While the instances of drunk driving are on the decline due to public awareness, one in three people on average will be involved in a car crash resulting from a drunk driver in their lifetime. If you or one of your loved ones is a victim of a drunk driver or suffered a wrongful death due to a drunk driver, there are legal steps a personal injury attorney can take to help you get compensation to cover your medical bills that were incurred, any lost wages, damages to your vehicle and more.
Everyone knows that when you are involved with a car crash you first notify local law enforcement and collect the other drivers name and insurance information, additionally you will want the contact information of the investigating officer so that you can obtain a traffic accident report. If you think that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol let the officers know when you are reporting the accident. Subsequently report the crash to your insurance company along with the accident report once it is received.
When the driver of the car that hit you is found to be under the influence, they will be charged in a criminal case. You are then the victim of the criminal case and permitted to restitution. Once a drunk driver is found guilty the judge will order the defendant to pay for all damages, medical bills and any out of pocket damages you suffered including lost wages if you were too injured to work. You will be responsible for providing the prosecutor with receipts or copies of all expenses you have incurred from the crash, these can include medical bills, insurance deductibles, car rental expenses and car repairs. You can only receive the costs of these damages once, if you hire a personal injury attorney to charge to driver in a criminal case it will be for punitive damages and other fines related to pain and suffering or further expenses incurred because of the accident that was not covered by the criminal case.
During the process of the criminal lawsuit, an experienced attorney can file a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver who injured you or caused a wrongful death to a loved one. A civil suit will help cover all damages you have suffered and future damages such as the inability to work, future pain and suffering or ongoing medical expenses due to the crash. Furthermore, your attorney will help you receive punitive damages paid by the drunk driver.