One of the major causes of car accidents in the U.S. is drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32 people die daily in drunk driving crashes. This is roughly one person every 45 minutes. Drunk driving is a serious crime because it puts people’s lives in danger. When a drunk driver has hit you, it’s important to know your rights to recover compensation for your losses. This guide explains what your rights are and the steps to take after such an accident.
What Are Your Legal Options?
After an accident with an impaired driver, you will start the process of making a claim with the insurance company. Texas is an at-fault state. That means the person at fault or their insurance company will cover the damage you incurred.
Dealing with insurance parties isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes they will try to give you less compensation than what you deserve. Hire a Houston drunk driving accident injury lawyer to represent your interests. They have experience negotiating with insurance companies to secure you fair compensation.
You can also opt to file a lawsuit against the driver, but this mostly happens if you can’t settle the case out of court. If the issue gets to this point, your attorney will still represent you in court and try to show why you deserve the compensation you’re asking for.
Which Parties Can Claim Compensation After Being Hit By Drunk Drivers?
Pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers can claim compensation after being hit by drunk drivers. Drunk driving is negligent behavior which means the victims of these accidents have the right to file claims for the damages they incur. Your attorney will prove that the driver’s negligence caused the accident and that you suffered harm from that accident to help you obtain compensation.
What Compensation Can You Get From Drunk Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), enforcing tough drunk driving laws has reduced this behavior significantly. Still, some people continue doing it. This has led to billions of dollars in damages because of this negligent behavior. If you’re a victim, you’re entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of income and reduced earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
An attorney evaluates both your economic and non-economic damages. That means accurately assessing your expenses as well as emotional trauma, and pain, and suffering. A good lawyer ensures all damages are accounted for.
Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
If a drunk driver hits you, here are the steps you should take to help your case.
- Get medical care: Call 911 so medical responders can assess your health and advise whether you should go to the hospital.
- Call the police: You’ll also need to call the cops. Even if the accident seems minor, drunk driving is a serious offense. The police will write a report and indicate the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident. Get a copy of the report.
- Remain calm: Understandably, it’s easy to get angry when you know someone intoxicated has hit you. People are aware of the dangers of drunk driving but choose to ignore them. However, try your best not to engage them as they may become agitated, distressed, or violent.
- Hire a drunk driving accident attorney to help protect your rights
When a drunk driver hits you or a loved one, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation. With an attorney by your side, you can hold the responsible party accountable for the loss incurred.