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In Texas, victims of hit-and-run incidents involving drunk drivers have the right to seek justice through legal action. Hit-and-run accidents can be devastating, especially when they involve drunk driving, and it’s essential to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

By taking legal action, you can pursue compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Additionally, holding the drunk driver accountable can help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and send a strong message about the consequences of driving under the influence.

Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact Brian C. Gutierrez, a personal injury lawyer, today to discuss your case and explore your legal options. With the right representation, you can understand the legal system and work towards a favorable outcome. Your rights and well-being are worth fighting for. Take the first step towards justice by reaching out to Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-271-5338 who can advocate for you.

Understanding the Severity of Hit-and-Run Drunk Driving in Texas

Drunk driving is a widespread problem, and Texas is not exempt from this issue. In Texas, a drunk driver in Texas refers to the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving accidents, including hit-and-run incidents, can lead to serious injuries, emotional distress, and even fatalities. A hit-and-run occurs when a driver strikes an object or person and flees the scene without stopping.

The consequences of these actions under the law are significant, with possible penalties including incarceration and substantial fines. Texas sees an average of 181 fatal hit-and-run incidents annually, with a considerable number involving drunk drivers. Victims bear an untold burden, suffering physical injuries that can result in chronic pain, emotional trauma, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Legal Path to Suing a Hit-and-Run Drunk Driver

What can be done in the wake of such a life-changing event? Once the initial shock subsides and you’ve addressed your immediate medical concerns, it may be appropriate to contemplate legal recourse. Suing a hit-and-run drunk driver involves two critical steps: identifying the at-fault driver and building a strong personal injury claim.

In Texas, these personal injury claims fall under civil jurisdiction and are separate from any criminal DUI proceedings. This means you can pursue damages without waiting for the resolution of the DUI case. The process is not easy and involves gathering substantial evidence, proving negligence, and demonstrating the extent of damages.

Identifying the At-Fault Driver

The initial vital step in a motor vehicle accident is to identify the driver at fault. The police will usually take the lead in this, interviewing witnesses, examining the scene, and checking nearby security cameras for footage of the accident. A personal injury attorney such as Brian C. Gutierrez can significantly aid in the investigation and help preserve all obtainable evidence.

Crucial information that aids in establishing the identity of the at-fault driver includes descriptive details of the vehicle, physical evidence, witness testimonies, and surveillance footage. Surveillance footage can often provide invaluable details such as the car’s make, model, color, and even the license plate number.

Building Your Personal Injury Claim

After the driver at fault has been identified, the subsequent move is to formulate a strong personal injury claim. This involves gathering substantial evidence, such as medical records, witness testimony, and expert opinions. To ensure the best outcome, it’s crucial to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help validate the injuries sustained and their impact on your life.

It’s vital to demonstrate the gravity and impact of the injuries. Medical records, witness testimony, and opinions from medical experts can emphasize how the injuries have affected your quality of life and functional abilities. There is no established formula for calculating the extent of damages. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, considering a variety of factors.

Our Approach to Supporting Drunk Driving Victims

At Brian C. Gutierrez, we understand that navigating the aftermath of a hit-and-run drunk driving accident can feel like a daunting journey. That’s why we’re committed to providing compassionate legal representation and fighting for fair compensation.

Our approach ensures that we:

  • Comprehend your situation
  • Empathize with your struggles
  • Support you wholeheartedly through the intricacies of your medical and financial challenges
  • Construct a robust legal case against the person responsible
  • Ensure the best possible legal outcome for you.

Compensation You May Be Entitled To After a Hit-and-Run Drunk Driving Accident

What form does compensation take in a hit-and-run drunk driving case? The compensation you may be entitled to can be broadly categorized into two types: economic damages for tangible losses and non-economic damages for emotional and psychological harm.

Economic damages compensate for measurable losses like medical bills, property damage, and lost income. Conversely, non-economic damages cater to intangible losses which include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and a diminished enjoyment of life.

Economic Damages: Covering Your Tangible Losses

Economic damages refer to monetary compensations for tangible losses, which include medical expenses related to treatments and procedures, as well as other associated expenses like car rental bills. Additionally, victims are entitled to seek compensation for lost wages that result from the accident.

In Texas, the calculation of compensation for property damage in hit-and-run drunk driving cases is based on the specific details of the accident. Texas drunk driving settlements can vary significantly based on the severity of the property damage or injuries, making it difficult to pinpoint an average drunk driving settlement.

Non-Economic Damages: Addressing Emotional and Psychological Harm

Non-economic damages encompass physical pain and suffering, emotional or mental anguish, and physical impairment. Emotional distress damages are determined by the mental impact of the injury on the individual.

Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life in Texas includes the impact on hobbies, time with family, and other aspects of personal enjoyment. Common examples of non-economic damages observed in hit-and-run drunk driving cases include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages.

Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable Beyond Insurance Claims

Though insurance claims are often the initial route for compensation, bear in mind that the accountability of drunk drivers goes beyond these claims filed with an insurance company. In some cases, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can secure additional compensation, such as a drunk driving settlement.

This process involves gathering impactful evidence, such as:

  • receipts
  • video surveillance
  • witness testimony
  • documentation of the driver’s intoxication

Our legal team is dedicated to holding the drunk driver accountable for those hit by a drunk and to constructing a robust case against them.

Texas’s Dram Shop Law in Hit-and-Run Cases

Texas’s Dram Shop Law provides another avenue for victims to seek compensation. This law imposes liability on establishments that serve alcohol to individuals who are visibly intoxicated or underage and subsequently cause harm.

In hit-and-run drunk driving cases, this law enables victims to pursue compensation from establishments that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver. Over-serving is defined as knowingly providing excessive amounts of alcohol to a customer or serving alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated.

What If the Drunk Driver Cannot Be Found?

In some regrettable instances, the drunk driver responsible for the accident remains undiscovered. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options for seeking compensation. In Texas, uninsured motorist coverage can provide compensation for damages in such situations.

The Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund provides monetary assistance to those impacted by crime, as well as their immediate family members. This fund provides coverage for various expenses resulting from a crime, including:

  • Medical care
  • Loss of earnings
  • Support for dependents
  • Funeral costs
  • Crime scene clean-up

Steps to Take Following a Hit-and-Run Drunk Driving Incident

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of being a victim of a hit-and-run drunk driving incident, there are critical steps you should take to protect your rights. First and foremost, seek medical attention. Regardless of whether you think your injuries are trivial, it’s paramount to get a medical check-up to dismiss any hidden injuries.

Report the incident to the police as soon as possible. In Texas, you would do this by calling the Department of Public Safety’s toll-free number. Gather as much evidence as you can, including:

  • Copies of police reports
  • Investigations
  • Camera footage
  • Witness statements
  • Any documents or physical evidence related to the accident.

How Brian C. Gutierrez Can Help You

Hit-and-run drunk driving accidents are tragically common and can have life-altering consequences for the victims. Navigating the aftermath of such incidents can be overwhelming, but remember, you are not alone. The legal system provides avenues for you to seek justice and compensation, and having an experienced attorney on your side can make a significant difference.

At Brian C. Gutierrez, we understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll that such incidents can take. We’re committed to standing by your side, offering compassionate legal representation, and fighting for the compensation you rightfully deserve. You have rights, and we’re here to help you fight for them.

Dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run drunk driving incident can be daunting, but remember, you’re not alone. Our team, led by Brian C. Gutierrez, is here to help you every step of the way. As a graduate of Texas A&M University and The University of Texas School of Law, Brian has successfully handled over 1,000 personal injury and car accident cases in Texas.

We offer the following services:

  • Free case evaluation
  • Contingency fee basis (you pay nothing unless we win your case)
  • Extensive experience and knowledge in personal injury and car accident cases
  • Fight for your rights and secure the compensation you deserve

To start your journey towards justice, call us at 979-271-5338.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sue a hit-and-run driver in Texas?

Yes, you can sue a hit-and-run driver in Texas for compensation, especially if you have suffered serious injuries and losses in the accident. It is possible to secure compensation through a lawsuit, even without the driver’s identity or insurance information.

How long after a hit-and-run accident can you be charged in Texas?

In Texas, you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident for up to two years after the collision, depending on whether it’s considered a misdemeanor or a felony.

What is the legal definition of drunk driving and hit and run in Texas?

In Texas, drunk driving is defined as operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence, while hit and run is leaving the scene after a collision without stopping. It’s important to understand these definitions to avoid legal consequences.

What are economic and non-economic damages?

Economic damages cover tangible losses like medical expenses and lost wages, while non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. This distinction helps in determining compensation in legal cases.

Can I seek punitive damages in a hit-and-run drunk driving case in Texas?

Yes, in Texas, punitive damages may be awarded in certain hit-and-run drunk driving cases. These are additional damages granted as a punishment to the defendant and as a deterrent to prevent similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are considered when the driver’s actions are found to be grossly negligent or willful. However, proving entitlement to punitive damages requires a high standard of evidence, and it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney to assess the specifics of your case.

“No words describe how amazing it is to work with Brian.” J.T.

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