Beware of drunk drivers this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us once again, Dallas police and other law enforcement agencies throughout Texas are taking to the roads to help fend off a perennial threat: drunk drivers.

The risk of drunk driving accidents is particularly high at this time of year because of frequent parties and celebrations, and because there tends to be more traffic during the holidays as people travel to spend time with friends and relatives. On average, over 2,400 alcohol-related crashes occur in Texas each December, according to state crash data, resulting in an average of 89 fatalities.

Over the recent Thanksgiving weekend, Texas police were out in full force to intercept drunk drivers, and will continue their stepped-up efforts through the New Year. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, law enforcement cannot stop each and every intoxicated driver, and innocent people continue to suffer needlessly due to the reckless behavior of others. Texas has more alcohol-related traffic fatalities than any other state, the Dallas Morning News reported recently. Within Texas, Dallas County has the second-highest fatality rate, following Harris County.

Compensation for Texas drunk-driving accidents

Even a nonfatal drunk-driving wreck can be a life-changing event for accident victims and their families. In addition to the physical harm and emotional damage, the resulting medical expenses and rehabilitative costs can be financially crippling - particularly for those whose injuries leave them unable to work to support themselves and their loved ones.

Fortunately, people who are injured by drunk drivers in Texas are often able to receive financial compensation by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. Although a financial settlement can never fully make up for the damage done by a drunk driver, it can go a long way toward helping accident victims provide for their families and get back on their feet again.

By filing a personal injury lawsuit, a person who has been hurt in a Texas drunk-driving crash may be able to receive compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the crash, including:

  • Medical bills and hospitalization costs
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Lost income

In cases of extraordinarily reckless or malicious behavior, drunk drivers in Texas may also be required to pay punitive damages. Unlike the damages listed above, which are meant to compensate accident victims for specific losses, punitive damages are used to punish drunk drivers and discourage others from engaging in similar behavior. In addition, drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents can be financially liable to the victim's surviving family members.

Contact an attorney

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver in Texas, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to discuss the circumstances of the crash and learn what your options may be for pursuing compensation.