Compensation Variables For The Victim Of A Drunk Driving Accident

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Drunk driving accidents account for many injuries that innocent motorists endure. If you are a victim of a drunk driving vehicular accident, consult with a personal injury attorney. The guidelines below outline how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and emotional distress.

The Guilty Party's Responsibility

The defendant's BAC (blood alcohol content) at the time of the accident will be critical in determining if the driver was at fault. If the guilty party refused to take a breathalyzer test, your attorney will use supporting evidence to attempt to prove that the driver was at fault.

Your medical records, the condition of your vehicle, and the weather at the time of the incident will be analyzed during the preliminary stages of preparing the legal case.

During a scheduled court hearing, a judge will listen to both sides of the case. If the judge determines that the other driver was at fault, you may receive a settlement. If you win your case, you are not obligated to accept an insurance company's offer. If you have injuries that will take a long time to heal, your attorney may reject the initial offer.

Your Monetary Award May Include

  • payment for the medical bills that you incurred as a result of the injury (this includes compensation for future treatments)
  • payment for the pain and suffering that you have endured
  • payment for the emotional distress that you have experienced, plus are still experiencing
  • payment for lost wages (this includes compensation for wages that you are projected to lose in the future)

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are occasionally awarded to the victim of a vehicular accident that was a direct result of alcohol impairment. Punitive damages can deter someone from driving under the influence in the future. The damages are awarded as a means of punishment.

In some jurisdictions, the defendant does not need to be found guilty of a drunk driving crime in order for a plaintiff to be awarded compensation. If your attorney specifically requests punitive damages when they file your lawsuit, a judge will determine if the defendant's behavior was reckless.

The severity of your injury can have a bearing on whether or not a judge rules in your favor. The defendant's criminal record may also influence a judge's decision. If the defendant had prior convictions that were related to driving under the influence, the chance of you being awarded punitive damages may increase.

Reach out to a drunk driving accident lawyer near you to learn more.