Anderson Injury Lawyers | November 21, 2023 | Car Accidents
DUI accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths for innocent victims. Police agencies throughout Texas enforce drunk driving laws. DUI checkpoints are used to identify drunk drivers and remove them from the road before they can cause a crash. However, are Dallas DUI checkpoints legal?
What Is a DUI Checkpoint in Dallas?
Driving under the influence is illegal in Texas. DUI checkpoints are used to identify drunk drivers and charge them with driving under the influence. These checkpoints are also referred to as sobriety checkpoints.
Officers set up checkpoints along roads where there is a high probability of drunk driving. The officers pull over vehicles in a set pattern. They briefly observe a driver and ask them questions.
If the officer suspects the driver is intoxicated, the officer asks the driver to pull over to another location for a DUI investigation. The police officer may ask the driver to take field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer.
Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Dallas, TX?
DUI checkpoints are controversial. Many people argue that DUI checkpoints violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Many states allow DUI checkpoints provided the police officers follow strict rules for conducting sobriety checkpoints. However, the Texas Court of Appeals ruled that DUI checkpoints are illegal in Texas.
Who Is Responsible for Damages Caused by a DUI Accident in Dallas, TX?
Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents. If a driver causes a car crash, the driver can be held financially liable for the victim’s damages. Therefore, if a drunk driver causes a car accident, the drunk driver is responsible for damages.
Intoxication alone is not proof that a driver caused a car crash. There must be evidence that proves the driver’s conduct was the direct and proximate cause of the collision. However, there could be a presumption that the driver was negligent because they were driving while intoxicated at the time of the accident.
A Dallas DUI accident lawyer can help you gather evidence proving a drunk driver caused your car accident.
Evidence used to prove fault in a DUI accident case includes:
- Police reports and traffic crash reports
- Photographs and evidence from the accident scene
- Statements made by the drivers and passengers
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Medical records for the accident victims
- Eyewitness statements
- Opinions of expert witnesses, including accident reconstructionists
- Data collected from vehicle recording systems
You could recover compensation for your damages if you prove that the drunk driver caused the accident. The driver’s liability insurance company may be responsible for paying the damages.
You could also sue the drunk driver for damages. A civil claim or lawsuit is separate from any criminal charges against the driver.
What Damages Could I Receive for a DUI Accident Claim in Dallas, TX?
When a person is injured in a car accident, they may incur substantial financial expenses. The injured person may also experience devastating pain and suffering.
Examples of damages in a DUI accident case include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitative care
- Nursing and/or personal care
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life and decreased quality of life
- Impairment and disability
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
A victim may also receive punitive damages in a DUI accident lawsuit. The jurors must find that the driver acted with malice, gross negligence, or fraud in causing the car accident. Punitive damages may be awarded in a few lawsuits, including DUI accident cases.
What Should I Do if a Drunk Driver Hits Me in Dallas, TX?
Call 911 to report the car crash and request assistance. If you suspect the driver is intoxicated, you can inform the emergency operator so they can notify the police officers. However, do not confront the driver at the accident scene because intoxicated individuals can have unpredictable behavior.
If there are witnesses, ask them for their names and contact information. They may have witnessed the driver’s conduct before and during the crash. This can help prove the driver was responsible for causing the accident. Take photos of each vehicle and make a video of the accident scene.
Do not refuse medical care, and follow up with your doctor as soon as possible. Contact a Dallas DUI accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and how you can seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Texas
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our car accident lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.