San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in San Antonio and across the state. Despite strict laws and severe financial and punitive penalties designed to discourage drunk driving, accidents still happen, killing or severely injuring thousands of people every year.

If you’ve sustained severe injuries or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident in San Antonio, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

You do not have to go through these difficult times alone. Our drunk driving accident lawyers in San Antonio have successfully recovered compensation for countless individuals who were injured or lost someone they love in a tragic accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

For a free consultation, visit us at 13974 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217 or Alamo Towers, 901 NE 410 Loop #700, San Antonio, TX 78209, call us at 855-LAW-NINJA, or send a message. If you can’t get to one of our San Antonio offices, let us know — we can come to you.

In McAllen? Learn how our McAllen personal injury lawyers can help you.

Choose the Best Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys in San Antonio to Handle Your Case

Doctor, attorney, veteran, and the founder of Patino Law Firm, Louis “Doc” Patino is a top San Antonio personal injury lawyer dedicated to helping Texas residents recover compensation for accidents that weren’t their fault.

From our offices at 13974 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217, and Alamo Towers, 901 NE 410 Loop #700, San Antonio, TX 78209, we represent victims who have suffered losses in drunk driving accidents.

Reach out and call us today at 855-LAW-NINJA, send us a confidential message on our contact page, pop into our office, or let us know where you are and we’ll come to you for your free, no-obligation case review.

How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents in San Antonio?

Texas has historically ranked among the states with the highest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths. In its annual Traffic Safety Facts report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discloses the number of deaths due to alcohol-impaired driving.

Texas Drunk Driving Accident Fatalities in 2018

Total fatalities 3,642
Fatalities involving a BAC of 0.08%+ 1,439
Fatalities involving a BAC of 0.15%+ 974

Texas Drunk Driving Accident Fatalities in 2019

Total fatalities 3,615
Fatalities involving a BAC of 0.08%+ 1,332
Fatalities involving a BAC of 0.15%+ 890

Texas Drunk Driving Accident Fatalities in 2020

Total fatalities 3,874
Fatalities involving a BAC of 0.08%+ 1,495
Fatalities involving a BAC of 0.15%+ 1,018

Fatalities fell in 2019 — albeit only slightly — but shot back up the following year. Of the total fatalities recorded in Texas in 2020, 55% involved drivers with no alcohol in their system. Of the remaining 45%, at least one driver had alcohol in their system (0.01% plus), with 39% of total drivers exceeding the legal limit. The fact that nearly half of all driving fatalities in Texas involved alcohol impairment is shocking and demonstrates just how devastating drunk driving is.

How Many People Are Arrested for Drunk Driving?

According to the latest available data, police arrested 1,024,508 people for driving under the influence in the U.S. in 2019. Not all states distinguish a DWI and DUI, like in Texas, so these statistics represent all individuals arrested for driving unsafely due to intoxication.

At a state level, 64,161 adults aged 18 or over were arrested for driving under the influence in Texas. What’s potentially more alarming, though, is that the average person drunk-drives more than 80 times before their first arrest. Not all instances of driving while intoxicated result in an accident, but as these statistics show, it’s only a matter of time — and it will likely be deadly.

Drunk Driving Accidents in San Antonio

San Antonio is Texas’s second-largest city, so it naturally follows that it has one of the state’s highest occurrences of drunk driving accidents. In 2018, San Antonio was the site of 1,839 drunk driving crashes, resulting in 43 fatalities and 92 serious injuries. The only city with more DUI vehicle accidents was Houston.

2019 showed a similar trend, with 1,871 total crashes recorded.

Alcohol-related car crashes in the United States total more than $44 billion in costs annually, with 28 people dying every day from drunk driving collisions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children are affected, too. An alcohol-impaired driver was involved in 17 percent of 1,233 traffic deaths among children aged 0 to 14 in just one year.

These DUI crash statistics are significant because they reflect the prevalence of drunk driving in our community and its severe consequences.

What Injuries Do Drunk Driving Accidents Cause?

DWI and DUI accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.

Common injuries from drunk driving accidents include:

  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Amputations
  • Soft tissue injuries.

Who Is Responsible for a San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident?

It’s normal to assume that the intoxicated driver is liable for a drunk driving accident in San Antonio. In most cases, the driver is liable, but they may not be the only responsible party.

Multiple parties can be at fault for a DWI accident, including:

  • The driver
  • The establishment that served the alcohol
  • Any third parties that may have contributed to the accident
  • You.

Texas Dram Shop Laws

Texas law prohibits bars, clubs, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcohol from serving minors or patrons who are significantly impaired. If they do, and the person served then injures you in a drunk driving accident, you can hold them accountable for their negligence.

However, to successfully claim compensation under Texas dram shop laws, you must prove the server knew — or should have reasonably known — the driver was intoxicated and presented a danger to themselves and others and that their intoxication resulted in harm (the accident that caused your injuries or killed your loved one).

Determining who might be liable for your or your loved one’s DWI accident is crucial to claim compensation. Our San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyers can investigate your accident to identify liability and explain your rights and options, including how you can still potentially recover compensation even if you’re partly responsible for your crash.

How Much Compensation Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Secure?

If your personal injury claim is successful, you will receive compensation for your injuries, including your past and future medical expenses and lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This can provide some sense of relief after a drunk driving accident.

A wrongful death claim compensates surviving family members coping with their loved one’s death for loss of consortium (companionship), funeral expenses, lost income potential, emotional pain, outstanding medical bills, and more.

The damages you can claim and how much you will receive depend on the circumstances of the drunk driving accident, any resulting injuries, the evidence supporting your claim, and the defendant’s insurance company.

The most commonly claimed damages include:

  • Medical expenses: For ambulance rides, emergency department visits, hospitalization, X-rays, surgeries, and more.
  • Future medical costs: For extensive recovery, further surgeries, and round-the-clock care for long-term disability.
  • Rehab and recovery costs: For physical therapy, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, walkers, and home adaptations to support independence.
  • Lost wages: To cover time off work after a severe accident.
  • Future lost wages: For a severe or permanent injury that prohibits you from returning to work or forces a job role or career change because you can no longer do your previous job.
  • Non-economic damages: For pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and scarring or disfigurement.

Exemplary damages: These damages can apply if you go to trial and punish — or make an example of — defendants who have acted with malice or gross negligence.

What to Do If You’re a Victim of a San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident

1. Safety First

Your first step after a drunk driving accident should be to ensure you are safe. If you are in a vehicle, we advise staying put until law enforcement arrives, as moving can worsen your injuries. However, if there is a risk of fire or explosion, you should move quickly but carefully as far from the impact as possible without leaving the scene.

2. Call 911

You must report your drunk driving accident to the police. Crash reports, citations, and charges against the drunk driver can be crucial in any subsequent legal action.

3. Document the Scene

It’s possible to begin gathering evidence immediately after your accident. If you can, take photographs of the collision and your injuries and collect the contact information of any witnesses and others involved in the crash. If you can’t get everything at the scene, your San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyer can help secure the necessary information.

4. Seek Medical Attention

If an ambulance does not take you to the hospital, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after your accident, even if you feel fine. Some injuries — even severe ones — don’t present immediate symptoms.

Seeking medical attention also provides evidence of your injuries and when they occurred, which can prove crucial in a compensation claim. You shouldn’t refuse medical assistance due to financial concerns. You have multiple options for paying for medical bills after an accident. If you have a claim, your drunk driving accident attorney in San Antonio can delay payment until you receive your compensation.

5. Speak to a San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Our San Antonio drunk driving accident attorneys can help you get justice. We’ll investigate your accident, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and even litigate in court if you choose to go to trial, freeing you to focus on your recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions Our San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Receive

Texas has taken action in response to these troubling statistics. In 2015, the Texas legislature passed a law including a provision rendering those convicted of drunk driving to be ineligible for a regular driver’s license. These convicted drivers can only receive a provisional driver’s license that requires them to install an ignition interlock system that includes a breathalyzer. This way, their vehicle can only start with the condition that there is no alcohol in their system.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), these mandates reduced drunk driving deaths by 30-45 percent in certain states.

To fully understand drunk driving laws in Texas, it’s important to address Texas’s zero-tolerance policy, distinguish between DWI and DUI laws, and discuss a couple of laws that apply to people other than the drunk driver.

Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol in a driver under the age of 21. This policy means that an underage driver does not need to be legally “impaired” by alcohol—any detectable amount of alcohol is illegal for a person under 21.

DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” Some people use these two terms interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings for applicable charges in Texas. DUIs are reserved only for minors or a person younger than 21. Texas courts can give DWIs to anyone of any age.

Driving under the influence (DUI). Also termed “driving under the influence of alcohol” (DUIA), this charge applies under the Texas Traffic Code and is issued to minors who have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system per Texas’s zero-tolerance policy.

A DUI is a class “C” misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a $500 fine. Penalties for a DUI include:

  • A fine of up to $500
  • Community service up to 40 hours
  • License suspension up to 60 days
  • Mandatory alcohol awareness classes

Driving while intoxicated (DWI). The Texas Penal Code governs DWIs issued to anyone of any age who has a blood alcohol content (BAC)* of 0.08 or higher or is clearly driving while impaired. The standard first offense DWI is a class “B” misdemeanor.

According to the Texas Penal Code §49.01(2), a person is ‘intoxicated’ if they meet either of the following two conditions:

  1. They do not have the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to alcohol or drugs
  2. They have a BAC of 0.08 or higher

*Technical note: BAC is the medical and legal measure of alcohol, measured either through the bloodstream or breath. Medical and legal standards calculate BAC as milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100 milliliters (ml) of blood. A BAC of 0.08, for example, means that an individual’s blood supply contains one part of alcohol for every 800 parts of blood.

A DWI is a more severe charge than a DUI, and penalties can range from large fines and driver’s license suspension or revocation to jail time. Additionally, as mentioned above, if a motorist is convicted, they are ineligible to receive a standard driver’s license.

It’s also worth noting that Texas statute defines DWI as “operating” a vehicle while intoxicated. In Texas, though, the term “operate” is broad. Courts have defined it to include any action to “affect the functioning” of a vehicle in a manner that “enables its use.” By this definition, a motorist does not necessarily need to drive their vehicle to acquire a charge for DWI.

Texas “dram shop laws” apply to people who may have been negligent leading up to the drunk driver getting behind the wheel. The driver is almost certainly at fault for any drunk driving accident, but this law holds other negligent parties responsible as well. For example, a bartender who over serves a driver may be liable because they essentially had the opportunity to prevent the driver from becoming intoxicated or leaving the establishment drunk.

Courts consider various factors in determining liability when a drunk driver injures someone. In the bartender scenario, the patron must appear evidently intoxicated, making the seller liable for knowingly continuing to provide them alcohol. Additionally, a friend can face liability as a third-party if, instead of taking the driver’s car keys away, they give their intoxicated friend the keys to let them drive.

Can dram shop liability extend to minors? Sometimes, yes. Depending on the facts of the case, a court may impose dram shop liability on minors.

What is social host liability? Social host liability is different from dram shop laws because it refers specifically to a person who provides alcohol without payment, rather than a business that sells alcohol. In general, though, a social host in Texas is typically not responsible for other adults’ actions when drinking too much alcohol on the host’s premises. This law becomes more applicable for DUI cases involving minors to whom an adult provides alcohol.

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in Texas is 0.08 percent BAC. The legal limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent. (This applies to anyone legally classified as a commercial driver, whether operating a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle.).

Despite the legal limits, drivers can be arrested with lower BAC levels if police officers suspect impairment.

Officers use a variety of field sobriety tests to check for signs of intoxication in drivers. Which test or tests to give is within the officer’s discretion.

DWI task force officers usually perform three tests:

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN): The officer takes a pen and moves it across a person’s face, having the person follow the pen with their eyes.
  2. Nine-step walk-and-turn: The officer observes the person as they walk heel-to-toe.
  3. One-legged stand: This tests a person’s sense of balance.

If an officer determines a driver is intoxicated, they are arrested and asked to take a breath or blood test.

DWI and DUI accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities. Drunk drivers might be responsible for compensating their victims and handling recovery costs.

Common injuries from drunk driving accidents include:

  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Amputations
  • Head trauma
  • Soft tissue injuries

Convicted DWI drivers can face criminal charges. Others might face legal accountability per dram shop and social host liability laws. DUI and DWI accident victims can often file civil lawsuits under these two laws to seek additional justice and financial compensation. A civil lawsuit (as opposed to a criminal charge) is a way to financially hold someone responsible for your pain, suffering, and economic and other losses.

The most important thing to do after a drunk driving accident is to make sure you’re safe.

Seek medical attention right away. If an ambulance does not take you to the hospital, you still need to get checked by a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries, even serious ones, don’t have immediate symptoms.

Medical documentation of your injuries can benefit you in a lawsuit. Do not refuse medical assistance due to financial concerns. You can potentially recover these costs if you win your case. Your health and safety always come first.

Yes. You must report every drunk driving accident to the police. Police reports and any charges filed against the drunk driver can be crucial in any subsequent legal action.

Absolutely. Lawyers can help ensure you get fair treatment and justice, especially if you’re considering pursuing a drunk driving accident, wrongful death, or another civil lawsuit. Monetary compensation can provide some sense of relief for you and your family after a drunk driving accident.

A successful drunk driving accident claim can compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, future health care needs, pain and suffering, and more. A wrongful death claim filed by surviving family members coping with their loved one’s death can compensate for the loss of consortium (companionship) and funeral expenses.

The damages you can claim depend on the circumstances of the drunk driving accident and your resulting injuries.

The most commonly claimed damages include:

  • Medical expenses: ambulance rides, emergency department visits, hospitalization, X-rays, surgeries, and more
  • Future medical costs: around-the-clock care for long-term disability, extensive recovery requiring further surgeries
  • Rehab and recovery costs: physical therapy, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, walkers
  • Lost wages: to cover time off work after a severe accident
  • Future lost wages: if a severe or permanent injury prohibits you from returning to work
  • Non-economic damages: pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, scarring, disfigurement
  • Punitive damages: applies when the drunk driver acts with malice or gross negligence

You’ll likely hear from an insurance adjuster after your accident. Their intentions are two-fold: to glean information they can use against you to reduce your entitlement or dismiss your claim entirely, and to offer you a settlement to drop the case.

Unfortunately, any settlement offered at this stage is unlikely to be fair. It may not be enough to cover your expenses, especially if you need additional medical treatment or can’t work.

You should never negotiate with an insurance company without a lawyer. Our drunk driving accident attorneys in San Antonio are skilled advocates who know how to communicate with insurance companies.

If an insurance adjuster visits you in the hospital to offer you a settlement (likely when you need it most), you should speak to a lawyer before signing any agreement. If they ask questions about your accident or injuries, politely decline to answer without your attorney and state that you’re still seeking treatment and cannot comment.

It’s vital not to rush into a settlement until you understand the full extent of your injuries and how they might impact your life. A seemingly minor injury can progress to something more severe, and you’ll want a settlement that compensates you for any lasting harm you might endure. A lawyer can help you obtain a full evaluation of your injuries to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Drunk driving can play a role in any auto collision, from head-on truck accidents to rear-end car crashes. However, some of the most common in San Antonio are:

Pedestrian Accidents

Drunk driving is a major cause of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable when walking down the street, and the impact of a high-speed car operated by a drunk driver can have severe, even deadly, consequences.

Drunk drivers might ignore traffic lights at pedestrian crossings, veer off marked roadways, and hit pedestrians on sidewalks or street corners.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions involving drunk drivers typically result in catastrophic injuries and significant property damage. Alcohol impairs vision, motor abilities, reaction times, rational thinking, and consciousness, leading drivers to miss traffic signs and potentially drive into oncoming traffic. This type of car accident is extremely dangerous, and the faster either vehicle is moving, the worse the outcome.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end car accidents can occur due to tailgating or sitting in a larger vehicle’s blind spot. Alcohol affects vision, making it harder for drunk drivers to judge distance and speed. Rear-end accidents commonly happen when drunk drivers follow too closely because they cannot accurately perceive the vehicle ahead. If that vehicle brakes for a stop light or at an intersection, the drunk driver may hit them as their reaction time is significantly slower.

Hit-and-Run

A drunk driver who leaves an accident scene can be charged with two crimes: DWI and hit-and-run. Claiming compensation after a hit-and-run accident in Texas can be more challenging, especially if you did not get a good look at the drunk driver before they fled. Fortunately, there are several things a drunk driving accident attorney can do to identify the person responsible and build a case against them, including speaking with witnesses who may have seen what type of vehicle they were driving and the direction they headed, and viewing traffic cam footage of the local area.

Passenger Collisions

Passengers riding with a drunk driver and injured in a collision can potentially file a civil claim against the driver. Sometimes, passengers may be partially responsible for their own injuries, such as if they knew the driver was intoxicated and still chose to ride in the car or handed them the keys.

Wrongful Death

Losing a family member is devastating, especially when it’s preventable. The compensation you can recover for your loved one’s wrongful death depends on several factors, including their age and the extent of negligence or recklessness by the responsible party. Wrongful death compensation can include mental anguish endured by the family, funeral costs, outstanding medical expenses, and lost income potential. It’s also possible to recover exemplary damages — also known as punitive damages — when your loved one’s death is due to another party’s willful act, omission, or gross negligence.

Losing a family member is devastating, especially when it’s completely preventable. The amount of compensation you can recover for your loved one’s wrongful death depends on different factors, including their age and the extent of negligence or recklessness by the other driver leading to their death.

Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 71.009 allows a special category of damages—known as “exemplary damages”—to be awarded in situations where your loved one’s death is due to the willful act, omission, or gross negligence of another party.

Wrongful death compensation can include mental anguish endured by the family, including loss of support, loss of consortium (companionship), loss of services, and loss of inheritance.

If an intoxicated driver kills a person in a DUI or DWI accident, the police can charge the drunk driver with intoxication manslaughter, a third-degree felony. Whether a criminal court finds the drunk driver guilty of intoxication manslaughter, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court for their loss.

Passengers riding with a drunk driver can get injured in a collision and possibly file a civil claim against the driver. Sometimes, passengers may be partially responsible for their own injuries, such as if they knew the driver was intoxicated and still chose to ride in the car.

DWI With a Child Passenger

Texas has severe criminal and civil consequences for DWIs, but additional penalties apply for individuals convicted of a DWI with a passenger under 15. If the intoxicated driver’s actions result in injury to the child passenger, the drunk driver can face child endangerment charges.

A drunk driver who leaves an accident scene can be charged with two crimes: DWI and hit-and-run. Even when alcohol and drugs aren’t involved, a hit-and-run is a serious offense. The significant damage or injury caused by a car accident involving alcohol or drugs followed by fleeing the scene can lead to steep legal ramifications.

The drunk driver is still liable for compensating you — regardless of whether they have car insurance. However, you should consider why the drunk driver doesn’t have insurance in the first place. If they cannot afford it, it’s unlikely they have the funds for a personal injury settlement. Our drunk driving accident lawyers in San Antonio can explore your options after an accident with an uninsured driver, including:

  • Placing a lien on the defendant’s property or seizing a portion of their wages.
  • Suing another liable party with financial resources, such as the establishment that served the driver (if dram shop laws apply).
  • Filing an uninsured motorist claim if you have coverage.

Claiming from the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Program to cover any compensation the drunk driver can’t provide (limited to $50,000).

To definitively determine if the driver at fault for your accident was intoxicated at the time of the crash, you can obtain a copy of the police report. When officers respond to car accidents, they may have cause to believe a suspect was drunk. If a driver’s sobriety is in question, they usually request that the suspected drunk driver carry out field sobriety or BAC testing. The tests’ results—or documentation of a driver’s refusal for testing—are included in the police report substantiating your accident.

The statute of limitations is the time limit to file a complaint against the person or business that caused your injuries or the death of your loved one. In Texas, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the day of the crash. This applies whether you are filing a drunk driving accident claim or for wrongful death.

However, there are exceptions. One example is the “discovery rule”, which starts the clock from the date you discovered — or should have reasonably discovered — your injury. This may apply if you sought treatment after your accident but your injuries were not apparent until years later. The discovery rule is subject to the statute of repose — a strict, unmovable deadline that prevents legal action if it has been 10 years since the accident.

You can file a civil suit if you’re injured by a drunk driver, even if criminal action is pending against them. Considering the two-year statute of limitations, it’s best not to wait for criminal charges to play out.

Drunk driving accidents often cause severe injuries or result in the drunk driver’s arrest, making it impossible for victims to obtain the other drivers’ identifying information immediately afterward. A drunk driving accident attorney can gather all necessary information and evidence to support your claim, including the drunk driver’s name, contact information, insurance company, conviction history, and history of alcohol or drug-related issues.

Yes. If you’re involved in a drunk driving accident, you don’t have to handle these complex legal processes alone—and you need someone with the education and qualifications to get you through them.

Contact a drunk driving accident lawyer now at Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys to learn what legal remedies and compensation you deserve. Call us now at (210) 660-5230.

Courts can convict minors under 21 with driving under the influence (DUI). These penalties vary based on age and whether it was the first, second, or third offense.

The first offense for minors under 17 is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by:

  • 20-40 hours of mandatory community service
  • A fine of up to $500
  • A license suspension for up to 60 days
  • A mandatory alcohol education class.

The first offense for minors aged 17 to 20 is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • 72 hours to 180 days in jail
  • A license suspension for one year.

Second offenses are Class C misdemeanors punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $500
  • 40 to 60 hours of mandatory community service
  • A license suspension for 180 days to two years
  • A mandatory alcohol education class.

A third offense is classified as delinquent conduct by a minor, with penalties including:

  • A fine of up to $500
  • 40 to 60 hours of mandatory community services
  • A license suspension for 180 days to two years.

Adults aged 21 and over can be charged with driving while intoxicated, but minors may also face charges for drunk driving if they were legally impaired.

Like DUI penalties, DWI penalties vary.

First offense:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Up to 180 days in jail with a mandatory three-day minimum term
  • A license suspension for up to one year.

Second offense:

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • A jail term or one month to one year
  • A license suspension for up to two years.

Third offense:

  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • A jail term of two to ten years
  • A license suspension for up to two years.

Additional penalties can apply depending on the nature of the accident.

Individuals convicted of a DWI with a passenger under 15 in the car face a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in prison, license suspension for 180 days, and child endangerment charges.

If an intoxicated driver kills a person in a DUI or DWI accident, the police can charge them with intoxication manslaughter. This is a second-degree felony that carries a prison term of two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Civil Penalties

A victim of a drunk driving accident in San Antonio can also file a civil lawsuit to hold the person or party that caused the accident responsible for your pain, suffering, and economic losses.

The family of a loved one who died in a drunk driving accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit. A criminal court does not have to find the drunk driver guilty of intoxication manslaughter for you to pursue and win a civil claim, as the burden of proof is higher in criminal proceedings.

Many parties involved in drunk driving accidents choose to settle rather than allowing a court to decide their case at trial. That doesn’t mean one option is better than the other. What you choose should depend on the specific facts of your drunk driving accident. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, your attorney can file a civil lawsuit and litigate your case. Contrarily, if you’re offered fair compensation, and you and your lawyer agree on the amount, it’s natural to settle.

Start by negotiating a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. File a third-party claim against the drunk driver’s car insurance carrier to let them know you seek full compensation for injuries and losses resulting from the accident and see what they offer.

It’s helpful when making your decision to know of prior DUI or DWI convictions against the insured driver. Insurance companies recognize that a lawsuit against someone with a record can be more difficult and costly for them, which may factor into the injury settlement they’re willing to provide.

No matter where you are in the process, speak to a lawyer before agreeing to any offers of compensation.

Our Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys in San Antonio

If you’ve sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a San Antonio drunk driving accident, you shouldn’t settle before understanding how much compensation you’re entitled to.

Led by Dr. Louis Patino, a former U.S. Army veteran who served as a combat medic during the Gulf War era and an experienced personal injury lawyer, Patino Law Firm will fight to protect your legal rights. Don’t hesitate to call us today!

To book a free, no-obligation appointment with our team, call 855-LAW-NINJA, contact us online, or pop into our office.

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