Technically, you don’t need a lawyer if you wish to proceed with filing a claim and negotiating with the insurance company yourself. While you are free to do what you think is best, obtaining a lawyer for your drunk driving accident claim can only benefit you.
Even if the law is in your favor, you still need to ensure that your case has strong evidence and proper representation during negotiations or at trial. Many people lose out on a fair settlement due to the lack of proper legal assistance.
John Foy & Associates has been representing personal injury victims like you for years. Our lawyers have experience handling drunk driving cases and can help you get started on working toward a settlement that accurately reflects the damages you sustained. Call us today risk-free to learn more about your legal options at (404) 400-4000.
Why You Need a Lawyer
When you file a claim to recover compensation for your damages, you will primarily have to go through the at-fault party’s insurance company. Their interests lie in protecting themselves from having to pay you a settlement. They will do anything under the law to avoid responsibility for what happened.
Often, a good lawyer will be enough to force them to negotiate and reconsider their options. Lawyers can help even the playing field between you and a powerful insurance company. By enlisting the help of a lawyer, you have a higher chance of actually receiving proper compensation, as opposed to the lowball offers they will try to make you agree to.
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How John Foy & Associates Can Help Your Claim
To prove that you have a claim, you need to show the following:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care.
- Because of their negligent actions, that duty of care was not met.
- Their negligence caused an accident to happen.
- Your accident left you injured and with damages.
Our lawyers will help show this and establish negligence by:
- Helping you gather and organize evidence
- Retaining experts to help bolster your case
- Negotiating your settlement with the insurance company
- Representing your case in court
- Filing all paperwork accurately and ensuring all deadlines get met
- Answering all of your questions honestly and quickly
If you choose to pursue compensation alone, you run the risk of losing out on potentially thousands of dollars of your settlement. This can mean the difference between getting your medical bills paid for or having to front them out-of-pocket. The drunk driving accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help guide you to get the most out of the insurance companies.
Calculating Your Damages
When it comes to how much your settlement is worth, you need to calculate the costs of all your damages. There are two main types of damages (economic and non-economic) and an additional type of damage available only in certain circumstances (punitive).
Examples of economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle repairs or replacements
These damages are calculated by adding up your bills, invoices, receipts, and other financial documents. Economic damages have a fixed monetary value attached to them. They are concrete and easily identifiable. A lawyer can help you organize all of your bills and expenses to include them in your settlement amount.
When it comes to non-economic damages, things get a little more complicated. These damages do not have a fixed monetary value. Some examples include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
How exactly do you put a price on the loss of enjoyment of life? A lawyer can help you assess all of your non-economic damages accurately so they aren’t left out when you put a value on your settlement.
There are times where an accident can lead to victims recovering additional compensation through punitive damages. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-5.1 notes that these awards are reserved only for specific accidents that are:
- Intentionally caused by the at-fault party
- Caused with malice
- Grossly negligent
Accidents caused by willful misconduct and other aggravating circumstances can increase the chances of receiving punitive damages. These damages have a maximum limit of up to $250,000, although there are some cases wherein there is no cap.
Punitive damages exist to punish drunk drivers. Driving drunk is a grossly negligent act and is treated as such under the law. A lawyer can help ensure that the drunk driver is not only punished for their behavior but that you also recover financially from their punishment.
The Statute of Limitations in Your Case
The statute of limitations to file your claim after a drunk driving accident is two years according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33. Do not wait until the last minute to file. Our lawyers can get your claim started so you can be on your way to getting your settlement and holding the drunk driver responsible for your damages.
Call John Foy & Associates Today
Our law firm has helped hundreds of victims of drunk drivers recover a settlement. Do not underestimate the importance of a lawyer when it comes to negotiating your compensation. For a free consultation at no risk or obligation to you, call us today to schedule an appointment at (404) 400-4000.