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San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > How Can a DWI Charge Affect Damages After a Car Crash?

How Can a DWI Charge Affect Damages After a Car Crash?


Car accidents can be both financially and physically devastating. When someone else causes an accident by driving while impaired, it can be even more frustrating. Not only can drunk driving cause some of the most severe injuries, but it can also significantly impact the damages you receive. Below, our San Antonio car accident lawyer explains more.

How a Drunk Driving Charge Impacts Damages After a Car Accident 

There are many ways a charge of drunk driving can impact the compensation you receive after a crash. These are as follows:

  • Punitive damages: Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for your losses. Instead, they are intended to punish the negligent driver and deter them from acting in a similar manner in the future. Drunk driving is taken very seriously in Texas and so, punitive damages are more likely to be awarded when an impaired driver causes a crash.
  • Comparative negligence: The comparative negligence law in Texas can greatly reduce the amount of damages you receive if you contributed to an accident. Although you can still be found partly at fault after a drunk driving accident, it is more likely that the drunk driver will carry a much larger percentage of fault.
  • Criminal charges: Criminal and civil cases are separate from each other and the outcome of one will not necessarily impact another. Still, if the accused driver is convicted of drunk driving, you can raise the conviction as evidence that they were impaired and you deserve damages as a result.

How to Prove Drunk Driving After an Accident

 When filing a claim for compensation after being hit by a drunk driver, you must still prove your case. To do this you need strong evidence that supports your claim. In drunk driving cases, this can include:

  • Police report: You should always call the police after any accident, but this is particularly important when you have been hit by an impaired driver. The police report will include a description of how the crash occurred, and any charges or citations issued to the impaired driver.
  • Eyewitness testimony: Eyewitnesses can testify to the fact that the other driver seemed impaired, and provide other facts that support your claim.
  • Dash camera and body camera videos: These days, most police officers are wearing body cameras. The videos captured by these cameras can help show how intoxicated the other driver was and can record important statements by the drunk driver that can later be used against him to support your case. In most circumstances, the police department destroys the videos within ninety days of your crash if they do not receive a letter requesting preservation of this evidence or copies of these videos. So, it is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible following your crash.
  • Expert witness: Expert testimony can also help prove your case. For example, a toxicology expert can testify about the impact of drugs or alcohol on a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio for a Free Consultation

 Being injured by a drunk driver is extremely frustrating and you may not know what to do. At the Law Office of Israel Garcia, our San Antonio car accident lawyer can help you through the process and prove your case so you obtain a fair settlement. Call us today at 210-LAW-9999 or chat with us online to schedule a free review of your case with our experienced attorney and to get the legal help you need.



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