I recently posted two news articles that involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.
Georgia is ranked sixth in the nation for drunk driving and DUI fatalities. In 2008, alcohol-impaired driving led to 416 fatalities on Georgia roads. Drunken driving deaths account for one-third of all traffic accident deaths, and almost 70% of these fatalities involve drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) over .15. Seventy-nine percent of these high BAC drivers have a history of prior convictions for DUI.
Victims of drunken driving accidents are entitled to regular insurance compensation, just like any other accident victim. However, DUI victims are also eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are a monetary sum that is awarded to an injury victim that goes beyond what is necessary to compensate the victim for his injury and losses. Punitive damages are intended to punish the drunken driver and discourage him from drinking and driving in the future.
The unfortunate reality is that many Atlanta DUI victims do not get all the compensation that they are entitled to. Insurance companies will do their best to minimize the amount they are required to pay, even in drunk driving cases when it is clear who is at fault. Punitive damages are rarely awarded unless an attorney asks for them.
If you have been injured by a driver under the influence of alcohol or have lost a loved one to a DUI car crash, contact the Atlanta Shane Smith Law. Call 770-HURT-999 to talk to a lawyer about your DUI injury case.