The types of damages that can be sought after a DWI accident depend on the crash’s specifics and the injuries the accident caused. There are both economic and non-economic damages.
THE TYPES OF DAMAGES YOU CAN PURSUE IN TEXAS
According to Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code §41.001, there are multiple types of damages that you can recover to help pay for your DWI accident-related losses.
These are the category of damages that can help cover expenses after your accident. They compensate you for both economic and non-economic damages which you incur in the wake of a crash.
Economic damages include compensation for medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and other losses that have a monetary amount assigned to them. Non-economic damages are intangible. For example, these may compensate you for your pain and suffering, your loss of enjoyment of life, or your inability to go about your daily activities.
Exemplary damages are not meant to compensate you for the losses you have suffered. Instead, they are imposed as a penalty. These punitive damages might apply to a case if a drunk driver injured you.
HOW TO PURSUE DAMAGES
You might feel overwhelmed or confused about how to secure a financial award or settlement. You can potentially do so through the following actions:
HIRING A LAWYER
To pursue damages, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer with experience handling DWI accident cases. There may be factors that contributed to the accident, which can help strengthen your case. Your lawyer can investigate the accident circumstances to identify these contributing factors and other potentially liable parties beyond the drunk driver.
WHAT QUALIFIES FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES
Your personal injury attorney can help you pursue not only compensation for your injuries but also punitive damages against the drunk driver. You can do this by showing that the other driver caused your accident through either:
- malice, or
- gross negligence.
The key term here for victims interested in pursuing punitive damages in a DWI accident case is “gross negligence.” But what exactly is gross negligence, and how does it affect your case?
Negligence is the standard for establishing fault in Texas. Determining who is at fault is how you win damages and get the compensation you need. According to Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code §33.001, Texas has a policy of proportionate responsibility. This means that whoever is more at fault for an accident through their negligence is responsible for the other person’s injuries. You may be partially at fault for the accident and still be able to receive compensation, as long as the other driver is more at fault.
For pursuing punitive damages in addition to compensation, you and your attorney would need to show that the other driver’s intoxication behind the wheel was an act of “gross negligence.” According to Texas and Civil Practices Remedies Code §41.001, gross negligence can be proven if the drunk driver acted with an “extreme degree of risk” for the health and safety of others, and that the driver knew this but proceeded anyway with “conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.”
Any car accident can have a devastating impact on you and your loved ones. Still, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, accidents involving drunk drivers were the greatest cause of fatal crashes in the United States in 2016. A personal injury lawyer can help you make the case that drunk driving meets the standard for gross negligence.
HOW LONCAR LYON JENKINS CAN BE THE STRONG ARM FOR YOU
This kind of accident should never have happened to you or your loved ones. At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we will be the strong arm to hold you steady as you recover the life the accident took from you.
One of our personal injury lawyers can guide you through pursuing both compensatory damages and punitive damages. We are committed to open communication with our clients. Once we take on your case, we will be here to answer your questions as we fight on your behalf.
With eight offices serving injured clients and their loved ones across Texas, Loncar Lyon Jenkins is just a phone call away. Call us today at (800) 777-7777 for your free consultation. We can help you learn more about what damages can be sought after a DWI accident.