Many people contact a personal injury attorney after a car accident. Knowing legal options and responsibilities after a collision with a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol is especially crucial to ensure that all rights are preserved and that any injuries and property damage are fully covered and compensated.
A car accident that involves a drunk driver gives other drivers a variety of legal options for compensation. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the offender will more than likely result in compensation for injuries stemming from the crash. However, the state in which the accident occurred will determine the best course of action, because some states have “no fault” car insurance laws. This means that regardless of the cause of a collision or the fault of individual drivers, each driver’s insurance company must pay some or all of their resulting medical bills and lost earnings. Some states impose a limit on these payments, while others do not.
Most states also impose a provision that prohibits claimants from seeking pain and suffering compensation against a negligent driver unless medical bills reach a specific dollar value or an injury meets the state’s definition of “serious injuries.”
A personal injury attorney can assist a party to determine how to recover damages. Instead of filing a lawsuit, the attorney may file a third-party claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company to recover full compensation for injuries and property loss as a result of the collision. Many insurance companies will respond to this claim with an offer for a sizable settlement. If the negligent driver has a history of DUI convictions, a company may be even more likely to offer an attractive settlement to avoid a potential lawsuit.
Every case has specific factors that will determine its resolution. Consulting a personal injury attorney helps educate drivers so that they know their legal options beforehand.