Drunk driving crashes can happen anywhere—on I-75, in downtown Cincinnati, even on a residential street in Mount Adams. When you are injured in a crash and the other driver is arrested for DUI, you may think you have a clear-cut liability case against him for damages, and you probably do. However, when you consult with the Cincinnati Law Office of Shane Smith, you will learn about the value of waiting until after a criminal trial before settling for an offer from the drunk driver’s insurance company.
You were hit by a drunk driver and you are the victim of a crime. You need an attorney who will make sure you are treated as such and that you are compensated in full.
What to Do After a Crash With a Drunk Driver
Even though you are the victim, it’s important that you start building a case right away when you are hurt by a drunk driver. The sooner you call our Cincinnati law office, the sooner we can start fighting for you, but in the immediate aftermath of the crash, we recommend that you take the following steps:
- Call the police. Whether you know or suspect that the driver who hit you is drunk or not, you must call the police or 911 immediately after the crash. Their investigation will help your claim for compensation. If the other driver has been drinking, he may try to convince you not to call the police, but don’t fall for it.
- Get medical help. If you were seriously injured, an ambulance should be called to the scene. However, even if you are more worried about the damage to your car than your own injuries, it’s important to have your injuries documented with a visit to the ER or your own physician as soon as possible. Following doctor’s orders and keeping track of all medical-related expenses will be very important later on.
- Call an attorney. You will likely be contacted by the drunk driver’s insurance company soon after his arrest and offered a settlement. You should not have this conversation with his adjuster. Instead, contact the Law Office of Shane Smith and we will communicate with the insurance company to make sure you get the compensation you deserve in light of their insured’s arrest for DUI.
Not every personal injury attorney in Ohio is experienced with representing victims of drunk driving accidents, but we are. We understand how these claims work and will fight to get you what you deserve.
Advantages of Waiting to Settle
In most cases, we advise DUI victims to wait until after the completion of the drunk driver’s criminal trial to agree to a settlement. This is because evidence may come out in the criminal trial that will be helpful to you in your civil claim for damages, including the driver’s record of previous DUI convictions. If the driver who hit you has a history of drunk driving, that could significantly increase your settlement. You are entitled to the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
The judge in the criminal trial may also award punitive damages to send a message about the seriousness of the offense.
Zero Tolerance for Impaired Driving in Ohio
Our Ohio personal injury attorneys have no tolerance for drunk or drugged drivers. We have seen the damage they cause and we are proud to represent the victims who suffer because someone made the terrible decision to drive after having too much to drink. We have also seen far too many accidents caused by drivers who are impaired by drugs. While Ohio’s DUI statute may take care of holding these drivers criminally responsible, their fines, license suspension, and even jail time won’t do anything to make up for the harm they caused you and your family. That’s where we come in. Don’t trust the criminal justice system or the insurance company to look out for your best interests as a DUI victim. Instead, trust the attorneys at the Law Office of Shane Smith in Cincinnati to stand up for you. Call or fill out the form on this page to schedule a free consultation. You have nothing to lose!