On average, nearly 1.4 million people are arrested every year in incidents involving driving and alcohol or other intoxicants. Over 30 percent of all fatal car crashes also involve intoxicated drivers. The numbers speak for themselves: drunk driving is a serious issue. When the victim of such an accident is a pedestrian, the cost is even higher, often resulting in a serious or lifelong disability and even death.
It’s important to take the right steps to hold the drunk driver accountable and get the funds you’ll need to pay for your medical bills and suffering. Learn what happens when you’re hurt as a pedestrian in a drunk driving accident, and why a car accident lawyer might be vital to getting compensation.
Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable
The first thing to understand is that your pursuit of compensation for the damages and pain you suffer is separate from the driver being arrested on criminal charges. You can (and should) file a civil suit for compensation regardless of whether the driver gets arrested on formal charges. The two suits are separate and distinct and any fines they get from a criminal conviction won’t go to you.
Your civil suit is what enables you to collect damages for your medical bills, your lost salary and wages, your pain and suffering, emotional damages and more. In some cases, you may even be able to open the door to punitive damages to penalize the driver’s sheer irresponsibility.
How to Prove Responsibility
The key to any personal injury case involves proving responsibility, or negligence, on someone’s part. This means that the driver of the car had a responsibility to act in a reasonable fashion that wouldn’t put others in danger and that they failed to do so. In failing, they caused the accident that resulted in your injury.
The first part of this isn’t hard to prove — driving while under the influence of alcohol is the very definition of negligent and irresponsible behavior. What remains is to demonstrate that their negligence caused your injury, and this can be trickier than you might think.
Insurance Companies and Injuries
Insurance companies will limit the amount of damages they’re willing to pay out. If a policy has a $100,000 limit, even if your case is worth $300,000, that hundred thousand is the maximum you’ll get from the insurer. While the driver is technically responsible for the rest, it can be hard to collect if they don’t have it.
In addition, insurance companies will fight to avoid paying at all. They will try to shift blame onto you, claim your injury isn’t that serious, even claim you’re not hurt at all. They might try to bully you into accepting a lowball offer.
A Car Accident Lawyer Will Fight for You
That’s why it’s important to have a car accident lawyer in your corner. Auto accident attorneys like those at Mitch Grissim & Associates not only give you a better chance at a high settlement, they can help you explore options to pursue your case and to collect the damages you’re awarded. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, don’t wait. Give us a call to talk about your case for free today.