Drunk and drugged driving remain among the most significant dangers on our roads. Each year, thousands of victims are injured and killed by motorists who made the negligent decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or impaired. If your accident was caused by a drunk driver, the at-fault driver will likely have been arrested and charged with DWI.
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However, this is a criminal case. The victims of the drunk driving accident may also be able to file a civil claim against the driver on the basis of negligence. The plaintiff's attorney must successfully prove that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident, which, in turn, caused injuries. Lawsuits may also be filed against drinking establishments i.
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Also important to discuss when it evaluating a drunk driving accident is punitive damages. This is typically reserved for very serious accidents in which the victim was severely injured. Punitive damages act as a penalty for the negligent party drunk driver and are paid to the plaintiff victim. These damages are paid on top of the compensation that a victim should already be receiving to cover the cost of their injuries and property damage.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you will need to know what legal options you have when hit by a drunk driver.
First DWI Arrest With an Accident in Houston, TX
Keep in mind that you do have a good chance of winning a lawsuit when you are the victim of a drunk driving accident. However, accidents resulting in property damage are still considered to be a serious threat to public safety. If you are involved in a DWI accident that results in property damage, you can be charged with DWI in addition to other criminal offenses.
If you are responsible for the destruction of another person's property, you may also be responsible for paying restitution to the property owner. So, you can face criminal charges for criminal mischief if there is evidence to show that you a intended to damage property or b were reasonably certain that driving while drunk would cause property damage. Criminal mischief can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Texas. The seriousness of the charge will depend on the extent of the damage that is caused in your DWI accident:.
The victim of your deadly DWI crash can be anyone, including your own passengers, other drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or even pedestrians. Victims do not necessarily have to die on impact in the DWI crash.
Texas DUI Laws
You can also face criminal charges for intoxication manslaughter if a victim suffers fatal injuries and dies at a later time and date. The bottom line is that you can face criminal charges as long as your drunk driving conduct caused someone's death. Have you been involved in a Houston accident and accused of driving while intoxicated?
The state must be able to prove that you are guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is an extremely high burden of proof that can be difficult to satisfy if you assert a strong defense.
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Defenses that may be helpful in defending criminal charges for DWI property damage, assault, and manslaughter include:. While you can assert any of these defenses on your own, it is always best to have the assistance of a Houston DWI attorney. First-time DWI charges are generally treated as misdemeanor offenses in Texas.
However, if you're involved in DWI accident, the consequences of your actions can be much more severe.
You only have 15 days to act or you will lose your drivers license and your first case. We Recommend you get the best DWI attorney you can afford and fast. Form Submissions have a fast response time. Request your free consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys over the phone. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Texas Drunk Driving Accidents: DWI Laws & Lawsuits
But you must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and keep it for 6 months. A non-disclosure restricts who can see your criminal record. Ask your attorney for more information about this program.