Any auto accident has the potential to be devastating, but drunk driving accidents are consistently among the worst and most disastrous out there. They’re also epidemic in our nation; despite the range of information and knowledge we have, people still do it in astonishing numbers. The CDC estimates that well over 10,000 people die in accidents every year, and almost a third of all car accidents across the nation involve alcohol.
When you’re hit by a drunk driver you need to understand your options. Learn your rights and options when hit by a drunk driver, and how the services of a Nashville car accident attorney can get you compensation for your injuries.
Criminal and Civil
Drunk driving accidents involve an extra layer of complexity over other car accidents. In general, when two cars collide, even if there’s injury involved, the case is simply a civil case. That is, it’s down to the two drivers and one who is at fault compensates the other. In an alcohol-related accident, there are also criminal law issues in play since DUI is illegal.
What’s important to know is that the criminal charges are separate and distinct from your civil case. The criminal case filed does not affect your ability to file for compensation for your injury at all. Criminal and civil cases are each their own individual operation.
There are a variety of damages you can potentially recover from a drunk driving accident. These are separated into three categories: special damages, general damages, and punitive damages. Special damages are those economic and fiscal losses you suffer, which can be quantified. These include medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings potential and the like. General damages are more subjective and include things like pain and suffering, emotional loss, and loss of companionship.
Punitive damages are not universal and are usually only reserved for the most egregious offenses, where the driver’s irresponsibility was so bad that the law sees the need to make an example of them. Often this happens if someone dies as a result of the accident. Punitive damages are exactly what they sound like: they exist only to punish the defendant.
Getting a Settlement
It’s sad, but insurance companies are for-profit businesses that don’t profit by paying out large sums of money. They will take a broad variety of tactics to reduce or even avoid paying out entirely. When it comes to getting the maximum damages for your injury, you need to have someone in your corner who knows how to face them down, how to challenge those tactics, and how to make sure your rights as a victim are protected.
Nashville Car Accident Attorney
Your best bet when it comes to getting the full settlement for your injuries so you can get well, get back on your feet, and get your life back, is a qualified Nashville car accident attorney. If you live in the area and have been hit by a drunk driver, know that you’re not alone. Call for help at Mitch Grissim & Associates, and get a free case evaluation to get started on the road to justice for your accident and injury today.