Most drivers take the responsibility of navigating their car through the streets seriously. There are others, however, who are not so careful with their driving activities and who take to the road when intoxicated. Unfortunately, the decisions made by these drivers often affect other innocent people on the road when the intoxicated drivers cause a collision by driving in their inebriated state. Not only do these accidents result in damage to vehicles, but they also cause injury to the victims who have been hit by such drivers. These injuries can be quite severe in nature, requiring ongoing medical care and lost wages due to an inability to work during recovery from the accident. The loss of income combined with mounting medical bills can make for an out-of-control financial situation. Fortunately you have legal options when you are faced with such a scenario and these legal options can help protect you and your finances.
The Types of Injuries Incurred Due to Intoxicated Drivers
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, he puts others on the road at severe risk. Injuries are common among accidents involving drunk drivers. Depending on the nature of the accident caused, these injuries may only involve minor neck and back injuries. More serious accidents can involve major neck and back injuries as well as internal injuries, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and psychological injuries.
How Different Levels of Intoxication Factor Into Your Case
When you are hit by an intoxicated driver, the level of intoxication may factor into your case against the driver. While all intoxicated drivers are at fault for any accidents they cause, the penalties imposed on such drivers can vary depending on their level of intoxication. A driver who had a glass or two of wine with dinner and did not realize they were even intoxicated will suffer less severe punishment than a driver who had consumed six shots of whisky and a six-pack of beer before getting behind the wheel. The amount that a driver has had to drink plays into how negligent the driver was, and those who are heavily intoxicated can be liable for severe damages due to their negligence. Additionally, a court may see a drunk driver more likely to be at fault if he or she has prior DUIs on record.
Common Situations in Which an Intoxicated Driver Can Be at Fault for a Car Accident
There are a number of things that an intoxicated driver may do to cause an accident due to his or her inebriated state. A driver who is so inebriated that he cannot stay within his or her lane may sideswipe another vehicle. A drunk driver may also not have quick enough reaction times to stop at a red light and may, because of that, run into traffic going through the intersection. Drunk drivers may also miss things like stop signs or yield signs. The impairment caused by intoxication can result in a number of accidents, and these are just a few examples. When determining fault for a personal injury claim against a drunk driver, the intoxicated party is almost always at fault.
Filing a Claim against a Drive Who Hit You While Intoxicated
While a drunk driver will face criminal charges, you will also want to file your own claim in order to obtain the damages you are entitled to. You will have to contact the driver’s insurance company to report the accident and file the claim. While the insurance company may be more than willing to work with you, remember that it is not in their best interest to give you as much money as you are possibly entitled to. The insurance agency will likely try to get away with giving you as little as they can within the confines of their legal responsibility. This is why it may be a good idea to retain a personal injury attorney when filing a claim against a drunk driver. A personal injury attorney will hold the insurance agency responsible for all of the damages you are entitled to including damages for pain and suffering and lost wages in addition to the damages incurred due to car repairs or replacement and damages incurred due to medical care and treatments.