According to the NHTSA, there are about 10,000 fatalities associated with drunk driving every year. As a victim of a drunk driving accident, you should seek compensation. Of course, you cannot undo the harm you’ve suffered, but this would help you cope with your new lifestyle and recover part or all the financial losses.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries from drunk driving, call our team of Forest Park drunk driving accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates. We believe that you deserve justice and fair compensation, and that’s why we are prepared to put our best foot forward to help you achieve this goal.
Meanwhile, here’s what you should know about compensation claims in a drunk driving accident.
How a Forest Park Drunk Driving Lawyer Will Help You
A Forest Park drunk driving attorney can help you seek compensation through an insurance claim or file a drunk driving lawsuit. They will help you evaluate these two options and help you decide on the one that guarantees fair compensation.
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Seeking Compensation Through an Insurance Claim
Before you decide to file a lawsuit, your drunk driving accident attorney in Forest Park will probably start by seeking a settlement with the drunk driver’s insurance company. Since Georgia is an at-fault state, you can seek compensation for your injuries if another person was at fault.
Therefore, you and your attorney will likely file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, the at-fault company will most likely pay up to the limits of their policy coverage, which could be as low as $25,000.
If your expenses are way higher than the coverage’s limit, you need to check whether the at-fault driver has additional liability insurance coverage. This is usually unlikely unless the at-fault driver is a commercial driver where most companies have additional coverage.
Why Do You Need a Forest Park Drunk Driving Accident Attorney?
It’s vital to emphasize the need for an attorney while dealing with an insurance company. These companies are known for protecting their assets and would do anything to avoid parting with their money. An attorney will help you deal with their tactics and ensure that they give you fair compensation.
Georgia laws also allow accident victims to seek punitive damages in a drunk driving accident since it’s a show of gross negligence and disregard for human life. Since insurance companies don’t generally pay for punitive damages, hiring an attorney would help you seek this damage from the at-fault driver with ease.
Seeking Compensation Through a Lawsuit
Your next option for your compensation claim is to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits might take more time than expected, but it takes less time through the intervention of an attorney. There are different ways that an attorney can help you in a drunk driving lawsuit, including:
- Proving that the accident was a result of DUI
- Proving that your injuries were associated with the drunk driving accident
- Proving that you’ve suffered damage because of the injuries sustained in the drunk driving accident
Prove That the Accident Was a Result of a DUI
You cannot seek compensation for a drunk driving accident unless you have relevant evidence showing that it was a result of the at-fault driver’s DUI. Here are some of the pieces of evidence that your attorney can help you gather:
- Pictures and videos of the scene of the accident
- Police report
- Reports from eyewitness testimonies
- Footage from the traffic camera
- Photos of the injuries suffered immediately after the collision.
Prove That Your Injuries Were a Result of Drunk Driving
In this step, you need to gather relevant evidence showing that you sustained injuries from the drunk driving accident. The defense attorney will most likely claim that you have existing injuries, which you claim to be sustained from the accident. That’s why your attorney should help you gather the following pieces of evidence:
- An accident report
- A recent medical report proving that your injuries are not pre-existing
- Medical bills incurred from your treatment
- A doctor’s report proving that you were hospitalized due to your involvement in the accident and the injuries you sustained
Prove That You Suffered Damages Due to the Driver’s DUI
This is the final step in your compensation claim. There are different types of damages incurred in a drunk driving accident. Damages refer to all financial losses incurred in an accident. Some of the damages your attorney should help you seek compensation for are as follows:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization, ambulance rides, surgery cost, medical devices costs, and medication costs
- Lost wages that result from the time you’ve been missing work and your reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, including disability and mental anguish, physical pain, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment
You need to prove that you suffered the specific damages mentioned above. Here is some of the evidence that your attorney should help you gather:
- Medical reports including all emergency room records, doctor’s records, and rehabilitation reports to prove your medical damages
- W-2 form for the last tax year, paystub, and wage verification to prove lost wages from the time you have been missing work
- Recent invoices, past tax forms, and statements to prove the income you’ve lost due to the time you spent without attending to your business
- A report showing a doctor’s restriction from lifting heavy objects as you usually do in your job
- A counselor report proving that you experienced emotional suffering and sought counseling sessions due to the experience of the accident
- An affidavit from your family members proving that you lack enjoyment of life
Many factors need proving based on the nature of damages you suffer from the drunk driving accident. That’s why it’s recommended to retain the help of an attorney to gather enough evidence to help you prove these facts well enough to get you compensated.
Find a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Forest Park
As you have learned, victims of a drunk driving accident should follow specific steps to prove that they suffered injuries and damages from the accident. These steps can be pretty challenging. Remember, you’ll probably be nursing your injuries, and you might likely fail to give your case the attention it requires.
The Forest Park drunk driving accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates are here to help you seek compensation for your injuries. You might feel overwhelmed at these moments, but we are here to stand for your right. Contact us today online or call and let us help you seek your rightful compensation.