According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, more than 368 fatalities have directly resulted from Georgia drunk driving accidents each year since 2011. Unfortunately, many of these senseless deaths occurred on or around holiday celebrations, including the 4th of July holiday and weekend. With the combination of hot summer weather and parties that offer liberal amounts of alcohol, many drivers become reckless, and decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
At The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC, we hope that everyone enjoys a fun, safe, and accident-free holiday over this upcoming 4th of July weekend. If you or your family members are injured after an encounter with a negligent driver, however, our experienced car accident team can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries – and justice for your pain and suffering.
The Toll of Drunk Driving: Holding Drivers Accountable
Drunk driving exacts a terrifying toll each year, with at least 1,000 or more people injured annually because of drunk drivers. The problem is particularly severe here in Georgia: In fact, the National Highway Safety Board's 2017 records showed that the State of Georgia ranked 21st for alcohol-impaired driving deaths per capita. Neighboring state Alabama was also ranked the 5th most dangerous for alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths and injuries.
After a drunk driving accident, the at-fault driver will most likely face criminal prosecution on a charge of driving under the influence, or DUI. However, a criminal prosecution does nothing to compensate the victims for their medical bills, lost wages and injuries. This is why accident victims are permitted to bring separate personal injury or wrongful death claims against the drunk driver and the insurance company, to ensure that they can cover their life-threatening injuries.
Although you can't seek punitive damages in most auto accident cases, victims of drunk drivers may be allowed to ask for this extraordinary measure, because drunk driving is such a severe breach of their “duty of care.” This means that damages tend to be higher in these cases. Insurance companies are aware that victims can seek significantly higher damages against a drunk driver, and as a result, they will almost always make a quick settlement offer to avoid paying a fair and just settlement.
What Are Punitive Damages in Car Accident Cases?
As the name implies, punitive damages are designed to punish defendants for the illegal conduct of driving under the influence of alcohol. Punitive damages are also intended to be a deterrent, which means that the requested amount must be sufficient to deter future wrongdoers from committing the same form of negligence.
Seeking punitive damages in an auto accident claim is never easy, however, which is why it's crucial to hire a skilled DUI accident attorney for your lawsuit. At The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC, we can provide the aggressive advocacy and ethical, honest counsel that you deserve after sustaining serious injuries. With years of experience and a personalized touch, our firm can help you explore all the options after a drunk driving accident – and then pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
Call (706) 940-4030 to schedule your no-cost case evaluation! We serve clients throughout Columbus and Harris.