Drunk driving accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of preventable death amongst all Americans, especially young drivers. If you go through a drunk driving accident, you do not have to pay for your damages. You can hold the drunk driver liable, but to do so, there are specific things you should do after the accident to help your claim.
John Foy & Associates is here to help you through the claims process. We have assisted hundreds of victims of drunk driving accidents in getting through challenging times and winning a settlement to cover their expenses. With years of experience and dedication on our side, we are confident that we can help you get justice. Contact us today at (404) 471-3348.
Your Time to File May Be Running Out
You do not have forever to pursue compensation. After your accident, you want to make every effort to retain a lawyer and file as soon as possible. In Georgia, you have two years to file a claim. Two years is a long time, but it can go by fast. Do not lose your chance to receive a settlement due to procrastination.
The longer you wait, the longer it will take to get negotiations rolling. Financial matters after a drunk driving accident can quickly take a heavy toll on you. Get started on your recovery today by getting the money to cover your needs.
What to Do After the Accident
Right after your accident is a critical time to gather as much evidence as possible to help support your claim. First, make sure that you and no one around you needs immediate medical care. If anyone needs immediate medical care, get help from emergency medical services.
If you suspect that the driver that hit you was drunk, do not try to agitate or fight with them. Being drunk inhibits the logical thought process of many individuals. You do not want to engage in an argument with a drunk person and become a victim of road rage. Instead, try and do the following:
Call the Police
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) §40-6-273 states that all drivers must report any accident that causes apparent damages of $500 or more. Even if your accident does not look like it caused $500 or more in damages, you should still always call the police.
Once the police arrive, they will record statements from you and the other driver, take note of the accident that took place, and arrest the drunk driver. This police report of your accident will help provide proof for your claim.
Use your phone or a camera to take as many pictures of your injuries and the accident as possible. Take pictures of the damages to your vehicle, the severity of your wounds, and the scene of the accident. These will help provide a visual record of what happened.
Get Witness Information
If there were any witnesses to your accident, be sure to get their statements. Takedown their information and request a written statement from them if possible with their signature. Witness statements are powerful pieces of evidence that can work strongly in your favor.
Go to the Hospital
Try to go to the hospital as soon as you can. Once the staff treats your wounds, retain all copies of your medical records and any bills you receive. These will help illustrate the harm that your accident caused you both physically and financially.
Types of Damages
When you file a claim, you can pursue compensation for many types of damages. They include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or reduced earning capability
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In addition to these economic and non-economic damages, you can also receive an award for exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are only awarded for accidents that involve malice, intent, or were grossly negligent. Drunk driving is grossly negligent behavior to many, and often drunk drivers are forced to pay for exemplary damages as a form of punishment.
The limit to exemplary damages is $250,000. 75% of what gets paid by the drunk driver will go to the state, and the rest will go to you. Do not pay for damages you didn’t cause. Finding a good lawyer that can help you calculate all of your damages is essential after getting injured in a drunk driving accident.
The Law Is on Your Side
Most juries have little to no tolerance for drunk drivers, and judges are far less sympathetic to them as well. The law does not have any patience for drunk drivers because the risks of their behavior are extremely clear. Plenty of research since the mid to late 20th century has conclusively proven that drinking and driving is a huge issue that costs lives and money.
Even if the law is on your side, you still need to collect evidence, prove negligence, and ensure that you are not-at-fault. While it may all seem apparent from the beginning that you were not responsible, you still need to provide a strong case after you file a claim.
Reach Out to a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you feel confused about what steps you need to take to get a fair settlement, contact us today. Our lawyers will help guide you throughout the entire process. We dedicate ourselves entirely to fighting for our clients and giving them the quality of legal service they deserve. For a free consultation, call us today risk-free at (404) 471-3348.