We all know the dangers of drunk driving. The statistics and media information
are everywhere. And yet, there are still roughly 1.4 million people arrested
for driving while intoxicated every year, and over 30% of all deaths in
car accidents involve intoxicants of some form. It’s astounding
that it still goes on.
If you are injured by a drunk driver, you absolutely should sue for damages.
This is especially true in the case of pedestrians, who suffer the most
catastrophic damage from car accidents. Learn what to do if you’re
hurt in a drunk driving accident, the damages you can collect and why
it’s necessary to call a car accident lawyer for help.
Drunk Driving: Criminal vs. Civil
The first thing to understand is that drunk drivers will often be the subject
of criminal charges for their actions. These charges have nothing to do
with the damages you suffer or at least nothing to do with compensating
you for these damages. Even if the driver is fined thousands of dollars,
you won’t see any of that money.
In order to collect compensatory damages for your injuries, you’ll
need to file a civil case. This case will proceed separately from any
criminal trial and will be unrelated in the long run. It is through civil
action that you can collect damages for medical bills and costs, lost
wages, pain, and suffering, emotional damages and even, potentially, punitive
damages against the driver. If you lose a spouse, parent or child in this
sort of accident you may be able to file a wrongful death suit to cover
funeral expenses as well as the above damages and more.
Negligence and Drunk Drivers
The core concept behind any injury case is that of negligence. You’ll
need to prove that the driver was negligent and that this is why you got
hurt. Proving negligence in a drunk driving case involves three things.
First, that the driver had a duty to behave responsibly behind the wheel.
Second, that they failed in this duty and caused an accident as a result.
Third, that it was this accident that caused your injuries.
If someone was demonstrably drunk behind the wheel, the first two aspects
of negligence are fairly easy to establish. By its very nature, being
drunk diminishes your ability to behave responsibly. It easily results
in accidents by impairing the drivers’ judgment and reflexes.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Protects Your Rights
The trick, however, comes in proving your injuries as related to the accident.
Insurance companies are businesses and they don’t make money by
paying out huge claims. As such, they’ll go to lengths to avoid
paying your case. They will challenge the severity of your injury. They
will attempt to strong arm or trick you into signing off on low offers.
They might even claim that the accident was your fault.
Your best bet to get compensation for the accident and the injuries you
suffer is to hire an
experienced car accident lawyer. At the Dunnion Law Firm, we’ve helped many drunk driving victims
get settlements and compensation. Give us a call today to find out how
we can help your Central California case.