Austin Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Have you or a loved one experienced injury, long-term disability, or wrongful death at the hands of a drunk driver in Texas? If so, our trusted team of drunk driving accident attorneys wishes to reassure you that you may be eligible for compensation.

Why Choose our Austin Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers?

Our personal injury attorneys in Austin have millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements in cases like yours. Shaw Cowart’s track record is one in which individuals across the state of Texas can always put their faith in.

If you’re interested in what it takes to get started with us, just reach out for your free, complimentary drunk driving case review today. We’re always happy to help.

Facts About Drunk Driving In Texas

In the United States, alcohol is one of the primary reasons why drivers perish on the roads each year. Every day, 28 individuals lose their lives due to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That amounts to one person every 52 minutes, with 10,000 lives lost yearly. If some you loved was killed in a drunk driving accident, contact our wrongful death attorney in Austin.

Drunk driving, also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, is when an individual is “intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place,” according to Title 10, Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code.

While the Texas code defines the volume of alcohol concentration in the body for what constitutes DWI, it also widens the definition of driving while impaired under any kind of controlled substance or drug (or a combination of multiple illegal or controlled substances).

Here are some sobering statistics about the true costs of driving drunk in Texas:

  • According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2021, there were 1,077 fatalities due to vehicle crashes where at least one driver was under the influence of alcohol, which equates to 24% of all total vehicle accident crashes.
  • In 2021, there were 25,261 alcohol-related crashes in Texas alone. Those crashes resulted in 2,522 serious injuries.
  • There was a 9% increase in DWI crashes from 2020 to 2021. While the pandemic is a factor in that rate.

While the common adage is that everything may be bigger in Texas, having such a high rate of preventable DWI crashes is not something that anyone wants for our state.

Injuries Associated With Drunk Driving Accidents In Austin

Intoxication causes a loss of inhibition and a lowered ability to consider the consequences of actions. Drunk drivers make poor decisions and have poor reflexes. An accident caused by a drunk driver can cause very serious injuries including the following:

Drunk driving accidents are terrifying and leave lasting trauma. In some cases, victims of this type of accident may go on to experience anxiety and PTSD, especially if they’ve endured life-altering injuries. A drunk driving accident attorney in Austin can help secure compensation for both economic damages like your medical expenses and non-economic damages like pain and suffering as well as PTSD and emotional trauma.

Debunking Motor Vehicle Accident Misconceptions

Understanding car and motor vehicle accidents may seem a straightforward task at first glance. But there are many nuances that may affect your case in the long run. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, reach out to our Austin car accident attorneys today.

First, car accidents can occur just about anywhere there’s the opportunity for two vehicles to collide. People think first about freeways, highways, interstates, toll roads, and TEXpress lanes. These accidents can also happen on

  • Parking lots
  • Driveways
  • County roads
  • Rural roads
  • Intersections

While it’s more likely that drunk driving incidents occur in the early morning hours – the TxDOT found that the most common hour of accidents is 2:00 AM on Sunday – that doesn’t mean that accidents attributable to drunken activity cannot occur at other times.

The Texas Penal Code also defines DWIs as not just driving motor vehicles. It also includes operating watercraft, amusement rides, and mobile amusement rides under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Of course, this also includes motorcycles, so speak to an Austin motorcycle accident attorney to learn more.

Understanding Car Accidents in Austin, Texas

Additionally, it’s important to understand the nuances of the types of car accidents that individuals may experience.

The type of car accident can greatly impact the long-term outcomes of the victims, the fatality rate, and the scale of damage to the vehicle.

Here are the most common types of car accidents that individuals can experience:

  • Multiple Vehicle Collision
  • Head-On Collision
  • Side-Impact Collision
  • Side-Swipe Collision
  • Vehicle Rollover
  • T-Bone
  • Pedestrian Accident

If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver as a pedestrian, please reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney in Austin today.

What To Do After Being In A DWI Accident In Austin

If you or a loved one is a victim of a suspected DWI-related crash or injury, it’s important to know what will happen. After the police arrive at the scene and investigate, if they suspect alcohol or drug involvement in the accident, they will likely perform field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test on the impaired driver. If those tests are refused, they may take the driver to the station under suspicion to perform urine or blood analysis. These tests will help build a criminal case against the defendant.

However, this is actually where the process diverges for the victim. The victim and their legal team should work through the civil courts to build a civil case to help them receive compensation for their injuries.

Even if a criminal verdict rules the defendant as not guilty of their charges, this does not affect the civil proceeding of the case. Criminal behavior is different from negligent behavior, so they can still be held liable for the pain and suffering they have caused even if they face no fees or jail time.

What to Do After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver In Austin

Any car accident is painful and traumatic, but If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, it’s even more distressing. If you’ve been seriously injured, you may have to simply wait in place for help to arrive, but if you can use your phone—or hand your phone to someone nearby to use for you—keeping a cool head and taking the following steps, can help you to protect your physical and financial future:

  • Call 911 to report the accident, including reporting your suspicions that the other driver is intoxicated if the driver hasn’t fled the scene and is clearly drunk
  • Take photos of the accident scene and all involved vehicles
  • Snap photos of your visible injuries
  • Add the contact information of the drunk driver to your phone if possible
  • Collect the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident

Once help arrives, accept medical transportation to the hospital and ask for a complete evaluation. Be sure to tell the doctor about all of your injuries and every symptom, even if it seems minor. Then do the following:

  • Ask for a detailed medical report from your doctor with information about the treatment they recommend and your prognosis
  • Be sure to make every appointment and followup
  • Fill all prescriptions
  • Keep copies of your medical bills
  • Obtain a copy of the police report 
  • Gather all your records and contact an Austin Texas drunk driving accident attorney to represent you

A drunk driver’s reckless actions makes them liable for your damages in a civil lawsuit separate from any criminal charges they may face for the accident.

Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident in Austin, TX

Texas is a fault-based insurance state where it matters who causes an accident. If the reckless actions of an intoxicated driver cause an accident, they are responsible for the damages suffered by injured victims. A personal injury attorney with years of experience in intoxicated driver liability can demonstrate the following legal points of liability on the part of the drunk driver:

  • That the driver owed a duty of care to take reasonable actions to prevent injuries, such as not getting behind the wheel after drinking
  • That they breached this duty of care by acting with negligence, recklessness, and wrongdoing
  • That their breach of duty directly caused your injury
  • That you’ve suffered significant damages from your injury, including physical harm and economic damages

Your civil case for compensation takes place separately from any pending criminal case and regardless of whether or not there is a conviction for DWI.

Victim Compensation In Austin DWI Accident Cases

While many may ask how much a victim may receive in a potential drunk driving case in Austin, this line of questioning is not helpful. Due to many variables and nuances in drunk driving cases, comparing incidents and accidents to each other is impossible to yield a possible settlement amount.

However, this does not mean that your specific case circumstances would not yield financial damages. You could be eligible for economic and non-economic damages, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

Examples of types of damages you could receive compensation for include:

  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Future Earning Potential
  • Medical Expenses
  • Body Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Mental Anguish

Contact Our Austin Drunk Driving Attorneys Today

Again, we wish to reassure you that if you are here because you or a loved one suffered as a result of the negligence of a drunk driver, you’re not alone. Our trusted drunk driving lawyers in Austin is committed to bringing you and your family justice.

Contact us or call 512-499-8900 for your complimentary drunk driver accident case review. This consultation allows us to answer your questions and guide you on what next steps you should take in your drunk driving case.