Driving drunk, or even under the influence of any alcohol, is a choice – and an illegal one. People who should know better and who often simply choose selfish convenience at the risk of everyone they encounter on the road deserve to be held responsible for the pain, suffering, and damage they too often cause.
At the law office of Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we represent clients in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi who have been injured by the irresponsible choices of drunk drivers or who have tragically lost a loved one in DUI-related accidents.
Schedule a free consultation with a Memphis personal injury lawyer when you contact our office to discuss your legal options for financial recovery.
Getting Results for DUI Accident Victims
We have the experience to get results. Whether you are facing months of lost wages, a lifetime of disability, or the wrongful death of someone you love, we work to hold drunk drivers accountable for their choice and insurance companies responsible for the benefits they owe. Our drunk driving accident lawyers in Memphis do not back down from your fight, and we put decades of proven success in and out of the courtroom behind you.
Our drunk driving accident attorneys in Memphis fight on the side of drunk driving accident victims who have been injured in every type of vehicle accident, including those involving traditional passenger cars, as well as those injured in truck accidents, bus accident, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
We have built a nearly 50-year reputation for getting results in and out of the courtroom. We are unwavering trial lawyers who fight on the side of the Tri-State area’s injured. If you have been injured, disabled, or lost a loved one to a fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver, we can help you fight for your rights and hold the right people accountable.
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Making Drunk Drivers Pay for the Pain They Cause
Driving under the influence of any alcohol, especially an amount that raises your blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, can impair drivers’ judgments, slow their reaction time, impede their vision, and dull their senses.
When just a moment’s distraction can lead to a catastrophic crash, you and your family have every right to hold people responsible for careless and often illegal choices that have led to serious injury or wrongful death.
Did you know:
- Each day, people drive drunk more than 300,000 times, but only about 3,200 are arrested.
- Every day in America, another 27 people die as a result of drunk driving.
- On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
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Establishing Liability in a Memphis Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Although drunk drivers are most commonly held accountable for drunk driving accident claims, it is important to remember that drunk drivers are not the only party they can share fault for a victim’s injuries.
Local dram shops are establishments like retail shops or restaurants that serve or sell alcohol. If these dram shops sell or serve alcohol to someone who is already under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that party then causes a collision, the dram shop can be held accountable for the victim’s injuries.
Your Memphis drunk driving accident attorney will need to conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of your truck driving accident to build a compelling case against those responsible.
Evidence to Prove Fault
The burden of proof in civil drunk driving accident claims is much different than it is in criminal court. The state’s prosecuting attorney will need to prove the drunk driver is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if they help to obtain a criminal conviction for drunk driving.
However, when your attorney pursues your civil drug driving accident claim in Memphis, the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence. Here, your lawyer will be responsible for showing the defendant is more likely than not at fault for your injuries through the evidence presented in court.
Some of the more common types of evidence used to prove liability in a Memphis drunk driving accident claim include:
- Police reports
- Safety inspection reports
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Injury reconstructionist reports
- Safety locks
- Maintenance records
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photographs of any injuries
- Video footage of the accident
- Cell phone records
- Chemical blood alcohol test results
- Expert witnesses
- Eyewitness testimony
- Blackbox data
- Medical records
- Financial statements
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How do Drunk Driving Accident Claims Work in Memphis?
Drunk driving accident claims can often be overwhelming. After everything you have been through, you may be hesitant to call a lawyer for help. Fortunately, when you retain legal representation, your attorney can handle the legal details of your case so you can focus on healing from your injuries.
With that in mind, you may feel empowered to pursue your case once you understand how the drunk driving accident claims process works. It is important to remember that each drunk driving accident claim is different. What works for one family may not work for yours.
Fortunately, our team will tailor our approach to your case to meet your specific things. With that in mind, here is a basic idea of what you can expect from the drunk driving accident claims process in Memphis:
- Your attorney will open up an investigation into the cause of your accident to establish liability
- Your lawyer will go over all of the ways your life has been affected by your injuries to quantify your damages and calculate the value of your drunk driving accident claim
- Next, we will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company and be prepared to negotiate for a fair and reasonable settlement
- If an insurance settlement is not enough to cover your damages in full, your attorney will be prepared to bring their case to court, where you can get the most out of your claim
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What to Expect from the Insurance Company
Filing a claim with the insurance company is one of the top ways car accident victims recover compensation for their damages. However, if you were injured in a drunk driving accident, dealing with the insurance company is going to be far more difficult than you thought. Although Tennessee is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes, when the liable driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, the insurance company is more likely to argue they are not obligated to cover your damages.
Some insurance companies will attempt to avoid liability by arguing that their claims are not active or valid if the driver is drunk at the time of the accident. Your attorney will need to negotiate with the insurance company and review policy details in-depth to ensure the insurance company is held accountable for its financial obligation. However, keep in mind that an insurance settlement is unlikely to cover your damages in full.
Insurance settlements are based on the type and the amount of coverage purchased by the policyholder. Under Tennessee auto insurance laws, drivers are required to purchase a minimum of $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage and $15,000 and property damage liability coverage. If your medical expenses or property damages exceed the limits of a drunk driver who only purchased the minimum amount required by law, expect to have remaining damages not covered by the insurance company.
You should also expect the insurance company to attempt to take advantage of you. They will try to reduce your benefits, blame you for causing the accident, or even delay the processing of your claim if it means saving that money. Your attorney will be by your side and prepared to handle the insurance company‘s tactics no matter what they may be.
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Deadlines for Drunk Driving Accident Claims
As you move forward with your civil drunk driving accident claim in Memphis, it is important to get your claim filed before the one-year statute of limitations expires. Tennessee law only allows for a maximum of one year to pass before this deadline.
If your claim is not filed before the statute of limitations runs out, you will no longer have the opportunity to have your case heard in the Memphis civil court system. You can take steps to protect your ability to recover compensation for your damages by contacting an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer for help.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Memphis for Help Today
If you have suffered debilitating or critical injuries caused by a drunk driver, you may have the right to financial compensation. By working with an experienced Memphis drunk driving accident lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, you do not pay legal fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you call our office or fill out our convenient contact form.