Drunk Driving Accidents

Georgia Car Accident Law

Atlanta car accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert provides comprehensive representation in personal injury law. As a Georgia plaintiffs’ lawyer for over 20 years, Mr. Ozcomert has been instrumental in protecting countless victims’ rights following drunk driving accidents and other motor vehicle collisions throughout the State.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Nearly half of all motor vehicle fatalities are caused by drunk driving. These crashes kill at least 27 adults per day and over 211 children each year. One-third of the drivers arrested or convicted of driving under the influence are repeat offenders, 17 million of whom admit to driving drunk on various occasions. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that over 300,000 incidents of intoxicated driving occur each day, costing American taxpayers approximately $130 billion annually. Nearly 1.5 million drivers tested positive for alcohol and drugs last year alone.

Alcohol Impaired Driving

Drivers need not appear intoxicated to cause an accident. The blood alcohol content (BAC) of the negligent motorist may fall below the legal limit of .08 percent. Alcohol impairment better describes the dulling effect substances have on skills required for safe driving. Any BAC may increase the likelihood of a crash by up to 10 percent. The increased risks may involve:

  • Dozing off
  • Blacking out
  • Lack of focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Straddling lanes
  • Diminished vision
  • Slower reaction time
  • Poor depth perception
  • Slow response to emergency

In fact, crash risks increase exponentially with rising driver BAC. Because metabolism differs among people, the type of drink does not determine impairment, but rather alcohol ingestion over a specific period does. Serious alcohol-related crashes are especially prominent among young drivers, who can be arrested for drunk driving with a BAC of .02 percent.

Hit by Drunk Driver

Georgia dram shop laws seek to protect underage drinkers and prevent intoxicated driving by imposing liability on both the motorist and the vendor providing alcohol. Those who sell alcohol to underage or visibly intoxicated consumers may face criminal and civil liability. A recent Georgia Supreme Court decision extended dram shop liability to convenience store owners who sold beer to two drivers later involved in a fatal accident. The court rejected arguments that customers were not intended to consume the sold alcohol on the premises. As such, bars, restaurants, parents, and other purveyors may all be held liable. If you or someone you love was hit by a drunk driver, Atlanta drunk driving accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert can help.

Drunk Driving Accident Damages

Georgia personal injury law provides legal recourse to victims and families harmed by intoxicated driving. In addition to criminal prosecution, motorists who test positive for alcohol or drugs through a breath, urine, or blood test, and are therefore considered to have breached their duty to exercise reasonable care while driving, are also liable for several types of damages including:

  • Lost income
  • Hospital bills
  • Future earnings
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future medical care
  • Lost parental guidance
  • Loss of companionship
  • Prescription medication
  • Funeral or burial expense
  • Punitive Damages
  • Attorney fees

Georgia law generally limits eligible claimants to immediate family members in wrongful death claims. Where the victim has no family, personal injury damages may be awarded to the estate. In some cases, courts have also granted standing to relatives and other dependents left behind.

Recovering Compensation

If you were hit by a drunk driver, Atlanta personal injury lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert can help. For over 20 years, his firm has provided invaluable advice and caring representation to personal injury and wrongful death plaintiffs throughout Georgia. Let us help your family and help you recover compensation today. Call (404) 370-1000 or contact us online.