Alcohol-related incidents are responsible for more than half of all car accidents in the United States. If a person gets injured because of a drunk driver, they can seek compensation for their injuries.
Filing a claim against a drunk driver is known as seeking damages. Special damages provide compensation for monetary losses such as medical expenses and lost wages. General damages provide compensation for mental trauma and physical injuries. Special and general costs are known as compensatory damages. A person can also seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish the driver for their negligence and irresponsible behavior.
Dealing with an Initial Settlement Offer
The drunk driver’s insurance company will probably contact the injured person. The company will make a settlement offer to avoid a court trial. The goal of the insurance company is to pay as little as possible. It’s in the company’s best interest to offer an amount they’re willing to pay. More than likely, that amount isn’t fair to the injured person, especially if there are severe injuries involved.
It’s normally best if the injured person doesn’t accept the first amount offered. They also shouldn’t sign anything presented to them by the insurance company. This is where an experienced car accident attorney can help.
Additional Laws Affecting the Claim
When a drunk driver causes an accident, that driver isn’t necessarily the only person at fault. But unlike other states, Louisiana does not have provisions for Dram shop laws, or “social host responsibility.” However, if an individual serves and claims it to be alcohol free when it actually does contain alcohol, or causes intoxication “by force,” the person harmed by the drink will still be liable for an accident, but can bring a claim against the individual who caused the intoxication.
Incidents with Underinsured or Uninsured Drivers
A drunk driver with little or no insurance makes it more difficult to claim compensation. You may be able to request reimbursement from your own insurance company. Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage is specifically for handling these types of cases.
Speak with a Qualified Attorney Immediately
Several variables affect drunk driving accident cases. It’s best to seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney who has years of experience involved in drunk driving cases. E Orum Young Law Offices has over 35 years of law experience. Our reputable attorneys are devoted to defending the rights and safety of Northeast Louisiana drivers. Contact our office by calling (318) 303-4194 for a free case evaluation.