If you or a family member has been in a wreck caused by a drunk driver that resulted in serious injury or even death, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation as a result. These damages can be for your medical bills, missed time at work, and even pain or emotional suffering.
Atlanta DUI victims may seek to recover this financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit process. If you find yourself at the start of this process, there are two terms and concepts that you will likely come to see as important: liability and claims.
Liability is how fault in an accident is determined. Most of the time, a drunk driver is the cause of a serious wreck. If you can prove that the driver was over the legal limit and drove into your lane, ran a red light, or rear-ended your vehicle, he or she will almost always be considered at fault.
When a negligent driver who may have had one or two too many drinks causes an accident that damages property or seriously injures those involved, he is considered liable for the result of his actions. Financial liability in these cases can be extended to your past, current, and future associated costs.
Once you have determined that another driver was liable for your crash—which can be helped by a guilty verdict in a criminal case—you can file a personal injury case against the driver and his insurance company. This is called a personal injury claim.
Your personal injury claim after a drunk driving accident that was not your fault should include all legitimate costs you have incurred as a result of the accident. This can include medical treatment, property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.
However, the insurance company that represents the drunk driver will probably not want to pay you the full amount. It may try to convince you to accept a settlement that is less than you deserve. The company may even try to discredit or dismiss your personal injury claim altogether.
In either case, you need the protection of an Atlanta DUI victim attorney who can help you avoid the mistakes that many other people make and argue on your behalf in a court of law. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer in your area, call Shane Smith Law today at (980) 246-2656 or fill out the form on this page.