According to a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 13,384 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in 2021. These accidents are devastating events that can change lives in an instant. In the aftermath of such incidents, victims and their families are often left grappling with physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Seeking justice and compensation in these cases becomes crucial, and understanding the legal avenues available is essential to navigate through the complexities of car accident settlements.
Here’s a guide to the process of getting justice and maximum financial compensation in drunk driving accidents.
Legal Responsibility in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents are a grave violation of the law. When a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, they not only endanger their own life but also pose a significant risk to others on the road. In cases where a drunk driver causes an accident, they can be held legally responsible for the damages they’ve caused.
Personal Injury Claims
Victims of drunk driving accidents can pursue compensation through personal injury claims. These claims aim to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages incurred as a result of the accident. To navigate this process successfully, it is advisable to consult with a car accident attorney experienced in handling such cases.
Wrongful Death Claims
Tragically, deaths in drunk driving accidents make up around 30% of road traffic accident fatalities in the US. In such cases, surviving family members have the right to file wrongful death claims against the responsible party. These claims can provide financial support for funeral expenses, loss of income, and emotional suffering caused by the untimely death of a loved one.
Dram Shop Liability
In some instances, the establishment that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver may also bear some legal responsibility. Known as ‘dram shop liability,’ this avenue allows victims to seek compensation from the bar or restaurant that over-served the drunk driver, contributing to the accident.
Insurance Claims and Settlements
In many drunk driving accident cases, seeking compensation begins with insurance claims. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may be required to cover the damages, including property damage and medical expenses. However, insurance companies often try to minimize payouts, making it crucial to have an experienced car accident attorney negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through insurance claims, victims may pursue civil lawsuits against the responsible party. These lawsuits can result in more substantial compensation to cover the full extent of damages, including pain and suffering, long-term medical care, and punitive damages meant to punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior.
Navigating the legal landscape of drunk driving accidents and car accident settlements can be challenging. This is where the expertise of a car accident attorney becomes invaluable. At Marquez Law Office, we have professional car accident attorneys in Chico, CA. With a proven track record in securing successful car accident claim settlements, our attorneys will tirelessly advocate for your rights and provide you with the guidance you need after a drunk driving accident.
Reach out to us and let us help you get maximum compensation.