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We have all been warned of the dangers that come along with driving while intoxicated or under the influence (DUI), but what happens when you are hit by a drunk driver? Driving while intoxicated is not only against the law, but is a felony charge in most states. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, then it is imperative that you contact one of our attorneys in your area for a consultation immediately.
Steps To Take After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver
Getting in an auto accident is traumatizing as it is, but If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, then there are some important steps you must take following the collision:
Call The Police: If you believe that the driver who just hit you is drunk, then you MUST immediately call the police. This step is important because the police will take statements from both parties, write a Traffic Collision Report (TCR), and will be able to give the driver that you suspect is drunk a field sobriety test to detect the alcohol in their system. If the police believe the driver that hit you is intoxicated, they will place that individual under arrest and take them to jail.
Take Pictures: Photographs can be the most powerful and helpful tool for your case. Pictures are used as evidence and can make or break your claim. Even if the damage to your vehicle doesn’t look that bad, you must still take photos to properly document the facts of the incident. These photos will be useful to your attorney and will allow them to build a strong case against the at-fault-party.
Obtain Their Insurance Information: This may be the most important step to take after your accident. If you don’t have the other driver insurance information, then there is essentially no one to hold liable for your injuries and damages. If the driver is seriously incapacitated, the police report will indicate the at-fault-parties insurance information.
What Compensation Am I Entitled To After Being Hit By a Drink Driver
After you have been hit by a drunk driver then you are entitled to compensation for the injuries you sustained, the damage to your vehicle, any lost wages you may have suffered (both past & future), and what is called, “Punitive Damages.”
Punitive damages are awarded by the court for some type of extreme and outrageous conduct that, “shocks the conscience” of a reasonable person. The amount of these damages is unlimited, and are awarded for the sole purpose of punishing and deterring the public from engaging in that specific type of behavior. The law classifies driving while intoxicated as “extreme and outrageous conduct” and thus, you are entitled to punitive damages on top of the other compensation you receive. The seminal case that essentially set the bar and changed the law with respect to punitive damages is Taylor v. Supreme Court (1980). It is this case that allows you to recover some serious compensation if you have been hit by a drunk driver. Additionally, it is the insurance company that is responsible for paying your damages, that is why it is absolutely VITAL to contact one of our attorney’s in your area for your important consultation.
Generally, the amount of compensation you may recover for your accident is different for each and every person, but typically a drunk driving accident will settle for at LEAST $35,000.00, and can easily soar into the millions if you contact one of our attorney’s immediately after your accident. It is absolutely crucial to speak with one of our attorney’s in your area after your accident because insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of individuals without representation, and will attempt to settle your case for pennies on the dollar. When you are represented by one of our attorney’s we can assure you that you will receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, and damages.