Navigating the legal process after being involved in a car collision is difficult. There’s even more challenges when that car collision involves a drunk driver. In 2016, more than 1 million motorists were arrested for driving under the influence. So the likeness that you may be involved in an accident with an alcohol impaired driver is unfortunately high. Here we explain the legal options available to you if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver.
Like a regular car crash, trying to reach a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company may be your best option. If you file a third-party claim against the impaired driver’s insurance provider, explaining that you are planning to seek full compensation for your losses and injuries from the accident, you may be offered a hefty settlement. However, make sure to consult with an attorney as they can help you properly navigate the process and reach a settlement.
If there was a DUI conviction, prosecutors can bring criminal charges against the negligent driver. If this happens, you have a great case for an injury settlement. Your attorney can then help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries either through an injury claim or third-party liability case.
Personal Injury Claim
Even if criminal charges are filed against the drunk driver, they may beat the charges or receive a lenient sentence. No matter what the case is, you should seek additional compensation and justice. Retaining an attorney after any type of accident is best, and a skilled lawyer will be able to help you secure maximum compensation for your claim by investigating the case and reaching a settlement with the at-fault driver and their insurance provider.
Third-Party Liability Claim
Some states allow drunk driving accident victims to pursue third-party liability claims against other parties besides the inebriated driver. According to the Denver accident attorneys at Kane Dulin McQuinn Young, other parties that may be held liable include liquor-serving establishments and “social hosts”.
Dram shop laws are statutes that state a dram shop (restaurant, bar, and other alcohol-serving establishments) can be held liable if a patron is over-served and then causes harm as a result of their intoxication.
Under some state dram shop laws, there is a “social host” provision which means that an individual could be found liable for alcohol-related damage and injuries that happen as a result of serving alcohol to a minor.
Wrongful Death Claim
In the instance that the drunk driver fatally injured an individual due to their negligent actions, the surviving spouse or dependents could bring a wrongful death suit against the drunk driver. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is an intentional and illegal act, thus allowing a wrongful death claim to be filed. Wrongful death claims intend to provide the family of the deceased the compensation they deserve after losing their loved one.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, there are many legal options available. To start, speak with an attorney. An experienced accident lawyer can help outline the options available to you and assist with picking the best one.