Injury Lawyer For Accidents Caused By Someone Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs In Dallas
With the advent of states legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana consumption, there has been a tendency of people to underestimate the effects of marijuana and other drugs on driving. Many people may think about alcohol first when contemplating a DUI, but driving under the influence is also applicable to cases in which a driver consumed a drug that altered their ability to drive safely. This impaired ability is extremely dangerous, as it can lead to high-speed crashes that result in significant injuries to everyone involved. People injured in car wrecks that were caused by someone driving under the influence of drugs should get in touch with a skilled Dallas attorney for help pursuing compensation.
At our firm, a Dallas car accident law firm, , our experienced attorneys have worked with car accident victims with a wide range of injuries. Some of these are life-threatening, and many have the capacity to alter the course of the person’s life for years to come. Examples of injuries that we have seen include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal injuries
- Loss of limb
If you are injured in a wreck caused by a driver under the influence of drugs, get in touch with us as soon as possible so that our attorneys can help you through the legal process of getting the compensation you are owed.
My Compensable Damages
Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines two primary kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. These two categories constitute compensable damages or the harms for which you and your attorney can seek compensation. There is a third category as well, which is known as exemplary damages and is awarded at the sole discretion of the jury.
Damages that are considered economic in nature are those that directly impact your finances. For example, they may include lost wages as a result of your injury, the cost of medical care for your injury, the cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle, etc. Importantly, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.0105 declares that you can only recover the actual amount you have paid or been charged for your medical expenses.
Not all damages you suffer are financial in nature. The rest of them fall under the category of “non-economic damages.” They can include issues like your physical pain, mental anguish, loss of consortium with a spouse, the mental toll of becoming disfigured, loss of enjoyment in life, and similar harms. In Texas, there is no limit to the amount you can recover for these damages, though it is often necessary to employ the testimony of an expert witness who can attest to the proper values of your economic harms.
The final category of damages is “exemplary damages.” These are not compensable in the sense that you do not directly argue for this form of compensation. Instead, they are meted out by the jury as a form of punishment and a deterrent toward the at-fault driver. The at-fault party is made to pay this extra compensation when the jury believes that they acted with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of themselves or others. Exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, are limited to the higher of the following two amounts, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.008:
- Two times your economic damages, plus up to $750,000 of your non-economic damages
Fault and Evidence in My Claim
At the heart of any personal injury claim is the determination of fault for the injury. In a car crash involving a drug-impaired driver, you may think that the issue of fault is clear enough. However, it still must be proven in court. Thankfully, unlike some other states, you do not have to show that you hold no fault for your accident. In other words, you may be judged to have contributed to your accident in some way and still be able to collect compensation from the other driver. Known as a system of proportionate responsibility, there are two important factors in the process.
- You can still recover compensation if you are no more than 50% responsible for your accident.
- Your total compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say that you have suffered $100,000 in damages from your wreck and the jury finds you to be 25% responsible for the accident. In this situation, your total compensation would be reduced by 25% as well, leaving you with compensation in the amount of $75,000.
Showing the Fault of the Other Party
The above demonstrates how important it is to prove the other party’s fault, as more fault on their shoulders means more compensation for you. Some forms of evidence that can be used to prove fault include:
- Drug test results
- Police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage of the crash
- Accident reconstructionist testimony
At our firm, a Dallas car accident law firm, , our attorneys can help you collect evidence that will bolster your case and improve your chance at compensation.
Getting a FREE Consultation
Often, injured people dread going to court because of monetary concerns, leading them to choose low settlement offers and miss out on the true value of their claim. At our firm, a Dallas car accident law firm, , we try to make the personal injury claims process as unburdensome as possible. That is why we do not collect a fee unless we win your case, and it is why we offer a FREE initial consultation to discuss your claim’s merits.
To get your FREE consultation, simply call our attorneys at (214) 305-8277 or fill out the form on our contact page.