What to Do After You’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Driver

Car Accident Lawyer

It’s something no one should do, and yet all too often car accidents occur because someone is driving drunk. Even worse, as the victim, you may incur serious injuries, property damage and a load of extra costs and bills that you were never prepared to pay. This might leave you wondering what to do next, how to pay off those expenses and how to move forward after your life has been so drastically altered by the carelessness of another. If you’ve been injured, you have several options, but they vary depending on what state you live in.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Simply filing a claim with the drunk driver’s insurance can usually get you the greatest settlement without much fuss, but don’t settle with them prematurely. In an attempt to pay the least amount of money possible, an insurance company may try to settle quickly for a small amount or have you sign a release of liability that says they won’t have to pay any more damages, even if more severe injuries appear later. It’s best to hold out until you are fully aware of the repercussions of the accident and have a final tally of what it has cost you. This can also provide ample time for the other driver to be convicted of a DUI, which will help your case immensely should you decide to sue them for your injuries.

Filing a Lawsuit

Your ability to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver depends on the state you live in. If you live in a pure negligence state, you can file a personal injury suit against the faulty driver; you simply have to prove that they were at fault due to negligence, which becomes much easier if they have already been convicted of a DUI.

In twelve states, this process becomes more difficult, as they are “no-fault” states, meaning you cannot sue the guilty driver over your injuries and suffering, and must make the claims with your own insurance. Only if your injuries are incredibly severe or you’ve lost a certain amount of money (determined by each state) because of the accident can you sue the driver or make a claim with his or her insurance.

Dealing with injuries, lost work hours and unexpected expenses can be a distressing experience, especially if you’re not sure where your case falls, or if you can even file a lawsuit at all. Consulting with a car accident lawyer in Longwood, FL can lift the burden of navigating these muddled waters alone and get you compensation for all your suffering.

Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injury claims and what to do after being hit by a drunk driver.