The cold front that swept the nation at the end of 2017 made roads especially hazardous for holiday travelers. However, one of the biggest dangers around the holiday season has nothing to do with the weather: despite increased enforcement efforts, drunk drivers continue to cause a significant number of traffic crashes in Texas and across the nation.
From Dec. 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017, at least 82 people were killed in crashes related to drunk driving in Texas - about 25 percent of all traffic deaths during this period - and an additional 199 people were seriously injured, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. A total of 2,321 DWI-related crashes were reported in the state during that period.
Data have not yet been released for the most recent holiday season, but we will likely see that drunk drivers caused additional deaths and serious injuries, unfortunately, despite increasing enforcement efforts and campaigns encouraging people to make plans for sober rides home.
What to do if you are involved in a crash with a drunk or impaired driver
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a drunk or impaired driver, you should speak with a personal injury attorney immediately. Do not give any type of statement or recorded interview to an insurance adjuster, much less accept a settlement offered by an insurance company. Insurance companies love when victims are not represented by legal counsel because statistics show they can get away with paying pennies on the dollar of what the claim is worth. Immediately retain exceptional personal injury counsel to protect you and your family's interests. This is our recommendation after any car crash with injuries, but it is especially important if you believe the other driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
When the responsible party is charged and convicted for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, this evidence can result in punitive damages being awarded at trial. Oftentimes, however, it is not necessary to go to trial. According to Burress Law's founding partner, Jason K. Burress, evidence of the responsible party's DUI or DWI is a "value accelerator" for a personal injury claim. A diligent and aggressive personal injury law firm may also be able to hold other parties financially responsible, such as a bar or restaurant that over-served the impaired driver.
At Burress Law, we have seen the tremendous damage that drunk drivers can do to innocent people and how they can affect an entire family. We have earned multiple seven-figure awards in DWI, DUI and impairment injury claims. In summary, Burress Law is committed to holding these drivers accountable and ensuring that injured people receive the compensation - and justice - that they deserve.