Do I Need An Attorney After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver?
Another driver that is under the influence of alcohol is one of the most dangerous things that you can experience while on the road. Even if you are driving cautiously and following every law, drunk drivers can intervene and cause serious damage to your body, mind and vehicle. During these especially difficult times, it can be tough to determine which steps to take next to get your life back on track. Here are some valuable tips that will help to secure necessary damages following a car crash caused by a drunk driver.
Is a Lawyer Necessary?
Since drunk driving is against the law, you have the legal right to pursue funds from the driver that caused the accident. To help you with the legal process, a trusted attorney with knowledge in the field of drunk driving accidents will typically get you the maximum compensation possible. Because California is a traditional fault state, the drunk driver that is responsible for the accident can be taken to court to face criminal and civil charges. Criminal charges protect the public from a repeat offense, while civil charges offer damages to the injured party.
The compensation, or damages, that you will receive from the accident can come in a few different types. Special damages will pay for out-of-pocket fees such as medical bills, lost income and other financial losses, while general damages are paid to compensate for physical and mental pain and suffering. Together, these are known as compensatory damages. Additionally, punitive damages can be offered to deter the drunk driver from putting people in danger in the future.
Should I Take the Settlement?
After the car accident, be prepared to receive a call from the drunk driver’s insurance company regarding a settlement. To avoid a lengthy and costly trial, many insurance companies will offer a monetary settlement just to get you off of their backs. Remember that the insurance company is not working for you and only has their best interests in mind. These insurers are looking pay you as little as possible, so make sure not to sign or agree to settle anything before talking to an accident attorney.
If the person who hit you does not have car insurance, you may be allowed to bring a claim against your own insurance company for damages. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you from people driving without insurance, offering financial assistance when the other party is driving uninsured.
Even if you feel like the settlement from the insurance company is appropriate, it is extremely important to meet with a qualified attorney to ensure that you are being properly compensated. Some expenses, such as future medical procedures and treatments, will not be factored into the insurance settlement. Only a lawyer with years of experience dealing with drunk drivers can guarantee the maximum possible compensation.
Life goes on following a horrific accident caused by a drunk driver. If you’re wondering what to do after being hit by a driver under the influence, you’re not alone. Remember that insurance companies don’t always have your best interest in mind, and it’s important to talk to someone you can trust. The lawyerss at the Law Offices of Robert L. Meissner are experienced in getting people who have been injured the compensation they deserve. Call (916) 473-1537 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.