Drunk driving accidents can result in severe injuries or death. Even so, those affected can seek compensation for their losses. Compensation can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Drunk driving cases can have complex legal proceedings. Therefore, you should hire a drunk driving accident lawyer to represent you in the negotiations.
The steps for seeking damages caused by a drunk driver may vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the case. However, the process involves the following steps.
Gathering evidence is vital in seeking compensation for damages caused by a drunk driver. The evidence you gather will help establish the facts of the case and support your compensation claim. Some examples of evidence that may be relevant in a drunk driving case include police reports and witness statements.
You should go to the hospital for a check-up even if there are no visible symptoms. Getting medical records can help your case as you can also use them to establish your losses.
You should collect evidence as soon as possible, as it may be difficult or impossible to obtain later. If you have retained a lawyer, they will help you gather the evidence and build a strong case for your compensation.
File a Claim With the Drunk Driver’s Insurer
Filing a claim involves a series of steps. Contacting the insurance company is the first one. Your lawyer must contact the drunk driver’s insurance company to inform them of the accident and your intention to file a claim. The insurance company will then provide the necessary forms and instructions for filing your claim.
Afterward, you will submit the gathered evidence to the insurance company. This will help support your compensation claim. Besides the evidence, you need to provide information about your accident-related damages.
Negotiate With the Insurance Company
Negotiation aims to reach a fair settlement agreement that adequately compensates your damages. The negotiation process involves several steps. Having a drunk accident lawyer handle them is best for your case.
Negotiations start with reviewing the initial offer to determine if it is adequate compensation. Your lawyer could then provide a counteroffer if the initial offer were unsatisfactory. Supporting evidence should go with the counteroffer.
Your lawyer will keep communicating with the insurance company to reach an agreement. It may take multiple rounds of negotiation to get a fair settlement. Once they come to a deal, you must review and sign the agreement to finalize it.
File a Lawsuit Against the Drunk Driver
If your lawyer cannot settle with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit against the driver to seek compensation. The first step in filing a lawsuit is to file a complaint with the appropriate court. The complaint will outline the facts of the case and the damages you seek. Once you file the complaint, it must be served to the defendant.
The trial proceeds afterward, where both parties present their evidence and witnesses to a jury. After the trial, the jury will decide and issue a judgment. The court will order the drunk driver to pay the compensation if the decision is in your favor.
The lawsuit process can be lengthy and expensive. An attorney can help you understand the process and the potential outcomes. They can also guide you on how to proceed with the lawsuit.
Before You Leave
Seeking compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver can be a complex process involving various steps. Through this process, it is crucial to have a drunk driving accident lawyer.
They can help you gather evidence, communicate with the insurance company, negotiate a fair settlement or represent you in court. The process can be lengthy and expensive, but it is necessary to ensure that you are well compensated for your damages.
You should note that the process and laws may vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the case.