Memphis Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Memphis is known as the Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, and for a good reason. It is a city with a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. Beale Street is often packed with tourists and residents looking for a fun night out on the town. From Midtown to East Memphis, bars and restaurants host various patrons looking to unwind and let loose. Tourists often head to Alex’s Tavern, one of the oldest taverns in Memphis, to grab a burger and a beer at 4 am.
Unfortunately, this active nightlife and bar scene has its drawbacks. Drunk driving in Memphis is a serious issue and affects thousands of residents and tourists each year. If you suffer an injury in a drunk driving accident in Memphis, you will need an experienced and skilled team of Memphis drunk driving accident lawyers on your side.
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our injury lawyers know the complexities of drunk driving accidents. We know that the police care about the criminal aspects of the accident. We know that insurance companies care about protecting their bottom line. Who cares about you and your needs during this time? We do.
Our attorneys know how to hold negligent and irresponsible drunk drivers accountable for the harm they’ve caused. We help injured auto accident victims seek full and complete compensation so that they can put their lives back together after a serious drunk driving crash.
In Memphis and throughout the state of Tennessee, all drivers who operate their vehicles with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08 or greater are guilty of drunk driving. When a drunk driving accident occurs, the police will arrive at the scene of the accident. They will likely arrest the drunk driver and file charges against them as their primary focus. While they will also complete a police report and document the accident, it is your job to file a claim if you wish to collect compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
An experienced drunk driving attorney in Memphis can help you seek justice. While you focus on your recovery, your lawyer can build your case, negotiate with insurers, and protect your rights.
It is important to know that it is also illegal to drive impaired in any way. A driver may not be drunk, but they could be under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. These types of accidents may be more challenging to negotiate and litigate. Much of your case will depend on the police’s report, the toxicology reports, eyewitness accounts, and the behavior and mannerisms of the intoxicated driver.
Many injured individuals want to know if they have a case. After a drunk driving crash, most accident victims will have a lawsuit against the driver. Even if they are partly to blame for the crash, the drunk driver is also to blame. In Memphis, as long as you are less than 50% to blame for the accident, you can collect and seek damages.
If you are uncertain if you have a case, it is essential to speak to an experienced Memphis drunk driving lawyer immediately. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we can review the details of your accident and determine if you can file a claim or a lawsuit. We may ask you a series of questions, including:
- Was the other driver negligent at the time of the accident? Yes, if they were driving drunk, then they exhibited negligence and even reckless behavior.
- Did the other driver owe you a duty of care? Yes, all drivers on Tennessee roads owe other drivers a duty of care. This includes driving responsibly and safely.
- Did the other driver cause you harm? If you suffered injuries as a result of the accident, then the driver caused you harm.
- Did you suffer damages? In most accidents, drivers and passengers suffer damages. These damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Rehabilitation costs
If a drunk driver hit you, you might not know what to do next. However, the steps you take after the accident can have a significant impact on your case. After you suffer injury in a drunk driving accident in Memphis, take the following steps:
- Call 911 to alert the police and emergency medical teams to the crash
- Seek medical attention
- Get the other driver’s contact information and insurance information
- Get eyewitness information
- Take photos of the crash and accident scene
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan carefully
- Keep a journal of your recovery. Include pain and suffering in the journal
- Notify your insurance company and your employer
- Keep all receipts and medical bills
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible
- Do not give a recorded statement
- Never sign anything without talking to your lawyer first
After your Memphis drunk driving accident, you may wonder who is to blame for your crash and your injuries. Your drunk driving attorney will be able to establish liability and help you pursue compensation after your accident.
The most obvious person responsible is the drunk driver. They broke the law and drove with a BAC over the legal limit. As such, they can – and should – be held accountable.
Tennessee follows a comparative fault law. This means that the court distributes damages based on your degree of fault. In a drunk driving accident, the drunk driver is likely to be mostly to blame. However, if you are more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, then you cannot collect damages.
What About Other Liable Parties?
The drunk driver may not be the only party responsible for your accident. In Tennessee, a third party can be found liable for the accident if they recklessly supplied an intoxicated driver with alcohol. This is known as a dram shop liability law. Section 57-10-102 of the Tennessee Code outlines the dram shop liability law. If a vendor sold an already intoxicated patron alcohol or to someone under the age of 21, then they can be held liable for the accident.
The benefit of this law is that restaurants and bars traditionally have more significant liability policies. So injured accident victims may be able to collect significantly more compensation if the bar or tavern acted negligently.
For example, if you rear-ended a drunk driver stopped at a stoplight, you would be responsible for the accident and the damages. This is true even if the driver faces criminal consequences for driving impaired.
According to the CDC, drunk driving continues to be a problem across the United States. In one recent year, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes. This accounted for 28 percent of all traffic deaths in the U.S. 17 percent of all car accident deaths in children 0-14 years old were caused by a drunk driver.
Even worse, a recent study reported that 111 million adults admitted to driving impaired in a current year. That same year only 1 million drivers were arrested for drunk driving. That means 99 percent of drunk drivers are never caught.
In Tennessee, drunk drivers are responsible for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities. In Shelby County, more people die in car accidents here than in any other county in the state. It also accounts for the most drunk driving fatalities in the state.
In Memphis, drunk driving accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for the injuries and damages they suffered. This includes both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses that are easy to quantify with receipts, bills, and records. Those include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Long-term care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
Non-economic damages are subjective and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional distress
In rare cases, accident victims can seek punitive damages to punish the drunk driver for their actions. The state of Tennessee does allow punitive damages. However, there may be caps on the compensation you can receive. The laws in Tennessee are constantly changing, however. As such, it is best to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton.
Drunk driving cases in Memphis are complex and often involve many aspects. These cases must be investigated carefully. Toxicology and BAC reports must be obtained and police records examined. While the police focus on the criminal elements of the case, you need someone on your side focused on getting you the compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies often low-ball injured drunk driving accident victims. Their main goal is to pay you as little as possible. You need someone who can push back against these tactics and fight aggressively for your rights and future.
Why Choose Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton?
Our Memphis injury lawyers have helped injured drunk drivers for decades. We care about our clients and help them seek justice after a serious accident. We have experience helping injured accident victims in both Tennessee and Arkansas. As such, you can rest easier knowing you have a dedicated team of injury attorneys on your side no matter where your injury occurred.
We have over 30 attorneys ready to assist you through this difficult time. Our lawyers have won drunk driving accident cases and we can put this experience to work for you. After a Memphis drunk driving accident, you deserve to have a winning team on your side.
We Serve Memphis
From Lakeland and Germantown to Southaven, our Memphis drunk driving accident attorneys are here to help you. We know the most dangerous locations in Memphis where drunk driving accidents occur, including intersections near Beale Street and other tourist locations. We also know if you are tourists you might face uphill battles when trying to handle insurance claims in other states. That is why we work tirelessly for all injured accident victims.
If you suffered an injury in a drunk driving accident anywhere in Memphis, we can help. You are not alone.
With offices in Arkansas and Tennessee —our Memphis personal injury lawyers are here to help you no matter where you suffer an injury. Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton drunk driving accident lawyers today.
Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 767-4815 and tell us your story. We offer FREE consultations in person or over the phone to better assist you. You have nothing to lose! Call us today!