Brian White | June 18, 2020 | News
Sadly, news reports state that a five-year-old was killed in a DWI accident in Houston. A four-year-old was severely injured in the accident.
According to the news report, the accident occurred around 11:30 p.m. The children, both girls, were being driven by their father. Police officers stated that the man drove directly into a traffic light pole.
The girls were seated in the back seat, but neither child was in a safety seat. The four-year-old was restrained with an adult seat belt. The five-year-old who died in the accident was not restrained at all.
The father, Luis Aguilar, showed signs of intoxication, according to the police. He has been charged with murder and intoxicated assault involving a vehicle.
DUI Accidents Kill Thousands of People Each Year
Sadly, this tragic accident was preventable. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a choice. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents often result in the deaths of innocent victims.
The NHTSA states that about 30 people each day die in DUI accidents in the United States. Just over 10,500 people died in drunk driving crashes during 2018.
DUI fatalities accounted for almost one-third of the traffic deaths in 2018. Two hundred thirty-one (231) of those deaths were children 14 years and younger.
During 2018, 940 people died in Texas motor accidents involving a drunk driver. DUI accident fatalities accounted for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities for that year.
There are many ways to prevent drunk driving. Choosing a designated driver and taking another form of transportation are just two of the ways you can prevent DUI accidents. Drunk driving accidents are preventable, but they continue to cause catastrophic injuries and deaths for victims.
Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Drunk Driving Accident?
The victims of drunk driving accidents can sustain traumatic injuries and incur substantial financial damages.
Common DUI accident injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Brain injuries and head trauma
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments
- Severe emotional and mental distress
The injuries range from mild to deadly.
In addition to the physical and emotional damages caused by a drunk driving accident, a victim also incurs financial losses. Medical bills, therapy, loss of income, and other out-of-pocket expenses can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
Who is responsible for these damages?
Did the Drunk Driver Cause the Accident?
If the drunk driver caused the crash, the drunk driver is responsible for the damages caused by the crash. However, the fact that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash is only one piece of evidence.
You must prove that the driver’s actions caused the collision. For example, did the driver fail to yield the right of way or cross the center line into oncoming traffic? Did the driver rear-end your vehicle at a red light?
Proving the driver caused the crash is vital. Working with a DUI accident attorney can help. An attorney investigates the accident to gather evidence of fault.
Steps your attorney may take when investigating a DUI accident include:
- Obtaining a copy of the police report.
- Interviewing witnesses and obtaining statements.
- Searching for video evidence of the crash, including traffic camera videos and surveillance videos.
- Monitoring a criminal case, if DUI charges were filed.
- Obtaining your medical records and other evidence of damages.
- Working with experts to determine the cause of the crash.
- Identifying insurance coverage and filing claims with the insurance provider.
The insurance provider for the driver may attempt to avoid liability by blaming you for the crash. Your attorney understands this common insurance tactic and works diligently to prove that you are the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Does a Criminal Case Affect My Injury Claim?
If the driver is charged with DUI or another crime, the criminal case is separate and apart from any civil claim that you might have for damages. The outcome of your injury claim does not depend on the criminal case. A drunk driver could be acquitted of all charges, but still found liable in a civil lawsuit.
What Should I Do After a DUI Accident?
If a drunk driver causes a crash, do not confront the driver. An intoxicated person can be dangerous. Call 911 to report the crash and tell the operator your suspicions that the other driver may be intoxicated.
If there are any eyewitnesses, ask them for their names and contact numbers.
Tell the police officers that you suspect the other driver might be drunk and why. Try to be as specific as possible. Did you notice erratic driving behaviors, or did the person smell of alcohol or have slurred speech?
See a doctor immediately after the crash to document your injuries. As soon as possible, contact a DUI accident attorney near you to discuss your case.