Decatur AL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
We can help you in Madison, Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone Counties and the surrounding areas.
Each year innocent people, including children, the elderly, and pedestrians, are injured and killed in senseless accidents with drunk drivers. Every day, 28 people in the U.S. are killed in motor vehicle accidents where alcohol is involved?(every 53 minutes) Drunk driving is the number one cause of motor vehicle deaths. Our drunk driving auto accident lawyers represent injury victims and the families of individuals killed in drunk driving accidents. We have successfully represented hundreds of victims and families in civil claims for damages against drunk drivers. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, the Huntsville DUI accident attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson can help. Call 256-534-3435.
What to do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Alabama
If you have been involved in a Alabama car accident caused by a drunk driver, there are 10 critical steps you should take to ensure you protect your rights.
1. Stop and Remain at the Scene
After your vehicle comes to a stop, remain calm and determine if anyone is injured. If so, determine if they need medical attention. If possible get your car out of traffic. If possible take picture before moving it. Call 911 and do not leave the scene. Assist any other drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
2. Take Photographs of Scene, Injuries and Witnesses
Photos can identify witnesses and establish conditions at the time of the crash, including:
- Layout of the intersection or roadway
- Signs or traffic control devices
- Obstructions that affect visibility
- Witnesses and their vehicles
- Conditions and conversations of other parties and witnesses
- Construction activities that may have contributed to the crash
- Officers and emergency personnel on the scene
- Your injuries
3. Do Not Make Any Statements of Apology or Admissions of Fault at the Scene.
Do not make any admissions of fault to anyone at the scene, to insurance adjusters or anyone else in your case. Always talk to an attorney before you give a recorded statement to anyone.
4. Identify and Obtain Information About Driver and Witnesses
Do not rely on the police to get the names and phone numbers of witnesses. Witnesses will often leave before the police arrive. Get names, phone numbers and addresses if possible. You can also take a picture of the car and tag of the witness. Try to obtain the following:
- Full name and complete home address
- Date of birth
- Home, work and cell phone numbers
- Name and address of employer
- Driver’s license number and date/location of issuance
- Description of the vehicle including year, make, model, and color
- Vehicle license tag number and state
- Vehicle identification number
- Name of auto insurer and policy number, and
- Name, address and telephone number of insurance agent
5. Determine At-Fault Driver Was Working at the Time of the Crash
In Alabama, an employer is vicariously liable for any injuries or deaths caused by the negligent driving of its employees. This is called respondeat superior liability.
6. Get Medical Treatment
Once you have left the scene of the accident, form a plan for your medical care. You should still see a doctor even if you choose not to leave the scene in an ambulance. You should keep a diary of all hospital and doctors appointments. Keep copies of all bills, records and wage loss documents. You should also keep receipts for prescription drugs, orthopedic devices and medical supplies.
7. Keep in Touch with Prosecution of Defendant
Make sure to attend all court hearings so that the defendant does not get found innocent. A conviction helps your case. Insurance companies do not like to deal with drunk driving cases, and will pay more money to accident victims to avoid court.
8. Finish all Treatment
Make sure to follow all physician recommended treatment. Nothing looks worse than missing therapy and doctors appointments in your case.
9. Record any Evidence that At-Fault Driver was Intoxicated
At the scene, look for signs that the at-fault driver is intoxicated. Look in the at-fault driver’s car for alcohol containers. Take note of blood-shot eyes, slurred speech, unusual behavior, difficulty standing or stumbling while walking.
10. Hire an Attorney
Never try to handle a drunk driving accident case on your own. An attorney can always recover more money for you in a drunk driving case.
Signs of Drunk Driving
Law enforcement officers look for erratic walking and driving behaviors to spot drunk drivers in Alabama, including:
- Swerving in and out of designated lanes
- Sudden slowing, braking and speeding
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving less than the speed limit
- Failing to turn on lights or use turn signals
- Driving the wrong way on one-way roads, exits or highways
- Failing to react to signs, lights or slowing traffic or obstacles
- Running lights and stop signs
- Illegally passing school buses
- Odors of drugs, such as marijuana emitting from cars
- Speeding or driving out slow from bars and restaurants
- Unsteady and sleepy individuals leaving bars
- Drivers attempting to flee or elude police
Damages in Alabama Drunk Driving Accidents
As a victim in a drunk driving accident in Alabama, you have a right to compensation for:
- Property (vehicle) damage
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost employment capacity
- Pain and suffering, and emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive Damages
Third Party Liability
In some cases, a third party may also be liable for your injuries in a drunk driving accident. In Alabama, bars, restaurants and homeowners may also be liable for your injuries. Alabama’s Dram Shop Act (Alabama Code § 6-5-71) allows an individual injured by an intoxicated individual to sue the business that served the alcohol under certain conditions. This means that the victim, or in the case of wrongful death, the victim’s family, can seek damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering to help pay for the financial and non-economic losses from the accident. The liable parties can include:
- Bars, restaurants, and other alcohol vendors that provide alcohol to children younger than 21
- Bars, restaurants, and other alcohol vendors that provide alcohol to people who are obviously intoxicated
- Adults social hosts who provide alcohol to children younger than 21
In such cases, the injuries must have been a foreseeable result of the person’s intoxication. Such “dram shop” claims are not always available, but an attorney can identify when you can hold additional parties liable for your losses.
Houston Drunk Driving Accident
Why Hire Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Ferguson and Ferguson
The law offices of Ferguson and Ferguson takes pride in giving each client individual and personal attention.
- We are committed to excellent client service.
- We care about our clients, and have patience.
- Free phone consultation 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays
- Free office consultation as late as 7 p.m. and Saturdays also
- Locations near you
- We answer all our clients calls, or return them promptly.
- We make sure that our clients understand each step of their case.
- We keep our clients informed of the status of their case.
- We have great compassion for the physical, emotional, and financial problems that our clients suffered, and will do everything possible to get them through their difficult time.
Free Case Review
If you need a personal injury lawyer for your drunk driving injury case, call or email us. Our consultations are free. We can visit you or your loved one at a hospital, residence, or workplace. Some lawyers, due to their lack of skill or resources, may not pursue all claims and compensation available to you. If you have been a victim of an automobile accident in which a drunk driver was at fault in Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, Cullman or Scottsboro, Alabama, do not hesitate to call our skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys for a free assessment of your situation. Call now 256-350-7200 or 256-534-3435. We are here to help.
Huntsville Office Location:
303 Williams Avenue SW
Huntsville, AL 35801
Decatur Office Location:
211 Oak Street NE
Decatur, AL 35601