Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. According to a report by the CDC, drunk driving was responsible for close to 10,000 deaths across the United States in 2014. It is sad that a drunk driver chooses to get on the road knowing too well that they are not in full control of their faculties. If you suffer the misfortune of being hit by a drunk driver, there are a few options you can consider to get compensation which you should discuss with an Albuquerque auto accident lawyer such as Parnall Law Firm.
Make an insurance claim
After suffering from an accident through the fault of a drunk driver, your first option is to make a claim against the defendant’s insurance company. An attorney will inform the insurance company that you plan to sue for injuries. Most insurance companies will assess the merits of the case and eventually make you an offer, but it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to answer any questions or if the insurance company dodges responsibilities.
File a suit against the driver
If the insurance company does not seem ready to make a settlement, you can opt to file a suit against the drunk driver. However, since you are pursuing compensation, you will have to file a civil suit instead of a criminal case. When you sue, you will need to include both general and special damages. General damages include your physical loss and suffering. Special damages will cover costs such as hospitalization and loss of income during your recuperation period.
When you hire a serious injury lawyer, they can help prove that the other party was reckless and as a result, you may be awarded extra compensation known as punitive damages. The additional payment is meant to punish the drunk driver for being irresponsible.
If the drunk driver is convicted of a DUI offense, your attorney will inform you that you have a strong case. If you take steps to sue the insurance company representing the drunk driver, they will try to make a quick settlement. The only reason they will do this is to avoid losing in court. If you feel the offer is inadequate, you can proceed with the court process where you are likely to be awarded substantial compensation.
Being involved in an auto accident because someone chose to get behind the wheel while under the influence can have devastating consequences. Many victims feel scared, confused, and angry. At Parnall Law Firm, we fight beside you every step of the way to eliminate those feelings of fear and anger. We understand that while compensation will not reverse the hand of time, we may be able to help you start moving forward with your life once more. Don’t hesitate – call Albuquerque’s Parnall Law Firm today and together we can fight to get drunk drivers off our streets.