Were you injured due to a car accident caused by a drunk driver? Understandably, you may be wondering what to do and how to hold them accountable.
A DUI accident is different than any other type of car accident. Most DUI accidents could’ve been prevented had those people chosen not to drive after consuming alcohol.
The law recognizes that drivers who show such disregard for others’ safety should be held responsible for their reckless and irresponsible choices.
If you need assistance pursuing an injury claim after being hit by a drunk driver, contact an experienced Cartersville DUI accident attorney.
What Legal Steps Are Required After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?
At the scene of the accident, be sure to contact the police right away. It’s crucial that the police document the scene, conduct field sobriety tests, and get the accident facts reported.
If your injuries are severe enough, you should be transported directly to the nearest emergency room. If your injuries are not that severe, you should schedule a medical check-up right away.
Be sure to report the accident to your insurance timely. DUI investigations can be complicated, so your insurance company should be on notice right away. You can request a copy of the police report to verify all the information is valid, witness contact info was supplied, etc.
After you have received medical treatment, you should contact a Cartersville DUI accident attorney. You may have the legal right to pursue a claim for your injuries and possibly emotional distress. You need to gather evidence and documentation that can help you prove liability and damages.
Who Do I Sue After the Accident?
In most cases, you will file a claim against the DUI driver’s insurance. If the insurance company denies liability, then you can sue the driver. Filing a lawsuit forces the insurance company to defend them and continue negotiations. Some DUI cases will go all the way to trial, but they often settle before that. As you can imagine, juries aren’t going to like a defendant who was driving under the influence.
If the DUI driver’s insurance company denied the claim or the other driver didn’t have insurance, you may be presenting a claim against your own policy. If you have uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage through your policy, you could submit a claim for your damages there. Your insurance company will step into the shoes of the defendant and treat you like a third-party claimant.
How to Determine I Was Not at Fault?
Many people think, I was hit by a drunk driver, so I don’t need to prove I wasn’t at fault. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily an accurate statement. Someone can be driving under the influence and not cause an accident. It is also possible that even though the drunk driver was primarily at fault, your actions contributed to the accident as well.
Don’t mistakenly assume you will receive compensation if the defendant is found guilty at a criminal trial, either. In some cases, the court may order the defendant to pay some restitution to the victim. But this is unlikely to be equal to the amount you could receive in a civil suit, which can include reimbursement of your medical expenses, loss of earnings, car repairs, pain and suffering, and more.
In your civil case, you still need to prove the driver was negligent. This may require your attorney to interview witnesses, hire reconstruction specialists, and gather all evidence related to the DUI. In addition, you must prove your injuries were related to the accident. Your attorney will gather your medical records and possibly talk to medical specialists if more hired experts are necessary.
Contact a Georgia Car Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a car accident after being hit by a drunk driver, you need legal assistance to get the compensation you deserve. Contact the Cartersville DUI accident attorneys at Pritchard Injury Firm today to schedule a consultation. We have years of experience helping Georgia clients just like you with all their personal injury needs. Let us protect your rights and fight to make sure the DUI driver is held accountable for your injuries.