Does Drunk Driving Affect a Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been in a Texas car accident, you may be worried about determining fault for the accident. You may hope to file a personal injury claim to cover the costs of medical care. You probably wonder how long the process will take. These are all frequently asked questions, and we can answer all of them for you. But today’s article is about a question not many people think to ask, can drunk driving affect a Texas personal injury claim?
Does a DUI Charge Affect My Personal Injury Claim?
When two or more vehicles are involved in an accident, someone is determined “at fault.” In some cases, more than one driver may be at fault. You may assume that when a car accident involves a drunk driver, that driver is automatically found at fault. This is not true. A driver involved in an accident who has had too much to drink is not necessarily the at-fault driver. However, it is essential to remember that while a drunk driver may not be found at fault based solely on their blood alcohol level, a DUI charge may affect the compensation received for a personal injury claim.
“At Fault” Driver Myths and Common Assumptions: Not Valid Legal Arguments
There are many commonly believed myths about the law, and many of them apply to driving, and more specifically, to car accidents. For instance, if someone rear-ends another driver, the driver in the back is at fault. This is not actually true. In a rear-end accident, it is likely that the driver that hit the other car from behind is at fault, but they aren’t always at fault. This same line of reasoning based on assumption leads many to believe that if a drunk driver is involved in a car accident, they are at fault. Similar to the example above, when a car accident involves a drunk driver, they are often at fault due to their impaired capacity, but in reality, a sober driver’s mistake or negligence can easily be the cause of an accident. If a sober driver’s negligence causes a collision with a drunk driver, the sober driver is the “at fault” driver.
The Negligence Effects of a DUI in a Personal Injury Case:
However, while a drunk driver may not legally be at fault in an accident, a DUI may still negatively impact any personal injury claim they file. The judge overseeing the case is human. The jury is full of humans, and because they’re all human, many of them will assume that a drunk driver was at least partially at fault in an accident. For example, if a completely sober driver runs a red light and hits the vehicle of a drunk driver, the jury may find that the drunk driver may have been able to stop in time to avoid the accident if they were sober. Texas uses a Modified Comparative Fault Rule. Under Texas law, if a person is injured in a car accident, but they are found to be more than 51% at fault for the accident, they cannot recover damages. If a drunk driver is found to be less than 51% at fault for an accident, they can seek compensation, but their percentage of fault will affect their settlement amount.
If you are involved in a Texas car accident, and you are facing DUI charges, you could be facing a fight to receive fair compensation for your injuries. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Hudson Law Firm are happy to evaluate your personal injury case and help you determine your best course of action. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.