According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are nuanced and complex. This is why it is important to consult Georgia DUI injury attorney Shane Smith. There are many intermingled laws that create many potential complications in a DUI case.
- What are some of the options if I was injured in a Clayton County DUI accident?
Impaired driving is considered by Georgia courts to be a criminal offense. The impaired driver will face charges in criminal court and can also be sued in civil court for financial damages such as medical expenses or lost earnings. Civil suits also allow a victim to pursue punitive damages to punish the impaired driver.
- I was a passenger in a car accident. What are potential damages that are recoverable from the impaired driver?
There are three types of recoverable damages from an impaired driver: special, general and punitive. Special damages mainly include economic losses including past and future medical expenses, lost wages or future earnings and funeral expenses. General damages include non-economic losses including compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress or loss of companionship. Punitive damages are intended to punish an offender and to deter others from committing the same offense.
- Are there financial limits when recovering damages in an impaired driver accident?
Georgia courts award punitive damages to punish and deter similar infractions. Punitive damages are usually limited to $250,000 except in exceptions that are considered especially egregious. One of those egregious exceptions is impaired driving, thus eliminating any punitive damages limitations.
If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? If you would like to discuss your case with a Georgia drunk-driving victim attorney, contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629 to schedule a free legal consultation.