Statistics indicate that three out of 10 drivers in the U.S. will experience a drunk driving accident at some point in their lives. Sadly, these accidents often involve uninsured or unlicensed drivers who have repeatedly driven while intoxicated, so victims may struggle to obtain compensation. Add in the chances of a hit-and-run and the devastating nature of most drunk driving accidents and you have a frustrating and frightening situation for crash victims. Thankfully, there are ways that you can recover compensation. Learn more, including how the assistance of a seasoned, competent car accident lawyer can help to increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation after an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Criminal Charges and Civil Penalties
Drunk drivers often face criminal charges when their actions have caused an accident, but they may also be subject to civil penalties – or compensation to the victim or their loved ones. Unfortunately, it is often a complex, multi-step process, and few are prepared for it. Add in the stress that injured parties tend to experience after a crash, the lack of income for those that are too hurt to work, and the mounting medical bills, and it becomes clear that drunk driving victims can benefit from qualified legal assistance while navigating the claims process.
Pursuing Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident
The first step to take after experiencing a drunk driving accident is to ensure you have contacted the police and taken photos of the accident scene (if possible). Information from this can be used to determine fault in the accident, and that can increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation. Visit the doctor to ensure all your injuries have been documented and seek any treatment that may be necessary or recommended by your doctor. Next, file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company (if you are able to obtain it), and notify your own insurance company of the accident (this critical step can cover you if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured). Victims are also encouraged to contact attorneys at this time so that they are legally covered before the insurance company tries to contact them about a settlement.
The reason this is important is because you will likely be offered a settlement that is far less than you are owed. An attorney can examine your case to determine just how much you may be owed for your:
- Past and future medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgery, and other medical procedures;
- Past and future pain and suffering or emotional distress;
- Loss of companionship in cases involving personal injuries and the wrongful death of a child, spouse, or parent;
- Lost wages and the loss of capacity to earn in the future;
- Punitive (punishment) damages;
- Property damage to your vehicle; and
- Burial and funeral expenses for the death of a loved one.
Contact Our Appleton, WI Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
At Herrling Clark, Ltd., we understand just how devastating a drunk driving crash can be, and we will fight hard to ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve. Dedicated and experienced, our Appleton drunk driving lawyers offer free initial consultations so that you can be covered, immediately and without concern over cost. Call 920-739-7366 to schedule yours today.