Car Accidents Caused by an Underage Drunk Driver: Your Legal Options
Whenever there are accidents with cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles, people may be able file a lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle, if the driver acted negligently and should be held liable for their reckless actions.
Yet the notion of liability can be a little more complicated if the driver of the vehicle is intoxicated and younger than 21.
The attorneys at our Longview, TX, law firm would like to consider your legal options after getting hit by an underage driver. As you’ll learn, the issue can be much more complicated than you think.
You May Be Able to File a Lawsuit and Seek Damages
Since the other driver was intoxicated while operating a vehicle, you will likely be able to file a lawsuit against them for their negligent behavior. This is especially true if their BAC at the time of the crash exceeds the legal limit of .08.
Keep in mind that drivers under the age of 21 can only have a BAC of .01, so the mere presence of alcohol in their system is illegal.
Who Can I File a Lawsuit Against?
When it comes to who you can sue for causing a car accident, it’s crucial to note the age of the driver at the time of the crash as well as the circumstances that led up to the collision. The legal team at our Longview law firm will review each of these in detail when determining if you have a case and what steps you should take next.
Why the Age of the Driver Matters
If the driver is under the age of 18, their parent or guardian will likely be responsible for their behavior. This is because the driver is not legally considered an adult.
If the driver is 18 or older but drinks before they are 21, they can be sued directly. In these cases, the driver is legally an adult but is not legally permitted to drink alcohol.
Yet these circumstances get more complicated when we consider the events leading up to the crash.
Why the Circumstances of the Crash Matter
If an underage drunk driver got behind the wheel of their own volition, the situation seems pretty cut and dry.
But say that the underage driver was served alcohol at a bar or at a private party. These are situations in which dram shop liability and social host liability may come into play, respectively. In these third-party liability cases, the establishment or individual who served the underage person alcohol could be held responsible for the crash.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Assessing liability is not easy, and it requires proper investigation and a careful analysis of available evidence and witness testimony.
By hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer or wrongful death attorney, you can trust the expertise of legal professionals in this meticulous process. As you focus on recovery and healing, your legal representative can use their resources to build a case. They will also be able to negotiate a fair settlement or fight for damages in court.
Contact Our Law Firm for Legal Guidance
If you were hit by an underage drunk driver, contact our law office in Longview, TX. Do not delay, contact our legal team today.