The scourge of drunk driving that continues to plague society is one that brings many problems for the victims and their loved ones. For those who have committed such offenses, the consequences can often be severe. Yet their actions and any remorse they express in the aftermath of such events don’t begin to compensate those that have been negatively affected by being hit by a drunk driver.
Individuals or their loved ones seeking justice due to an accident with a drunk driver can often fall victim to high-priced attorneys for insurance companies who want to avoid litigation or limit the just compensation for the injured person. Any offer from the insurance company with a suggestion of it being a fair offer usually doesn’t take into account all the circumstances surrounding the accident. There is a better chance of preventing the insurance company from making an unreasonable offer by considering some of the options below:
In the wake of an accident, there will be a police report in most instances. This report, written in the immediate aftermath of the accident, usually shows what took place, with many pertinent details helping explain the timeline of events. Determining estimated the speed of a car, the direction of travel helps show violations of the speed limit and provides documentation regarding a drunk driver’s negligent actions. Relevant factors help explain what took place, including the time of day, road conditions or other concerns will also be noted.
Contact All Relevant Insurance Companies
Following an accident with a drunk driver, make sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to make them aware of the situation. This is especially important if the drunk driver is either under-insured or has no insurance at all, due to the potentially extensive scope of your injuries or those of your loved ones. Assuming the drunk driver does have insurance, contact that company to make them aware that you’ll be filing a claim against their client’s policy. As noted, it’s imperative to avoid agreeing to or signing any document that might be offered at this stage. The reason is such offers can end up being woefully inadequate.
Prove the Drunk Driver’s Negligence
The mere fact that the case against the drunk driver that injured you or killed your loved one would seem to be a simple formality, those high-priced attorneys on the other side will do everything they can to attack your credibility. The insurance company’s ability to prove that you were jaywalking or using communication devices while driving may negatively affect the chances for proper compensation. That’s especially true if you don’t legal representatives that vigorously protect your rights.
While allowing the criminal justice system to pursue the case against a drunk driver is always the best course of action, be sure to keep close tabs on what’s taking place. Being in court for every step of the legal process for many people is often a challenge. However, staying in touch with the prosecutors on the case and expressing your wishes is always important. Insist upon being made aware of possible outcomes, since any plea bargains that are contrary to your wishes could end up negatively affecting future litigation.
Find Out Where the Driver was Served
During any discussion with prosecutors, make an effort to find where the accused became intoxicated before taking to the road. Discovering this information as soon as possible will serve you well in any future litigation since interviewing any witnesses often helps decide if the establishment in question may also be liable for over-serving the driver. Speed is important when it comes to interviews since memories can fade by the time any civil litigation comes to trial. Situations can occur that make those interviews impossible or otherwise not helpful. The search for any video evidence by way of security cameras can also be extremely helpful in making a claim.
Keep Track of Costs and Expenses
Attributing the expenses from being struck by a drunk driver includes viewing present and future circumstances from financial and emotional perspectives. In the case of the former, it’s important to document lost wages and save the bills directly related to this situation to provide clear evidence of its economic impact on you and your loved ones. This includes medical bills, costs related to property damage and compensation for the necessary changes made by you and your loved ones. Those medical bills might involve ongoing concerns or end up leaving emotionally devastating scars lasting the rest of the victim’s life. For those pursuing justice through a wrongful death claim for loved ones, be sure to include all funeral-related expenses.
Make Sure Your Rights are Fully Protected
While the number of drunk driving arrests in the United States has declined considerably over the past three decades, the lethal toll that such an event takes on victims and their loved ones remains outrageously unacceptable. The fact that 10,511 people lost their lives in 2018 as a result of drunk driver accidents offers stark evidence that this issue remains a major societal concern. In 2010, estimating the economic costs from drunk driving at $44 billion per year offers a jaw-dropping number, with the devastating emotional legacies stemming from these accidents delivering a very similar reaction.
Pursuing every legal avenue to get justice is what the Bodden and Bennett Law Group in Boynton Beach does for our clients. We’re personal injury lawyers fighting for people who have been hit by a drunk driver. Make sure to contact us today at 561-806-5229 or simply fill out our online form. We look forward to hearing from you.