Drunk Driving Accidents – Who is at Fault?

Despite the fact that drunk driving rates have been steadily declining over the years, drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. Car accidents are always traumatic events, but this is especially so with drunk driving accidents – it’s hard to believe that someone would be so reckless as to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s one thing to endanger your own health and safety, but unfortunately, drunk driving usually results in the death or injury of an innocent person. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consider talking with a lawyer in order to understand your rights and protect your future.  

Who Do You Sue?  

The most obvious answer to this question is that you sue the intoxicated driver who caused the accident. Almost all car accidents involve negligence, but in a drunk driving case, you’re alleging that the driver was negligent by driving while intoxicated. Therefore, you are asking the court to hold that person liable for your injuries and other losses.  

Unfortunately, the other driver may have been killed or have no ability to pay for your damages.  If that is the case, there may be other parties that you have to look to in order to receive compensation for your injuries.  

The Georgia Dram Shop Act

Let’s assume that the driver was drinking in a bar before getting into his car and getting into an accident. Under Georgia law, the bar serving alcohol may be held liable for a drunk driver’s accident. The law holds bars responsible for an accident if the person driving was underage. For someone over 21 years old, the bar may be held liable if it served alcohol to someone in a noticeable state of intoxication and knew that person would soon be getting behind the wheel of a car.  

Party Hosts

Instead of a bar, let’s say the other driver was driving home from a party where he had been drinking. Similar to bars, party hosts may also be liable if they knowingly served alcohol to a person who was intoxicated and later caused a car accident.  

The Owner of the Vehicle

In cases where the drunk driver was driving someone else’s car, you may be able to bring a claim against the owner of the vehicle if you can prove that they were negligent in letting them use their car. This requires that you prove that the owner of the vehicle knew or should have known that the person was too intoxicated to drive.

The Driver’s Employer

Every now and then there is a case where the driver was drunk and at work when he caused the accident. If the driver was in the “course and scope” of his job when he caused the accident, you may be able to hold his employer liable for your damages.  

Call the Atlanta Area Personal Injury Attorneys at Slappey & Sadd

Being the victim of a drunk driving accident can change your life. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you should talk to a lawyer who can give you some advice. Slappey & Sadd can help. Call us today at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form in order to schedule a free consultation.  

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