Drunk Drivers Causing Accidents

Attorney Goyen has represented thousands of clients since 1997 as a car accident injury lawyer and obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Our office takes pride in working to get the best result possible, treating our clients with dignity and respect. Our lawyer communicates directly with each client. We will protect each and every one of our clients' rights and obtain the results needed for our clients' cases.

The Law Office of Doug Goyen has the qualifications you need to ensure your case is handled by one of the top injury lawyers in the State of Texas. Attorney Doug Goyen is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and has been so since 1997. Goyen attended Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law from 1994 to his graduation in 1997. Goyen passed the Texas Bar Exam in 1997. Before and during law school Goyen worked at GEICO in their bodily injury claims department from 1989 to 1997. 

Drunk Driving Auto Accidents in Texas 

MADD states that Texas has the most drunk driving auto accident fatalities in the US.  MADD says there were 1,438 deaths cause by drunk drivers in 2016. This means someone dies ever 20 minutes. The National Highway Safety Administration data from 2019 shows that in Texas 40% of all traffic deaths were related to an impaired driver - the national average for all other states was 29%.  

How to Recover in Auto Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

In order to collect a settlement in personal injury case against a drunk driver there are three areas that need to be covered: 1) Proving liability; 2) Proving what your damages are; 3) Ability to collect against those responsible. 

1) Proving Liability against the Drunk Driver

In order to prove the drunk driver is responsible we will get the following evidence. This evidence will also help add value to your case. We obtain your description of how the auto accident happened. We gather any witness statements about what they may have seen regarding the collision. We gather any video recordings there may be including police dash-cam or body-cam videos. We get the photographs and any audio recordings such as 911 calls. There are usually police reports and officer notes taken regarding the wreck and intoxication of the other driver, we gather that information. Every case is different, so as the facts develop we gather the evidence needed as the facts lead the way. 

2) Proving Your Damages caused by the Drunk Driver

In order to prove how much your damages are, we will get the medical documentation needed to prove what type of injury you have and the amount you have in bills. Often there is property damage such as the damage to your vehicle, we get the repair estimates and final billing records for that information along with any rental car, towing, or storage bills for your damaged vehicle. If you lose earnings due to the car accident injury we will gather the records needed to prove your lost earnings. We will discuss the case with you several times to make sure we understand exactly how your injury changed your life - the pain and suffering, mental anguish, any impairment, any disfigurement, any loss of consortium, any loss of a body part, or any other type of injury you may have had. We discuss with our client all the information we have gathered and verify if there is anything else that may be missing. 

3) Ability to Collect Against Those Responsible for the Auto Accident

There are multiple potential ways to collect when a drunk driver causes an auto accident that injures someone. a) You can collect against the drunk driver themselves for their negligence; b) You can collect against anyone who negligently entrusted their vehicle to the drunk driver; c) You can possibly collect against those who provided the alcohol to the drunk driver in a Texas Dram Shop Act case. 

a) Collecting against the drunk driver: This is the most straightforward line of attack. The drunk driver's insurance company should pay for the damage they caused under their auto liability coverage. If the drunk driver is driving someone else's vehicle when they caused the auto accident then there may be two auto liability insurance policies that may cover the claim. 

b) Collecting for Negligent Entrustment: If the drunk driver was driving someone else's vehicle in the auto accident there may be a claim against the owner of the vehicle for negligent entrustment for the owner allowing someone drunk to drive their vehicle. 

c) Collecting for a Dram Shop Act case: In some auto accident injury cases where a drunk driver caused the accident you may have a Texas Dram Shop Act case against the restaurant or bar that served the alcohol the the drunk driver. Under the Texas Dram Shop Act an establishment that serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person is held responsible for the injury the intoxicated person caused. 

The purpose of the law is to discourage establishments that serve alcohol from serving obviously intoxicated people when that intoxication can lead to auto accidents with serious injuries or death.  See our page on Dallas Dram Shop Act cases. 

Driver Arrested by Police

In many car accident injuries caused by a drunk driver the intoxicated driver is arrested at the scene by the police. The police typically have video and audio evidence that can help show the other driver was responsible for the collision and show their level of intoxication. Often though, because there is a criminal investigation going on into any DWI charges that may have been brought against the other driver, the police and prosecutors are hesitant to release that information until they obtain a conviction. Some of the reports and evidence are easily found and obtained. Other records may take more effort to obtain if the DWI charges are still pending against the other driver. 

Driver Not Arrested by Police

There are times when you know the other driver was intoxicated when they caused the collision, but for some reason the police do not make an arrest at the scene. There are times where the other driver has fled the scene before the police arrive, and that is the reason. Other times the police get there in time to interview the other driver but they just do not make an arrest. Sometimes police note on the reports that they detected alcohol, but there are times where it is not mentioned for whatever reason. In these cases it is important to gather all the evidence surrounding the facts - get 911 tapes and records, get witness statements, talk to the officer to see what the reason was that they did not arrest the drunk driver. Sometimes officers just miss something. It happens. Our job is to scour the records and evidence to make sure we can get the evidence needed to help your case. We will search every record related and speak to all witnesses to make sure we get the information we need to get the full value of your case. 

Getting results on the case - investigation, negotiation, communication, and litigation 

Attorney Goyen is a Dallas car accident lawyer with over 23 years experience. In addition to doing a thorough investigation into your car accident injury and into the drunk driver who caused the collision, we also deal with the insurance company. We gather the evidence needed to prove your claim and maximize the value of your claim. We negotiate with any claims representatives regarding your injury and keep in communication with these claims representatives. Some cases cannot be settled for one reason or another. If litigation is needed we file a lawsuit on your case and take the case to trial. 

Most importantly is that we keep you informed at each step of the way so you know what is happening with your case. If you need an attorney contact us today, call (972) 599 4100 or contact us on our website contact form.