If you’ve suffered a serious injury caused by a drunk driver in Texas, or if someone you love died in a drunk driving wreck, you are among a growing number of victims of this reckless and unconscionable behavior that is a blot on the state’s reputation and need the legal help a Houston DUI accident lawyer can provide. Over the last few years, Texas has led the nation in drunk-driving deaths. In 2011, 1,216 died in Texas drunk driving crashes, amounting to 40 percent of the state’s total fatalities. The drunk driving death toll in Texas was nearly double that of California, number two in the line-up.
Then, in 2012, it got worse: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that from 2011 to 2012, Texas alcohol-related driving fatalities increased by 80 more, going up to 1,296. Shocking when you realize that the national average for drunk driving deaths in a state is around 180 per year, but less surprising when you learn that 90,066 people were arrested in Texas for drunk driving in 2011.
In Texas, there are two different designations for someone who has been caught drinking and driving. DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is the charge for a driver over the age of 21 and indicates a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. DUI is driving under the influence and is used when someone under the legal drinking age of 21 shows any measurable blood alcohol content under Texas’s zero tolerance policy for underage drinking. Regardless of BAC, if it appears that a driver is impaired and has been drinking, he or she can be charged with DWI/DUI. Mixing alcohol and drugs can lead to intoxication with a lower BAC.
If the driver who caused your injury or the wrongful death of your loved one was arrested and charged with DUI/DWI, it is important to understand that the driver’s arrest will not automatically get you the compensation that is your right when you’ve suffered damages in a drunk driving accident. You may only pursue a monetary recovery for your damages in a civil court action, which is entirely separate and unrelated to the criminal matter and best achieved with the help of an experienced Houston wrongful death attorney.
Having your life drastically changed by a catastrophic injury or the death of a loved one, through no fault of your own, because someone chose to behave irresponsibly, has probably left you overcome with anger and grief. Although nothing can undo the damage that you’re suffering, holding the wrongdoer accountable can be a step toward emotional healing, and the money you recover can help you pick up the pieces and move on with your life, however altered.
At the Houston personal injury law firm of Gordon, Elias, & Seely, LLP, we understand the anger and frustration you’re feeling, and we recognize the many financial and emotional difficulties that often plague victims of serious drunk driving accidents. We are committed to justice for the wrongfully injured and bereaved and will fight tirelessly to achieve it for every one of our clients.
Put our 60 years of combined experience to work for you and your family. We can’t make your life the same as it was before, but we can make the responsible person pay and provide you with the financial means to keep going in the aftermath of your accident.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation. It costs you nothing unless and until we win money for you.