A crash involving a drunk driver can shatter a routine day in San Antonio. If you or a loved one experienced the devastating consequences of a collision with an intoxicated individual, you need a car accident lawyer to explain your rights and your legal recourse.

Drunk driving accidents often leave victims dealing with long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial burdens. Texas, including San Antonio, has strict but complex laws to address such incidents, so you need an experienced San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyer to navigate the legal landscape for you.

Let’s look at drunk driving laws in San Antonio, the essential steps to take following an accident, and the various legal options available for victims. Empower yourself with knowledge and let the law support your journey to recovery.

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Understanding Drunk Driving Laws in San Antonio

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), a person is legally intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08 percent. A person breaks the law as soon as drugs or alcohol affect their driving ability. DWI laws also apply to operating other vehicles like boats or planes.

A recent TxDOT report says drunk driving causes three deaths a day in Texas. The report recorded more than 1,000 deaths as a result of DWI accidents in one reporting year and attributed 26 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas to impaired driving crashes.

In Texas, including San Antonio, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws are designed to maintain road safety and hold individuals accountable for their actions. Texas law prohibits operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. However, even with a BAC below this limit, individuals can still face charges if their impaired driving poses a threat.

Other key points of Texas DWI laws include:

  • Zero Tolerance for Minors: Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for individuals younger than 21. Any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in serious consequences.
  • Enhanced Penalties for High BAC: A higher BAC significantly increases the severity of penalties, emphasizing the state’s commitment to discouraging drunk driving.

Penalties for Drunk Driving

Texas imposes stringent penalties for those convicted of DWI, reflecting the serious nature of the offense. These penalties escalate based on prior convictions, BAC levels, and the presence of minors in the vehicle.

Common penalties for driving while intoxicated include:

  • Fines: Monetary penalties that vary depending on the number of offenses.
  • License Suspension: Temporary suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
  • Jail Time: Mandatory incarceration for repeat offenses or cases involving aggravating factors.
  • Ignition Interlock Devices: The device tests for breath alcohol content (BrAC) within the legal limit. The driver cannot start the car if they are over the limit.

After a crash with a drunk driver, seeking legal assistance is not just an option—it’s a necessary step toward securing the justice and compensation you deserve. A skilled drunk driving accident attorney can guide you through the intricacies of the legal process, protecting your rights and advocating for the best possible outcome.

Legal Options for Victims of DWI Accidents

If a DWI accident in San Antonio injured you, a personal injury claim can recover compensation for your damages. This legal avenue allows victims to pursue financial recovery for medical expenses, loss of consortium, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the negligence of a drunk driver. A skilled personal injury attorney can significantly enhance your chances of a successful claim.

Navigating the complexities of insurance claims is often a necessary part of recovering from a DWI accident. Victims can typically seek compensation through their own insurance policies, the at-fault driver’s insurance, or both. Understanding the extent of coverage, negotiating with insurance companies, and ensuring fair compensation requires legal assistance.

Beyond pursuing personal injury and insurance claims, holding the drunk driver accountable may involve seeking justice through criminal court proceedings. While criminal charges are initiated by the state, victims can have a say in the process by providing testimony and cooperating with law enforcement.

A successful criminal conviction can strengthen the victim’s position in seeking damages through a civil lawsuit.

Working with an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

After a DWI accident in San Antonio, an experienced drunk driving accident attorney becomes a dedicated advocate for the victim. Their role goes beyond legal representation; it restores a sense of justice and aids in the path to recovery.

A DWI accident lawyer can help through:

  • Legal Experience: A seasoned attorney brings a wealth of legal knowledge to the table. They understand the intricacies of DWI laws in San Antonio, the nuances of personal injury claims, and the tactics employed by insurance companies. This knowledge can build a strong case for the victim.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Attorneys play a crucial role in investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident. This involves gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and any other relevant documentation. Thorough preparation strengthens the victim’s case when pursuing compensation.
  • Negotiation Skills: Dealing with insurance companies and negotiating for fair compensation requires a specific set of skills. Attorneys are adept at navigating the often-challenging negotiations, ensuring that victims receive the maximum compensation available for their injuries and damages.
  • Legal Representation in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, an attorney can take the case to court. Their invaluable courtroom experience can provide victims with effective representation and advocacy to present their cases before a judge and jury.
  • Emotional Support: Dealing with a drunk driving accident is emotionally challenging. A compassionate attorney not only provides legal guidance but also serves as a source of support for victims. They understand the emotional toll of such incidents and work to alleviate the burden on their clients.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Attorneys strive to ensure that victims receive the full and fair settlement they deserve. This includes not only covering medical expenses and property damage but also factoring in lost income, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation costs.

Compensation for Victims of DWI Accidents

Whiskey glass with ice near a gavel and a toy car, implying legal consequences for DWI.

Victims of DWI accidents in San Antonio may recover damages to address the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the incident.

These can include:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for past and future medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and any ongoing medical treatment related to the injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery. This can extend to future earnings if the accident permanently affects the victim’s earning capacity.
  • Property Damage: Coverage for repairs or replacement of the vehicle and other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages to compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall decrease in the victim’s quality of life.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the negative effects the injuries may have on the victim’s relationship with their spouse, including companionship, support, and intimacy.

Remember, the goal is not just financial compensation but a settlement that addresses the full scope of the victim’s losses. A lawyer can navigate the complexities of the legal system and work toward a fair resolution.

Wrongful Death

In the heartbreaking aftermath of a San Antonio drunk driving accident resulting in wrongful death, families may seek wrongful death damages. A wrongful death claim addresses the profound impact of their loss. Wrongful death damages can encompass various elements, including funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the final injury, and the emotional suffering experienced by the surviving family members.

Additionally, compensation may extend to the loss of financial support, inheritance, and the intangible aspects of companionship. Navigating these legal intricacies requires compassionate legal support. We ensure that families receive the compensation they deserve while they grapple with the emotional toll of such a tragic event.

Contact Lorenz & Lorenz Accident & Injury Lawyers PLLC

Car Accidnet Lawyer in San Antonio, TX

Ted R. Lorenz, Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in San Antonio, TX

If you or a loved one is a victim of a drunk driving accident in San Antonio, the legal team at Lorenz & Lorenz Accident & Injury Lawyers PLLC is here to help. With accessible offices right here in San Antonio, our compassionate and experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys are ready to guide you through the complexities of your claim.

We understand the emotional and physical challenges you may be facing, and we are dedicated to fighting for your rights. Don’t navigate this difficult journey alone.

Call Lorenz & Lorenz Accident & Injury Lawyers PLLC today for the support and representation you deserve. Your path to justice begins with a simple call. Call our San Antonio law office at (210) 320-1529 or fill out our online contact form.