I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver. Do I Need a Lawyer?

This post is in response to several questions and answers I saw when searching -hit by a drunk driver, do i need a lawyer.  Normally, I  don't get upset at posts that say don't hire a lawyer.  The answers are almost always the same:  he will take a third of your money, he will delay the settlement, he wont help you.
      They are easy to counter - a lawyer will take a fee.  The issue is did he help you more than he cost you.  Look at our testimonials about why should I hire a lawyer.
     Any good lawyer will delay a settlement until you are done treating.  How can you receive fair compensation for your injuries and treatment when you are still going to the doctor?  Do you really think the insurance company is going to agree to pay for some future medical care?  After all, the reason they are paying you is to close off their liability.  That is why you sign a release.
     If your lawyer wont help you then you need a new lawyer.

     These are all fairly standard.  I assume that the people saying this are either well intentioned or they had a bad experience with a lawyer.  However, when it comes to being hit by a drunk driver, it is absolutly the worst advice ever to not talk to a lawyer.  Why? 

Punitive Damages

     Before you call me, ask your adjuster or the insurance company what they are.  Ask your insurance adjuster why he didn't talk to you about them.  Ask him how much you are entitled to receive.  If he give you a straight answer then don't call me.  It will not happen.  Punitive damages are extra damages allowable in Georgia and most states that are designed to punish a drunk driver for injuring someone during a car accident.  A lawyer who sues drunk drivers will be able to get a significant amount of punitive damages in a drunk driving victim case.  The amount will be based on several factors, some of which are:  the drunk drivers prior criminal history in drunk driving, the amount the drunk driver was intoxicated, and the severity of the drunk driving accident.  While the actual amount of punitive damages may vary from case to case - not recieving them when you were in an accident and hit by a drunk driver will cost you thousands of dollars.
     If you don't believe me then talk to your adjuster, like I said he will never mention punitive damges.  We fight to make sure our clients who are hit by drunk drivers receive everything the law says they are entitled to, this includes significant awards of punitive damages, increasing the value of their car accident claims by thousands of dollars - even after paying the attorney fees. 

Shane Smith Law serves the Metro Atlanta Area including Fulton County, Clayton County, Henry County, Coweta County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Muscogee County, Baldwin County, Clarke County, Gwinnett County, Spalding County, Fayette County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Chattahoochee County, Marion County and Harris County.