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Houston
South Texas
Houston DUI Accident Lawyer

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The Gutierrez Law Firm supports car accident victims in Houston. Dealing with a car accident is always challenging, especially when it involves a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you or a loved one has been injured in one of these accidents, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Should You Hire a Lawyer?

While a DUI accident is still fundamentally a car accident, the complexities of damages and injuries can be significantly different. At the same time, you should only hire a lawyer if your injuries are serious. Unfortunately, serious injuries and even death are frequent outcomes with a DUI accident.

So, you should take every advantage when it comes to your legal options. Our Houston DUI accident lawyers can streamline this process by:

  • Investigate the accident thoroughly
  • Confirm the other driver was intoxicated
  • Gather and organize medical records and evidence
  • Explain your rights and options clearly
  • Negotiate with insurance companies for you
  • Start legal proceedings if needed to simplify and support your claim

 

Being hit by a an intoxicated driver can devastate you and your family. We believe everyone in Houston should feel safe from the risk of an intoxicated driving accidents. However, if you’re involved in one, it’s important to know what your options are.

What Are Your Legal Options After a Houston DUI Accident?

Legally speaking, a DUI carries both criminal and civil charges for drivers that are caught. As a victim, though, you only have to worry about the civil side of things. And while a DUI accident presents you with significant challenges (severe injuries or potential loss of life being the most prominent), you ultimately have the right to file an injury claim–the same way you would for any other car accident. In terms of your options, you can either:

  • Seek financial support through an insurance claim outside of court, or;
  • File a personal injury lawsuit for damages.

Once your claim is filed, you present your case for damages. These are going to be closely related to your injuries that come up because of the accident itself, but they’ll ultimately be unique to you. At the same time, you can expect to recover any of the following based on the strength of your case:

  • Medical expenses
  • Ongoing care needs
  • Lost wages or earning potential
  • Repair/replacement costs for your vehicle and any other damaged property
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death expenses
  • Punitive damages 

The specific damages recoverable depend on the circumstances and severity of injuries. It’s crucial to file your claim within Texas’ statute of limitations, typically within two years of the accident, to preserve your right to seek damages.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself After a DUI Accident?

Being in any car accident can be scary, but especially so if the other driver is under the influence. In many cases, they probably don’t even know where they are or that they caused an accident. Yet, there’s vital information you need from them. So, it’s on you to take steps to protect yourself and your claim in this situation. Here’s what you can do:

  • Call 911 – Once you’re safe, check yourself and any passengers for injuries, even minor ones. Then, call 911 for an ambulance if anyone needs medical attention.

  • Tell the police – Immediately contact local law enforcement to report the accident. Make sure the officer documents the incident and the other driver’s intoxication, as this evidence will be crucial for your claim.

  • Keep evidence – Collect all medical records related to your injuries, including emergency room visits, doctor appointments, and prescribed treatments. Additionally, obtain a copy of the police report for important accident details and the other driver’s condition.

Reliving the crash and discussing details can be challenging, but it’s vital for building your claim. Our team is here to support you through this process and make it as smooth as possible. One area where we can be a big help is determining liability.

Who’s Liable For a DUI Accident in Houston?

Liability in a DUI accident isn’t complicated: the driver that’s under the influence is going to carry a majority of the legal responsibility for your injuries and other losses. DUI is one of the most straightforward examples of negligence there is, and is part of the reason why DUI is punished so harshly.

At the same time, there’s others that could be involved, like:

  • Owners of the vehicle, if they allow an intoxicated person to drive.

  • Other drivers that were negligent or reckless
  • People or entities who served alcohol or drugs at an event, potentially liable if an intoxicated guest causes an accident.
  • Bars or restaurants that over-serve alcohol to patrons who then cause accidents.
  • Local government agencies that are responsible for poorly maintained roads.
  • Manufacturers liable for vehicle defects that worsen accidents.

 

Obviously, the circumstances of a DUI mean that the intoxicated driver is going to be largely responsible for the accident–and as such, covering your damages. But it’s the inclusion of these other parties that can give you more options for recovering damages.

What Are Some Common DUI Accidents in Houston?

DUI accidents are incredibly frustrating because they not only lead to serious injuries and damage to your car, but they are one of the few types of car accidents that are entirely preventable. Even with severe punishment for drivers, it doesn’t stop DUI accidents from happening.

What’s worse, the factors inherent in these accidents (very high speed, lack of control of the vehicle, unpredictability) all lead to serious injuries that can range from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Then, you have to consider the many different types of DUI accidents there are:

  • Rear-end accidents – One of the most frequent DUi accidents happens when an intoxicated driver follows too closely or fails to pay attention, colliding into the vehicle in front.
  • Head-on collisions – These happen when the intoxicated driver veers into oncoming traffic or drives the wrong way on one-way streets, resulting in a frontal collision.
  • Side-impact accidents -These happen when intoxicated drivers disregard traffic signals like stop signs or red lights, crashing into vehicles with the right of way, causing side-impact collisions.
  • Rollovers – Impaired judgment of speed and overcorrection by an intoxicated driver usually leads to a loss of control and dangerous rollover incidents, particularly hazardous for passengers.
  • Pedestrian or bicycle accidents – Intoxicated drivers also endanger pedestrians and cyclists who may be less visible due to impaired driving, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.

Simply put, nobody is safe when there are intoxicated drivers on the road. This includes the drivers themselves, and their passengers. No matter what the circumstances are, though, you can count on The Gutierrez Law Firm’s experience and guidance.

Contact The Gutierrez Law Firm After a Houston DUI Accident

When you’re injured because of a driver that’s under the influence in Houston, it’s both scary and challenging. You have virtually no control over this situation, yet you could be left with life-threatening injuries and other damage you’ll have to deal with. At The Gutierrez Law Firm, we can help by explaining your legal options and supporting you through the claims process. Contact us today for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in a DUI accident.