Drunk driving-related accidents occur at alarming rates, with estimates that approximately two in ten Americans will be involved in such accidents in their lifetimes.
But perhaps you already know this? Perhaps you or someone you love has already been hit by a drunk driver or was a passenger in an alcohol-related crash? If so, then it’s important to understand what options you or your loved one has post-accident.
You Can Pursue an Insurance Claim
Before you decide whether to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver, you can first start talking about a settlement with the driver’s insurance company. California law requires drivers to carry auto insurance. Contacting the insurer to seek full compensation and informing them that you may be pursuing legal action as well may be just what you need to start getting your medical bills and car repair bills paid.
In the alternative, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on your own auto insurance policy, you can file a claim through your own insurance company so you can pay your bills. This route may be easier than working with the drunk driver’s insurer.
You Can Sue the Drunk Driver After the Accident
If you were hurt in a drunk driving-related accident, you have the right to seek financial compensation from the drunk driver in a personal injury lawsuit. Speak to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer about the types of compensation that may be available to you, such as:
- Medical bills (physical and psychological)
- Short or long-term care bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Repair bills for your vehicle
- Rehabilitation costs
- Punitive damages to punish the driver and deter future drunk driving
To get compensation for any or all of the above, you must be able to prove that the driver was negligent and that, due to that negligence, you sustained injuries. Negligence under California law simply means failure to use reasonable care when driving.
But First, Call a Personal Injury Attorney
Before you make any lawsuit decisions and before you speak with anyone’s insurance company, be sure to pick up the phone to call a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your full course of options.
At the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose, our San Francisco personal injury attorneys will work with you to determine what next step will work best in your situation. We’ll be aggressive in seeking to hold the drunk driver responsible for what they’ve done to you. And, at all times, we’ll be your strong advocate in and out of court. Contact us today at 415-946-8900 to schedule your complimentary consultation.