A drunk driver hit me—what can I do about it? Always seek medical treatment first; your health is most important.
However, after you’ve looked after your health and safety, you can take steps to protect your right to seek justice against the reckless driver who injured you.
With help from an experienced attorney, you can sue a drunk driver and seek compensation for the harm you suffered.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
Take these steps after you are hit by a drunk driver to pursue your legal options.
Immediately following an accident, if able, call the police and begin collecting evidence.
Any evidence you gather, such as witness information and pictures of the crash site, will be invaluable to your legal case.
The police will submit an accident report, which can be valuable evidence in your case.
The report may include the officer’s observations about the other driver’s condition, whether they appeared intoxicated, and whether the officer performed field sobriety tests.
Your attorney can leverage this evidence to support your claim and prove the other driver caused the accident.
Contact an Attorney
The drunk driver’s insurance will begin contacting you to attempt to reach a hit by drunk driver settlement.
Never accept an insurance settlement offer without first discussing it with an attorney. Your attorney will deal with the insurance companies for you and let you know your legal options.
The two most common ways of getting compensation are either an insurance settlement or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
When you accept an insurance settlement, you agree to resolve your dispute against the drunk driver without going to trial.
An insurance settlement may provide you with either a fixed sum of money or a structured payment plan.
If you accept a settlement offer, you give up your right to sue the drunk driver. Consult your attorney before accepting any settlement offer.
If you can’t settle with the driver’s insurance company, you can file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. A lawsuit against a drunk driver is usually a negligence claim.
To prove negligence, you need to demonstrate that the driver breached a duty they owed you and that their breach caused the accident and your damages.
All drivers owe a duty to others on the road to drive responsibly and follow the law. Driving while intoxicated violates this duty.
In some cases, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against an establishment that served alcohol to the driver that hit you.
This is known as a “dram shop” claim.
Alabama dram shop laws permit you to seek compensation from an establishment like a bar or restaurant if they served an underage drinker or an obviously drunk person.
What Damages Can I Claim If a Drunk Driver Hit Me?
When filing a lawsuit against a drunk driver, you can seek the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Lost income,
- Pain and suffering,
- Medical bills,
- Payments to physical therapists,
- Loss of companionship or consortium, and
- Future lost earnings.
Damage calculations can add up, especially if you experienced pain and suffering when hit by a drunk driver.
These types of damages may even be greater than economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages.
Additionally, you may be able to levy punitive damages against the driver. Punitive damages differ from other damages because of their purpose.
Punitive damages add additional money to punish the driver and discourage others from drunk driving.
Punitive damages, if applicable, drive up the amount you can recover significantly.
Contact Fob James Law Firm, LLC Today
We have a 24/7 communication policy that allows you to always know the status of your case.
For 40 years, our attorneys have committed themselves to fight for injury victims.
We will fight for you to get every cent of compensation you deserve after your accident.