While some people feel they can do many everyday rational things while drunk, as we learned in high school, alcohol impairs sensory ability and functioning. Specifically, being under the influence of alcohol impairs someone’s visual awareness and cognitive functioning. For these reasons, drunk driving is illegal across the country. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by these laws. 

If you or a loved one is in a drunk driving car accident in Katy, an accident attorney could help you pursue financial restitution from the at-fault driver through a civil claim. 

No Criminal Conviction Needed to Sue for a DWI Accident

A driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge means a person is guilty of operating a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more. Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, a conviction of normal DWI is a misdemeanor punishable with up to three days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000. 

A criminal ruling of DWI intoxication or assault is not needed to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, a criminal DWI conviction makes civil actions easier by providing clear evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence. Anyone who is hurt in a collision can recover financial damages if they can prove someone else was at least 50 percent liable for the accident. After a drunk driving crash, a Katy attorney could pursue financial compensation for injured parties in civil courts while a county attorney handles the criminal case. 

Recovering Compensation

Collisions can result in severe injuries such as fractures, organ damage, disfiguration, and paralysis, which can lead to a long recovery process and continuous treatment. Further, a person could miss months of work during their recovery or be unable to work again. Through a successful civil claim, an injured person could receive both economic and non-economic damages—for example, money for healthcare expenses and funds for pain and suffering. A tenacious accident attorney could advocate for the maximum available compensation under the circumstances that cover an injured survivor’s current and anticipated future needs.  

The Texas Dram Shop Act

Civil suits involving drunk driving collisions may involve more defendants than the at-fault driver. A bar, liquor store, or gas station can also be sued for contributory negligence if they:

  1. Sold or served alcohol
  2. To a person 
  3. Who seemed intoxicated
  4. To the level of posing a risk to others
  5. Which resulted in subsequent harm to others

To successfully sue a business based on the Dram Shop Act, detailed interrogatories, answers, and depositions are likely required. This means potentially reviewing and summarizing thousands of documents to demonstrate liability through contribution. While injured persons and families are focused on healing from the collision, a Katy personal injury lawyer could pursue additional compensation by proving a business recklessly provided excessive amounts of alcohol to a drunk driver. 

Contact a Katy Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney

Drunk driving car accidents in Katy are often catastrophic. The driver who made the decision to endanger others’ lives on the road should have to pay for the consequences. 

After being treated by a physician, you should contact KGS Law Group to initiate legal proceedings. We could provide detailed information about the claims process to give you clarity about your next steps.