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Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accidents > Determining Liability In A DUI Accident

Determining Liability In A DUI Accident


Alcohol consumption is part of the culture in Nashville, especially with the city’s thriving downtown entertainment center. When a person drinks and gets behind the wheel, the results for those injured in a DUI car accident can be devastating. One important element of an injury claim after a DUI crash is determining everyone that shares fault for the accident, and the experienced personal injury lawyers at Mitch Grissim & Associates are here to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation of your case.

First Party Liability

In most cases of suspected drunk driving, the driver of the vehicle will be held liable for any injuries that result from the crash. Not only can the driver be held civilly liable for injuries, but they may also face criminal charges, as well. In order to prove that a driver was drunk when they caused an accident, the following evidence can be compelling proof of their intoxication at the time of the crash:

  • Failed field sobriety tests
  • Failed chemical (blood or urine) test
  • Witness testimony of erratic pre-crash driving
  • Physical signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, etc.
  • The driver’s own statements admitting alcohol consumption prior to the accident, and
  • A reconstruction of the driver’s schedule in the hours leading up to the accident.

However, depending on the circumstances of the case there may be other parties that share in the liability for a drunk driving accident.

Third Party Liability

Third party liability in Tennessee DUI accidents holds other parties partially liable for this type of accident if they contributed to the intoxication of the driver. Known as dram shop laws, third party liability can be incredibly important in a DUI crash case if the driver’s auto insurance coverage is not enough to cover the costs of the injury victim’s claim. This is particularly true in Tennessee, which has some of the lowest required minimums for auto insurance in the country.

Dram shop laws apply to bars, saloons, restaurants, and other alcohol providers if one of the following situations occurred:

  • The customer/driver was under the age of 21 years old, or
  • The vendor provided alcohol to someone who was obviously already intoxicated, and
  • That alcohol consumption directly related to the DUI accident.

Compensation for DUI Accident Claims

Compensation from first and third parties held liable for a DUI accident include damages for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of future income and benefits, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. To learn more about what your claim might be worth after a crash involving a drunk driver, talk to our office today.

Talk to Mitch Grissim & Associates Today

The injuries caused by a drunk driver can be catastrophic for injury victims, and the knowledgeable Nashville personal injury lawyers at Mitch Grissim & Associates are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your case now.

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