Drunk driving accidents are much more expensive than most people believe and only if you are arrested for drunk driving do you understand the price.
If a drunk driver has injured someone the odds are pretty good that that person is going to spend time in jail. The more serious the injury more likely to jail time will be significant. If you happen to cause the death of someone you may spend the rest of your days in jail.
Not only is a DWI accident expensive in the way of jail time it is also very costly on your family and livelihood. Many times after drunk driving accident we see a defendant lose his or her job because of the wreck.
Additionally, the jury verdicts from drunk driving accidents have tended to be significantly higher than a similar accident without the element about all involved. And that increase in jury verdict potential is for actual damages and there can be significant punitive damages on top of the actual damages awarded.
Recently in Houston a driver convicted of drunk driving and causing a fatal accident was required to hold a sign up at the intersection indicating they killed the victim. According to reports, the drunk driver had to be pulled from the public service because of fear of his safety. Apparently the feedback the drunk driver got from passing motorists was very hostile to say the least.
There are many organizations that are committed to public awareness of the consequences of drunken driving and they include Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other locally active family driven organizations.
Our Houston community has proven ever more vigilant in our fight against drunk driving and the consequences both criminally and civilly have matched that vigilance. Civil awards in DWI accident lawsuits have been increasingly larger in part because of the anger in the community for the disregard of our community safety.
It is very hard to defend a drunk driving accident case when a victim has been seriously injured because of the choice made by the perpetrator to drink and drive. In Texas, punitive damages are capped but an exception exists for unlimited punitive damages from some instances of intoxicated driving. Of course, the courts now limit all punitive damages, however they can still be substantial depending on the amount of actual damage the victim suffers with their injury.
Greg Baumgartner is a safety advocate and a DWI accident lawyer practicing law in Houston and throughout the state of Texas.
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