When Is a Drunk Driver Not at Fault in an Accident?
- posted: Jun. 06, 2022
If you’re injured in a car accident and the other driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, it may seem like that driver will automatically be held responsible for the car crash, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While it is likely a drunk driver will face criminal charges following a car accident, they might not be required to pay you financial compensation unless it is proved that they caused the accident.
For car accident cases, the most important part is determining which driver was at fault. Whoever is found to be at fault for the accident is then responsible for covering the financial damages of the accident. This includes paying for any medical bills or car repair costs the other party has related to the accident.
There are three main factors to establish fault: duty of care, breach and causation.
If you’ve been in a car accident with a drunk driver, the duty and breach elements to establish fault will be satisfied because Texas has a negligence per se law. Negligence per se means the duty of care is automatically breached because the other person was violating the law by driving drunk.
Causation is the only factor left to show. However, just because someone was driving while intoxicated doesn’t necessarily mean they were the cause of the accident. For example, if one party runs a red light and crashes into a drunk driver, the drunk driver will probably not be found to be the primary cause of the accident. Even though they will face criminal charges including DUI, their intoxication had less to do with the car accident than the other party’s traffic violation in this case.
Determining fault in an accident with a drunk driver can be confusing in certain cases. However, working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help make the process more manageable.
Leland Reinhard Law Firm, located in Cleburne, Texas, represents people who have been injured in accidents involving drunk drivers. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call 817-645-5400 or contact the firm online.