It is no secret to anyone that drunk driving is a hazard that causes countless accidents nationwide every year. Any person who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is recklessly placing themselves and everyone around them on the roadway at unnecessary risk of harm.
Despite years of effort from lawmakers and law enforcement to bring public awareness, drunk driving accidents leading to life-threatening and fatal injuries continue. Tennessee courts could entitle you to collect compensation when you suffer injuries and losses in an accident with a motorist driving under the influence. Call a skilled car accident attorney from the Law Office of David E. Gordon to learn more about your legal options after experiencing a drunk driving car accident in Bartlett.
Compensation for DUI Car Crashes
Operating a motor vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol breaches the duty of care that every motorist has to keep others on the road safe. Providing the court with evidence of an individual’s intoxication as the cause of a crash could mean an award to compensate for the following:
- Past and current medical bills and the cost of ongoing care
- Lost wages and other benefits
- Lost working ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
Putting together a comprehensive settlement demand after drunk driving car crashes in Bartlett is complex and requires knowledge of civil and criminal laws. Experienced attorney David E. Gordon can help guide an injured party through the challenging process and advocate on their behalf to seek compensation that adequately covers their needs.
A DUI or Felony Conviction Lifts Limitation on Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages refer to the compensation that is awarded for subjective non-monetary losses after an injury. As mentioned above, this includes pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. Tennessee civil legislation limits non-economic damages to $750,000 for personal injury cases or $1,000,000 for catastrophic injuries.
However, according to the Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-102, the limitation does not apply when the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or when the defendant’s actions leading to the accident result in a felony conviction. If any of the following circumstances are present during the accident involving a drunk driver, they face felony driving under the influence DUI charges:
- The crash leads to injuries or death of a child under 13
- Any person suffers severe injuries or death in the collision
- The accident caused significant property damage
- The defendant has three prior DUI arrests
A knowledgeable Bartlett attorney can help determine the charges a negligent motorist faces and the potential award for non-economic harm.
Tennessee Dram Shop Law
After an accident with an intoxicated driver, the injured individual may also have cause to file a civil claim against the vendor that sold the defendant the alcohol. Under Tennessee Code § 57-10-102, if the establishment sold alcoholic beverages, either intentionally or unintentionally, to a person under the legal drinking age and an accident caused another party to suffer damages, the injured party could file a liability claim under the dram shop law. Further, if the vendor knew or should have known that the defendant was intoxicated and served them anyway, there could be cause for civil action if the motorist causes personal injuries or wrongful death due to their intoxication.
Meet With a Bartlett Attorney for Help After a Drunk Driving Car Accident
Operating a car after drinking is extremely dangerous and a significant cause of countless crashes leading to life-threatening and fatal injuries every year. Drunk driving car accidents in Bartlett can leave you with painful injuries, needing extensive medical care, and missing work while you recover at home.
When you are in an avoidable collision with an intoxicated motorist, you can hold them financially accountable for your losses. Call a hard-working attorney from the Law Office of David E. Gordon to schedule a free consultation to begin reviewing the details of your situation.