It is surprising that anyone in the Houston area would drive while intoxicated by drugs, alcohol, or some combination of the two.
There have been so many public service campaigns and law enforcement efforts over the years that the average Texan now should know that drunk or drugged driving is both extremely dangerous and completely unnecessary.
Sadly, there are still way too many accidents caused by drunk drivers which leave innocently people seriously injured or dead.
Victims of these accidents may sue for compensation just like any car accident victim. Obviously, drunk or drugged driving is negligent behavior, so a drunk driver should be responsible for medical bills, lost wages and other losses.
However, thankfully, Texas law realizes that this compensation simply is not good enough in the case of drunk driving.
Like other states, Texas allows a jury to impose exemplary damages, sometimes called punitive damages, on drunk or drugged drivers. As the name implies, courts award exemplary damages just to reinforce to the irresponsible driver, and the public, that drunk or drugged driving is intolerable.
While Texas generally limits the amount of punitive damages a court can award to a victim, in some drunk driving cases, these limits may not apply.
Sometimes, recovering money from a drunk driver can be difficult
Unfortunately, victims may receive an award for damages only to discover that the driver has very few assets, no income prospects and either no or very little automobile insurance.
In these cases, the victims may have to pursue other avenues for compensation. They might, for example, be able to file a claim with their own insurance company for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.
Depending on the circumstances, other people or businesses may also be legally responsible for the accident. A victim faced with these circumstances should evaluate all of his or her legal options carefully.