If you are hit by a drunk driver in Georgia, there are important steps you need to take to make sure that your legal rights are protected.
The consequences of being a victim of a drunk driving accident cause physical and emotional pain, as well as financial strain long after the accident.
The steps that you need to go through to protect yourself from a legal standpoint are to Contact Law Enforcement, Contact Insurance Companies, and then
follow through with both the Criminal and Civil cases.
Contact Law Enforcement
The first action you need to take if you think you have been hit by a drunk driver is to contact law enforcement.
Make sure that you notify them that you are suspicious that the driver that hit you is under the influence of alcohol.
Also be sure that you are prepared to explain to the officers why you suspect this. This should lead the officers to investigate further by performing field sobriety tests and giving a breathalyzer.
Once you have informed the officers of your suspicions, make sure that you get all of their contact information. This is important to have if it becomes necessary to build a case against the drunk driver.
Contact Insurance Companies
After you have contacted law enforcement, the next step is to get ahold of both your insurance company and the suspected drunk drivers. This is standard practice in all car accidents but is especially important when in this situation.
It is a requirement in every state that people have car insurance, and the insurance company may offer you a settlement without ever having to step foot inside a courtroom.
In this claim be sure to include all losses and injuries that were a result of the accident, so that you will hopefully be offered a fair amount.
However, it is important to go over their settlement offer with an experienced car accident attorney before agreeing to the terms.
Although you will most likely still want to pursue a civil suit if you are hit by a drunk driver, it is essential to understand the criminal charges and what type of compensation you may receive from it.
A criminal case’s purpose is to punish the driver for their actions and protect the general public.
However, as you are the victim in the criminal suit, you are entitled to compensation.
The compensation you are eligible to receive from the criminal case includes all economic damages, such as property damage and insurance deductibles. In order to receive the amount you deserve, you will need to provide the court with accurate records and receipts of your expenses.
At this time it is important to be aware that you cannot go after compensation for the same damages in both the criminal and civil lawsuit.
The Civil lawsuit is where you can sue for the majority of damages that were the direct result of the accident.
"Medical bills, pain and suffering, distress, future pain and suffering, and future medical bills are all taken into consideration in the civil case."
Aside from the expenses incurred from the above reasons, the victim is also able to sue for punitive damages in a drunk driving case.
Punitive damages are used as a form of further punishment to the drunk driver and require them to pay additional compensation beyond what incurred from the accident itself. It is important to discuss punitive damages with your Personal Injury Attorney before getting in front of a judge.
Getting hit by a drunk driver is a terrible incident that you will hopefully never experience.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, it is important to understand your rights and get experienced legal representation.
If you live in the great Atlanta area and would like to speak with a Personal Injury attorney, you need to contact the Roth Firm.
Click the link below, and you'll receive a free case evaluation today.