Drunk driving accidents are different from other kinds of personal injury car accidents that we see. This is due to the fact that driving under the influence of any substance is illegal. Injuries that are caused by a drunk driving incident are generally the subject of civil suits. While it is true that drunk drivers can face criminal charges, they can also face civil liability if their victims sue them. You should know, as the victim of a drunk driving accident, you have rights. The criminal proceedings are set up to protect the general public from any future harm. This is done by acting as a deterrent to drunk driving, as well as to act as a punishment for acting in a negligent and reckless manner.
The only time a drunk driver can face criminal prosecution is if there are no injuries in the accident. If you suffer from injuries in an accident, you can file a civil suit. Civil cases usually come about when there has been a serious enough injury or death due to the reckless behavior of the drunk driver. Suffering from injuries due to a drunk driver, your only option would be to file a civil suit. This is done so you can recover damages that include medical treatments, lost wages, property damage, etc.
What if I am hit by a drunk driver?
Living in the California, you are able to sue a drunk driver for the injuries you sustained. When it comes to personal injury suits with a drunk driver involved, you will need to prove fault. This is as you would with any other civil suit (personal injury suit). Insurance companies have spent a great deal of time and money defending drunk driving cases and making sure that they are not paying you what you deserve for your injuries.
Following your accident, the other party’s insurance company will contact you in order to offer you a certain amount of money as a settlement. This is in an effort to quickly resolve any claim you might have against their driver. We strongly recommend that you hire a personal injury attorney who will be able to deal with the insurance companies. A lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys will be able to not only walk you through the claims process, but will be with you every step of the way. We do not want you to settle for something that is less than what you truly deserve.
Pursuing a Drunk Driving Case
If you are hit and suffer from injuries due to a drunk driver, you have every right to file a claim. Your personal injury attorney will prepare a settlement that will detail what you are to receive for any injuries, losses, damages, etc. These demands may include things like the following:
- Property damage that includes personal property in the vehicle that may have been damaged due to the accident;
- Any medical bills for treatment that you have received due to the accident – this includes any future medical treatments/long-term care;
- Loss of wages and earning capacity – this also includes any future potential earnings;
- Compensation for permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, etc.;
- Expenses having to do with the loss of a loved one (or for your estate) due to the accident
- funeral, cremation, burial expenses, mental anguish, etc.;
- Quality of life diminished;
- Compensation for pain and suffering;
- Other necessary and relevant out-of-pocket expenses that are due to the accident;
- Punitive damages.
Each and every drunk driving case is different and compensation will differ with each case and its severity. Your attorney will be diligent in gathering all of the information and evidence in order to maximize your settlement.
Unfortunately it is up to you to prove that the drunk driver is the cause of the accident. Even if they are facing charges, you need to prove to the court that your injuries are a result of their carelessness. This will help your case tremendously. Not only being able to prove the other party’s negligence but you are more likely to receive a larger settlement. Unfortunately, only showing that the driver was drunk will not be sufficient evidence to prove that they are at-fault. If you are unable to prove that their actions are what caused your injuries, the driver’s insurance company may end up rejecting your claim. They do this in order to avoid paying a large settlement.
The most important thing to do is to focus on your recovery in an accident. If you are suffering from injuries due to a drunk driver, please do not hesitate to contact our office. An attorney will be more than happy to discuss your case. Consultations are free.