agreement, and what we are paid is dependent upon the final settlement or judgment in your case. If we take your case, we will agree to a percentage of the final settlement or judgment as payment for legal services. This motivates us to get you the best results possible.
Call us today for your free, no-risk consultation and let The Millar Law Firm put twenty-six years of experience to work for you!