It is true that there have been many public awareness campaigns ensuring that people know the dangers of drunk driving. It is true that there have been increasingly serious consequences for being caught. It is true that the number of drunk driving accidents has decreased in the last few decades. However, it is also true that drunk driving accidents are still responsible for nearly one-third of all fatal car accidents.
Determining Fault in a Drunk Driving Accident
If you can prove that a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a car accident, then you have already proven that they were at fault. This is called per se negligence. It means that even if you ran a red light, the fact that the other driver was drunk while driving means they are still negligent in the accident.
That said, you can receive compensation only for their percentage of fault. For example, if you ran a red light and hit a car that was legally moving through an intersection, you would normally be likely to be found 100% at fault. However, if that driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they are per se negligent. The court may find that their negligence was 25% of the reason the accident occurred. You could then only recover 25% of your overall damages.
Damages Must Be Established
In addition to proving that the at-fault party was at fault, you must also prove the damages you are seeking. This requires proving that you were injured in the accident and how serious those injuries are. The more evidence you have to do this, the better.
We recommend taking photos at the scene of the accident, keeping detailed records of the recovery process, and noting all lost wages and benefits. You might also want to keep a diary detailing the ways in which the accident and the healing process have negatively impacted your life in case you need to sue for pain and suffering.
Compensation Can Then Be Secured
Once you have proven the fault of the drunk driver, and have proven the damages you suffered, the next step is to secure compensation. This requires the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Remember that most civil cases do not go to trial and you do not want to receive less than you are owed. Your attorney can fight tirelessly to get you a fair settlement.
The good news is that you get started right away. Just contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation. We are standing by to provide you with the legal expertise you need to move forward after your accident.