One person is killed every 51 minutes in America by a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car accidents caused by drunk driving cost our nation more than $37 billion in damages annually. Victims of drunk driving accidents have an exorbitant amount of emotional and financial upset to deal with after the collision. In addition to the physical pain and financial ramifications that come with serious injuries in alcohol-related accidents, victims and their loved ones are often angry that their entire lives have been thrown off-kilter because of another driver’s criminal irresponsibility.
Fortunately, victims of drunk driving accidents have a form of recourse. Georgia law provides legal rights that enable victims to pursue financial compensation from negligent drivers. If your family has been blindsided by a drunk driving accident, you will want to speak to an Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin taking action.
First Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident
After you’ve called the police and have tended to your medical needs, your priority will be to discuss your accident with a local accident attorney. You need to know exactly what your legal options are, what you need in order to take action, and how to improve your chances of full and fair restitution. Your lawyer can help with all these tasks and take care of all the difficult legal responsibilities while you focus on healing and recuperating.
You also will want to start an accident file to store all your injury-related information. You can include items such as the accident report, injury-related bills and receipts, proof of lost income, medical reports, and witness information. If you have any communications with the other drivers’ insurer, you’ll want to jot down notes (time, agent’s name, the gist of the conversation) for each phone call. You also can start an injury journal to document your pain, how you are dealing with the hardships of the accident, and your treatments. This file will be extremely valuable during the progression of your case.
Proving Your Case Effectively
The key to obtaining the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to after a car accident caused by drunk driving is to present a well-prepared, well-documented, and compelling case to the insurer or the courts. Given the gravity of serious crashes, you will want a legal professional to assist you. To win your claim, your lawyer can help you with all the necessary tasks, such as the following.
- Collecting adequate evidence to support your case.
- Talking with witnesses, subpoenaing records and pinpointing any laws that apply to your case, such as dram shop laws.
- Proving that the other driver was negligent, and, therefore, responsible for your damages.
- Demonstrating all of the adverse ways that the accident has affected your life.
- Accurately tallying the total value of your claim, including both economic and non-economic damages.
- Filing all necessary documents within the legally allotted time limits.
- Negotiating with the insurer for a higher settlement.
- Preparing the case for court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Learn More About Your Options After a Drunk Driving Accident
If you or your loved one were hurt as a result of a drunk driver, you are likely entitled to financial compensation via a personal injury or wrongful death claim or lawsuit. To learn more, you can start by reading over our informative overview about drunk driving accidents: Getting Justice for Victims of Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Atlanta: Liability & Compensation.
If you reside in Georgia, we encourage you to call our firm, The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. and discuss your case with an attorney who has thorough experience with DUI injury cases. Contact us at 404-474-0804 and schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer today.