Can You Get Punitive Damages if You’re Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident in Fayetteville, Georgia?

With the advent of Uber and other rideshare companies, there’s no excuse for anyone to drive drunk. Not that there ever really was. But, years ago, people would use the excuse that they couldn’t find a designated driver. Or, they’d say they thought they were okay to drive. These excuses don’t fly anymore, if they ever did.

If someone decides to get behind the wheel after driving, they’ll be held responsible for anything that happens. The reason drunk driving is illegal is because you can hurt yourself. But, more importantly, you can also hurt or kill innocent people. Because this behavior is so reckless, there’s a chance that the court would allow punitive damages.

If the other driver was charged and convicted of DUI, their insurance company will know it. They’ll get copies of the court papers. If this happens, they’ll know that their insured will more than likely be found liable in court. This will help your Fayetteville car crash attorney negotiate a good settlement. They don’t want to take their chances in court because they know a jury will be more sympathetic to the plaintiff.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced car accident attorney in Fayetteville as soon as possible after your crash. Of course, your first concern is making sure you’re okay. Once you’ve received medical treatment, call and schedule your free initial consultation.

What are Punitive Damages?

Punitive comes from the words “to punish.” These damages are designed to make someone pay for behaving in a reckless or careless manner. For example, if someone intentionally runs a pedestrian over, that would be considered reckless. The pedestrian in this case would probably be entitled to punitive damages.

In DUI cases, there’s also a good chance to recover punitive damages. The defendant made the decision to get behind the wheel after they were drinking. Nobody forced them to get in the car. They could’ve called someone for a ride. They could’ve ordered an Uber or Lyft. There was no reason for them to drive drunk.

One of the reasons the legal drinking age is twenty-one (21) is because legislators know that young people can’t make wise decisions. Unfortunately, a lot of people over 21 make poor decisions as well. If someone is going to make the decision to risk killing innocent people, they should expect to suffer the consequences.

Can Your Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer Prove Fault?

In order to get you any damages, your Fayetteville car accident lawyer will need to prove fault. One way they can do this is by submitting proof of the defendant’s DUI conviction. Even if they negotiated a plea deal, your lawyer will still submit a copy of the police report.

The police report, along with the video of the defendant’s arrest, will help prove your case. Almost all municipalities record the field sobriety test. If they have bodycams, the footage will show exactly how the defendant was behaving at the time of the accident. This will show the jury how intoxicated the other driver was.

How Much are Punitive Damages Worth?

Some states don’t allow you to demand punitive damages for a car accident case. Thankfully, Georgia isn’t one of them. In Georgia, you can collect punitive damages. However, there is a limit to how much you can get. The cap on punitive damages in Georgia is $250,000. Considering how serious your injuries were, your attorney may be able to get you the maximum amount.

In addition to punitive damages, you’ll also be allowed to collect compensatory damages. These are the damages that cover things like medical bills and lost wages. There is no cap on compensatory damages in Georgia.

Some of the damages your car accident lawyer in Fayetteville will demand includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability

Just keep in mind – your attorney can only get you damages for injuries you actually suffered. It’s their job to make you whole. It’s not their job to make you rich.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Fayetteville, Georgia Today

If you’re injured in a car accident in Fayetteville, you need to call an experienced personal injury law firm. Call Wade Law today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case. The defendant will have lawyers working for them and you should too.

View these other frequently asked questions pages:

Are Smartphones to Blame for Distracted Driving in Georgia?


Can Your Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Prove the Other Driver Was Speeding?


Can Insurance Companies Follow Me Around After a Car Accident in Georgia?