Tennessee Drunk Driving Lawyer

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Drunk driving accidents are a serious problem for Tennessee residents.

In 2019, the state saw 290 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities or about one-quarter of all driving fatalities. Between 2009 and 2018, 2,663 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Tennessee, and even more people suffered injuries.

If you’ve been hurt by a drunk driver, you may be dealing with physical pain, medical debt, a totaled car, and a lot of missed time at work. Sure, the drunk driver may have been arrested, but that doesn’t help pay your bills.

Fortunately, a Tennessee drunk driving lawyer can help in this situation. There are options for pursuing a civil claim against the driver who hit you to recover compensation for your damages, starting with making an insurance claim.

You may also sue the drunk driver directly. There may also be additional options depending on your situation, and the best way to learn about them is to consult a Tennessee car accident lawyer.A drunk driver holding a beer bottle in his hand while driving down the highway.

Count On Our Experienced Tennessee Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Ali Awad, the founder and managing attorney at The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, is experienced in seeking compensation for clients after drunk driving crashes. Known as “The CEO Lawyer,” Mr. Awad has grown from a small law firm to an 8-figure firm in only three years.

In fact, his firm was voted the fastest-growing law firm in the United States, beating out 499 others in 2021. The CEO Lawyer has more than a million followers on social media, where he delivers timely and engaging legal advice.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to call Ali Awad for a no-obligation consultation of your case. The CEO lawyer and his team work for you on a contingency basis, so they don’t get paid unless and until you do.

There is no risk in calling (423) 777-8888 to discuss the details of your case. Until then, here are the answers to some common questions about drunk driving accident claims:

Why Are Drunk Drivers So Destructive?

Any motor vehicle accident can result in serious injury or death, but impaired driving crashes are particularly dangerous for several reasons:

  • Drunk drivers can be erratic. Alcohol consumption impairs judgment, and drivers may make snap decisions without regard for safety. Impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions may also mean that a driver is more likely to speed or ignore other traffic laws.
  • Alcohol slows reaction time and reflexes in the event of a problem. A sober driver might make a mistake, but they will also be able to react quickly to try to correct it. An intoxicated driver is much less able to do this and may not even realize they need to slow down or try to correct course.

The Drunk Driver’s Car Insurance Should Take Care Of My Bills, Right?

Ordinarily, yes. We start most car insurance cases by making a claim on the at-fault driver’s insurance.

However, most insurers have clauses about not covering “intentional acts,” and they usually consider driving drunk “intentional” since it’s generally well-known that impaired driving is dangerous. So, the at-fault driver’s policy is unlikely to pay your claim in this particular situation. However, there are other options:

  • You can sue the drunk driver directly.
  • If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance, this may cover your bills up to the limits of your policy.
  • In certain situations, you may be able to sue a bar or restaurant that overserved an intoxicated patron who then drove drunk under Tennessee’s dram shop laws. For this to be an option, the establishment must have sold alcohol either to someone younger than 21 or to someone who was already “visibly intoxicated,” and the alcohol must be found to be a direct cause of your injury.

What If The Drunk Driver Didn’t Go To Jail, Can I Still Sue Them?

Yes. Criminal courts and civil courts have different burdens of proof.

In a criminal court, a jury has to find a defendant guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” or find them not guilty. In civil court, the jury only has to find the defendant is more likely guilty than not, based on a “preponderance of evidence.”

In other words, if there is slightly more evidence that the defendant is guilty, they should find the defendant guilty. For this reason, it’s much easier to win a civil case than a criminal case against a drunk driver.

There are also many reasons why the charges against an impaired driver might be dropped before trial. In some cases, the driver’s defense attorney may notice the police made some procedural error in handling evidence or some other aspect of the case.

For example, maybe the officers failed to maintain their breathalyzer equipment according to guidelines or improperly handled blood samples. If the prosecuting attorney realizes that their case is likely to fall apart due to this kind of error, there’s a good chance they will drop the charges.

Alternatively, the defense lawyer may ask the judge to dismiss the charges based on a lack of admissible evidence, and the judge may agree. Neither situation means that the driver in question wasn’t driving drunk; rather, it simply means that there isn’t enough evidence to prove the driver’s intoxication in a criminal court.

Again, less proof is required in civil court, and your lawyer’s investigation team may be able to find more evidence against the other driver. Additionally, it may not be necessary to prove the driver was even intoxicated.

If you can prove they acted negligently by driving in an unsafe, reckless, or illegal manner, you can still seek damages for your injuries, whether or not you can prove intoxication.

What Is Comparative Fault and Will It Hurt My Drunk Driving Claim?

Tennessee is a “comparative fault” state for personal injury claims like car accidents. Comparative fault is a system where each party is assigned a percentage of fault in a personal injury case.

This can be “0” and “100” percent, but isn’t always. In many cases, one driver is mostly at fault, but the other contributed in some way. A party who was less than 50 percent at fault can seek compensation from the party who was more than 50 percent at fault, but the recovery will be docked by the amount they were at fault.

So, if you were 10 percent at fault in an accident, your award would be reduced by 10 percent.

If you are suing the other driver directly, their attorney is going to do everything they can to either get them off the hook for paying anything or reduce how much they have to pay. To the second point, the other driver’s lawyer might argue that you were partially at fault for one reason or another.

Having an experienced drunk driving attorney on your side can help you fight against these claims so you can keep as much of your compensation as possible.

How Much Is My Drunk Driving Claim Worth?

Your attorney will be able to help you figure out the answer to this question, as it varies depending on the case. In general, your lawyer will look at all these factors when considering the amount of compensation you should seek:

  • Your actual, current bills related to the crash. This includes any medical expenses, from hospital bills to imaging costs to physical therapy. Your attorney will make sure you don’t forget anything, like in-home care, outpatient therapy, mobility aids, and other out-of-pocket costs.
  • Future costs. If you need ongoing care for your injuries, this should be considered as well.
  • The severity of your injuries. Your lawyer will take into account how serious your injuries were, how long it took you to recover, your physical and emotional pain and suffering, and any permanent damage or disability you suffered as a result.
  • The likelihood you will be assigned some degree of fault. Your attorney will do the best they can to refute claims that you contributed to the accident, but if there is a lot of evidence to the contrary, your claim may be worth a little less.

Call Our Tennessee Drunk Driving Accident Law Firm To Get Justice

If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligent actions of an impaired driver, you should seek legal representation right away. Ali Awad, The CEO Lawyer, is an experienced negotiator who can work out a settlement with the other party or argue in court on your behalf.

In three short years, Ali Awad managed to transform a new personal injury law firm into an eight-figure company with some of the most experienced personal injury attorneys in Tennessee. These attorneys have more than twenty years of experience and a successful track record of over 99%.

The CEO Lawyer also has more than a million followers on social media who relate to his entertaining yet useful legal advice. If you have questions about your drunk driving accident, call the CEO Lawyer and his team now at (423) 777-8888 for a no-obligation consultation.

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