Traffic data gathered by government entities reliably show that severe injuries and devastating fatalities are significantly more likely to occur when crashes were caused by intoxicated drivers. Victims of drunk driving accidents may endure serious and debilitating injuries that require long-term care. Many victims may never be the same again. In these situations, it’s strongly advised that victims meet with an attorney about how to seek compensation for damages and losses incurred.
Do all victims in drunk driving accidents take legal action?
No, not every victim who was hit by a drunk driver pursues legal action against them, however, they should. That driver had chosen to get drunk and then operate a vehicle that weighs around 3,000-4,000 pounds. Even going a slow speed, the force of such a bulky machine can wreak havoc on property and the human body. Because of the severity of the wreckage that can ensue in a drunk driving accident, victims are encouraged to get the financial restitution they are entitled to receive.
Examples of damages that a victim may be eligible to receive after being hit by a drunk driver include:
- Medical Expenses: ambulance costs, medication, hospitalization, in-home services, rehabilitation, surgery, stitches, wound care, cognitive therapy, prosthetic devices, etc.
- Income Loss: victims may lose earnings due to being away from work, especially if they were deemed unable to perform their normal job duties. Someone who is temporarily or permanently disabled because of the accident may be awarded current and future compensation for loss of earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: if the drunk driver caused particularly gruesome and immensely painful injuries, they may have to compensate the victim for pain and suffering. Depending on the nature of the injuries, the amount received for pain and suffering may be substantial and even exceed other types of damage awards.
- Loss of Consortium: in the event that a victim was left with a condition that makes him or her disabled, the spouse may file a damages claim against the drunk driver for loss of consortium. What this means is that the spouse has experienced a loss of affection or intimacy due to their spouse’s disability, and wants monetary restitution.
- Property Loss: the victim may receive restitution for damage to their vehicle and other property because of the accident.
If I want to take action against the drunk driver, what is my next step?
If you are a victim and were injured and/or suffered financial loss due to the accident, then it is suggested that you recruit the help of an experienced lawyer, like a car accident lawyer, to guide you through the next step. Your attorney can assess what happened, evaluate your losses and damages, and calculate a potential monetary award before taking official action, so you can choose for yourself whether it is worth your time to sue the driver. Essentially, meeting with an attorney who has represented victims in car accidents in the past is the next best step towards getting the money you need to recover.